• September 20, 2017 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    Warby Parker and United Healthcare to Expand Vision Benefits to a Few Markets This Year, Nationally in 2018


    Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:33 AM

    MINNETONKA, Minn.—United Healthcare Vision’s new partnership with Warby Parker to enable the online/brick and mortar retailer to accept vision insurance nationally in 2018 began as a pilot in Charlotte, N.C., where some employees at eight companies can take advantage of that option as of today. 

    That pilot will expand in the next few months to other markets and by 2018, the full national network of United Healthcare Vision's 20 million members will be able to use their benefits in-store or online via Warby Parker, executives told VMail.

    As VMail reported yesterday morning, the new program marks the first time Warby Parker will be accepting vision insurance. 

    United Healthcare Vision’s Lori Archer, senior vice president at UnitedHealthcare Vision, told VMail, “The collaboration with Warby Parker reflects our focus on developing new and innovative collaborations that improve access to eyecare and affordably priced eyewear for all Americans.” 

    She said the collaboration began with a pilot to serve employees at eight companies in Charlotte, N.C., as Warby Parker has a store in Charlotte (at Atherton Mill) which it opened in March. “We will expand to other markets over the new months – we are still defining these -- and will be national with the program for all United Healthcare Vision members in 2018.” 

    Archer said that currently about 20 percent to 25 percent of Warby Parker’s brick and mortar locations offer exams or doctor services. So those doctors will be credentialed to the United Healthcare vision network. She emphasized, “United Healthcare Vision recommends that all members see an eye doctor for their regular comprehensive vision exams. We do not provide coverage as a network benefit for online refractions.”

    Archer declined to spell out other details of the agreement with Warby Parker. “As is true with any of our provider contracts, the terms of those agreements are proprietary.” 

    Tom Wiffler, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits, stated on Tuesday, “We are grateful Warby Parker selected UnitedHealthcare to be its first in-network vision plan.”

    Currently Warby Parker operates more than 50 stores. Earlier in the year, the company confirmed it was on track to have 70 locations by the end of the year.

  • August 01, 2017 12:46 PM | Anonymous

    Did you know that it is estimated that 80% of classroom education is taught visually?

    Since August has arrived and a new school year is about to begin, Friends for Sight wants you to make sure to include an eye examination as part of your back to school check list. As part of Child Eye Health and Safety Month, in addition to immunizations and school orientations, it is highly recommended your child receive an eye examination before going back to school. The inability to see clearly affects not only academic performance but also althletics and self-esteem. Start the new school year out right by making sure that your student is seeing clearly!

    Common signs of vision troubles in children include: frequently rubbing eyes, squinting, tilting or turning head to look at objects, wandering eyes, or squeezing eyes. If you're child displays any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment to have their eyes checked. Amblyopia (lazy eye), Strabismus (crossed eyes), color deficiency (color blindness), and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism) are the most common conditions that can affect a child's vision. Many of these conditions, if diagnosed early, can be treated and vision can be restored. If the condition is not diagnosed until later in life, treatment will not be as effective.

    Eye safety is just as important as eye health. Every year thousands of children sustain an eye injury - 90 percent of which can be prevented if suitable protective eyewear is used. From sports and recreation, to toys and fireworks, an eye injury can happen at any time. By taking proper precautions (providing age-appropriate toys or proper protective eyewear), you can protect your child from injury. Always purchase toys that meet the safety standards of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and provide protective eyewear, as corrective lenses do not protect the eye; most protective eyewear is made from a lightweight polycarbonate and is activity-specific. If your child should experience an eye injury, DO NOT allow child to rub or touch the eye, DO NOT apply medication to the eye, and DO NOT attempt to remove any debris from the eye. If the eye injury is caused by a chemical in the eye, flush the eye with water. For all eye injuries seek medical attention immediately.

    We all want our children to be happy and healthy, and we want to protect them from harm. We can best achieve this goal by getting our children yearly wellness check-ups and eye examinations before school, as well as by providing safe toys, environments, and always have adult supervision.

  • January 17, 2017 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    Eyewear Industry Giants Essilor and Luxottica Announce Merger; Historic Deal Will Reshape the Optical Industry


    By Vision Monday
    Monday, January 16, 2017 12:15 AM

    PARIS and MILAN—Plans for a mega merger of Essilor [Euronext Paris: EI] and Luxottica [MTA: LUX; NYSE: LUX], two global giants of the eyewear industry, were announced today by Essilor and Delfin Sarl, the Luxembourg based holding company of the Del Vecchio family, the majority owners of Luxottica. The history making deal would reshape the international optical industry and create “an integrated player dedicated to visual health and superior consumer experience through a combination of Essilor and Luxottica Group,” according to a joint statement issued by the companies.

    The new company would be involved in virtually every sector of the optical industry, from retail and wholesale to frames, spectacle lenses and managed vision care. It would have combined revenue in excess of €15 billion, more than 140,000 employees and sales in over 150 countries, according to Essilor and Delfin. Based on the companies’ 2015 results, the new company would have posted combined net EBITDA of approximately €3.5 billion. Based on a preliminary analysis, the combined group is expected to progressively generate revenue and cost synergies ranging from €400 million to €600 million in the medium term and accelerating over the long term, Essilor and Delfin said.

    The combination of “two major and complementary global players in the eyewear industry to answer the growing needs in visual health and the appetite for premium branded products,” the companies said. The new group would be in an “outstanding position to propose a comprehensive offering combining a strong brand portfolio, global distribution capabilities and complementary expertise in ophthalmic lenses, prescription frames and sunglasses,” the companies said.

    Early reports of the deal began circulating last night, as reported by VMail

    “Our project has one simple motivation: to better respond to the needs of an immense global population in vision correction and vision protection by bringing together two great companies, one dedicated to lenses and the other to frames,” commented Hubert Sagnieres, chairman and CEO of Essilor. “With extraordinary success, Luxottica has built prestigious brands, backed by an industry state-of-the-art supply chain and distribution network. Essilor brings 168 years of innovation and industrial excellence in the design, manufacturing and distribution of ophthalmic and sun lenses. By joining forces today, these two international players can now accelerate their global expansion to the benefit of customers, employees and shareholders as well as the industry as a whole.”

    Leonardo Del Vecchio, chairman of Delfin and executive chairman of Luxottica Group added, “With this agreement my dream to create a major global player in the eyewear industry, fully integrated and excellent in all its parts, comes finally true. It was some time now that we knew that this was the right solution but only today are there the right conditions to make it possible. The marriage between two key companies in their sectors will bring great benefits to the market, for employees and mainly for all our consumers. Finally, after 50 years, two products which are naturally complementary, namely frames and lenses, will be designed, manufactured and distributed under the same roof.”

    The transaction would involve a strategic combination of Essilor’s and Luxottica’s businesses consisting of Delfin contributing its entire stake in Luxottica, approximately 62 percent, to Essilor in return for newly-issued Essilor shares to be approved by the Essilor shareholders meeting, on the basis of the Exchange Ratio of 0.461 Essilor shares for 1 Luxottica share. Essilor would subsequently make a mandatory public exchange offer, in accordance with the provisions of Italian law, to acquire all of the remaining issued and outstanding shares of Luxottica pursuant to the same Exchange Ratio and with a view to delist Luxottica’s shares, the companies said in the statement.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Essilor would become a holding company with the new name EssilorLuxottica through a “hive-down” of all of its operating activities into a wholly-owned company, to be called Essilor International, and the contribution by Delfin of its Luxottica shares, the companies said. Following the transaction, Delfin would own between 31 percent and 38 percent of the shares of EssilorLuxottica and would be its largest shareholder. The voting rights of any shareholder of EssilorLuxottica would be capped at 31 percent and there would no longer be double voting rights for the shares.

    The board of directors of Essilor unanimously approved the agreement with Delfin on Jan. 15, 2017. The Luxottica board of directors, on the same date, unanimously acknowledged the transaction was in the best interest of Luxottica and shared the strategic rationale of the business combination.

    Executive chairman, Leonardo Del Vecchio, would serve as executive chairman and CEO of EssilorLuxottica while Essilor chairman and CEO, Hubert Sagnieres, would serve as executive vice chairman and deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica with equal powers as the chairman and CEO. 

    Leonardo Del Vecchio and Hubert Sagnieres would also keep their positions of executive chairman of Luxottica and chairman and CEO of Essilor International, respectively. 

    The EssilorLuxottica Board of Directors would consist of 16 members: eight members nominated by Essilor, comprising Sagnieres, two employee representatives, one Valoptec representative and four independent members. Eight members nominated by Delfin, comprising Del Vecchio, three Delfin representatives and four independent members. 

    Each company will remain separate entities under the holding company, an Essilor of America spokesperson told VMail. “Any integration will take place after the closing of the deal and will take place over the following three years. There will be no changes in the day to day operations of either company within the coming year.

    “This combination gives the companies opportunities across all segments of the eyewear industry by combining our expertise in lenses and frames,” the Essilor spokesperson continued. “This would include supply chain management, frame, lens and wearable innovation, investing in the consumer’s understanding of the value of good vision and the importance of an annual eye exam.”

    Essilor will be establishing an advisory committee of key customers, the Essilor spokesperson told VMail. “There is not an exact timetable set for this but it will be one of the first things we do. We also will be at all major industry meetings to set up discussion forums to answer any questions and gather additional input. We are answering questions about this merger through a special email,,” the spokesperson said.

    The transaction is subject to Essilor’s Works Councils’ information and consultation procedure according to French law.

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