I’ve been a secret fanboy of Warby Parker glasses. I dig that they are helping others by providing glasses….The “Buy a pair, give a pair.” has a very TOMSesque appeal.
So hey, I’d like support their mission and look hip at the same time. Then my frugal side wakes up and remembers that I actually pay for vision insurance.
VSP to be exact–the #2 vision insurance provider in the country (54 million) behind #1 Eye Med Vision Care (159 million) according to an study from businessinsurance.com.
So Does Warby Parker Accept VSP?
I started out by searching and found this video:
I was disappointed that Warby Parker doesn’t work directly with insurance providers and I’d have to request a receipt to submit to VSP and wait to get reimbursed.
My motivation for jumping through multiple hoops is generally fairly low–I’m sure i’m not alone.
— Warby Parker (@WarbyParker) November 24, 2014
I’m glad they responded and cleverly with a video too, but it’s the same answer and doesn’t tell me HOW to go through this seemingly complicated insurance process.
It seems overly complex, so I thought I’d help others who also have VSP Insurance and want to wear Warby Parker glasses.
How to Request a Receipt from Warby Parker for Insurance Purposes
You can call Warby Parker at 888.492.7297 (Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. ET) or you can email them for a receipt at email@example.com.
I called up a friendly WP rep and they said they are able to create a special receipt that has lenses and frames on the same line for the $95.00 price, but they don’t break down the lenses and frames into separate line items.
Of course she recommend that I speak with VSP to ensure my plan will cover out of network–which Warby Parker is.
How to Submit an out of Network Receipt to VSP?
You have 12 months to submit an out of network claim if your plan allows.
Login or call to ensure your VSP plan will reimburse you before you go all Warby Parker hipster crazy. Below is my plan provided through my employer.
You’ll need need to log on to the VSP platform. On the left click on Claims and Reinbursement and then you’ll be directed to start a new claim.
Why Does VSP Hate Warby Parker and other Online Retailers?
I get the impression from this string of comments on the VSP site, that they
dislike hate Warby Parker and other online retailers.
1. VSP and Warby Parker are competitors:
2. VSP also thinks online retailers have inferior products and “minimal quality standards.”
They even quote statistics from this study in the comments when people asked VSP to add Warby Parker to their preferred vendors:
“Nearly half of prescription spectacles delivered directly by online vendors did not meet either the optical requirements of the patient’s visual needs or the physical requirements for the patient’s safety.”
Just a little about this study…it’s horse poop. How did they determine the top 12 online retailers to test the prescriptions?
“In early 2010, we identified 12 of the most visited Web sites for ordering prescription spectacles online, based on rankings provided by Alexa® Traffic Rank service7 (San Francisco, California) and Google PageRank™ checker8 (Mountain View, California).”
Sounds fancy, but Internet saavy folk know that Alexa can easily be gamed (I’ve done it) and that the PR checker does not determine the amount of traffic, popularity of brands, nor the amount of online orders.
AND this study was in 2010–that’s 60 internet years by my calculations. They also don’t identify the 12 which they drew samples from in this study, so it just seems like a bit of self-serving pseudo science based off old outdated metrics.
Warby Parker Vs. VSP Conclusion
I started out this journey a little disappointed in Warby Parker, but in the end I have a bitter taste in my mouth for VSP.
May upstart companies like Warby Parker continue to disrupt the marketplace. WP,
I’ll have to save up for your cool hip glasses since it seems I’ll have to float some out of pocket costs until/if I can get reimbursed. *Update I couldn’t contain myself any longer and plucked down the $95 in cash for my new WP. I’m saving my VSP this go round for prescription sunglasses.
I’ll also keep my cheap VSP plan and squeeze every dime I can out of it–at least another year until Open Enrollment starts again.
Anyone had success or tips reimbursing your out of network Warby Parker glasses from VSP? Please share below!