Open Enrollment: Making A Beautiful Connection

By Daniel L. Mannen, OD, FAAO September 14, 2012

I was thumbing through a magazine when I came upon an advertisement to visit Hawaii. A beautiful beach, a gorgeous sunset, and the promise of culture, tradition, and tropical breezes—talk about a value proposition. I could almost feel the sand beneath my feet. Needless to say, they had gotten my attention and created motivation for me to act. They had made a connection with me. 

This is exactly the goal during open enrollment, to demonstrate the value of independent optometry and to make a connection with eligible members. The 2012 Fall Open Enrollment Campaign targets 16.8 million potential patients who have access to VSP voluntary plans and encourages them choose VSP for their vision care. This is very important because VSP has been able to historically direct over 90% of enrolled patients to member doctors. As a reminder, the open enrollment period is the time when employees typically select their healthcare benefits for the following year. 

So, just how does VSP help make this patient/doctor connection? First, VSP must sell the virtues of the program to the employer. They must then win the day with the individual enrollee who is often presented with competing choices. It is all about establishing the value proposition. Potential patients are informed about the excellent independent doctors and offered real savings, along with choice and quality in materials. With a strong emphasis on health and productivity, eye care is presented as an integral part of wellness. 

We know that people with vision insurance are more proactive to seek regular eye care and are certainly more likely to purchase glasses and contact lenses. If it is good for the patient, it is good for the practice. This year’s consumer enrollment campaign includes targeted online advertising, social media, educational videos, games, and more…all intended to encourage and influence a benefits decision that includes eye care. These efforts will send potential patients to to find a VSP doctor and learn more about the importance of taking care of their eyes. 

As I see it, connecting patients to my practice is a beautiful thing. I would encourage you to generate additional interest in your individual practice through this campaign:

Tell your patients: Send a High Five at, and VSP will donate free eye exams, glasses, and follow-up eye care services to Special Olympics athletes!




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