Media releases

November 1, 2012

Medibank partners with VSP to create largest optometry provider network in Australia

Medibank has signed a deal with US-based Vision Service Plan (VSP) to create the largest network of independent, local optical providers in Australia.

From 1 January 2013, Medibank's 3.8 million members will have access to VSP's network of independent optometrists for the first time. Known as the VSP Neighbourhood Eyecare, this network will provide greater choice for access to optometry with local providers. The neighbourhood theme emphasises access, quality care and value.

Laz Cotsios, Group Executive - Medibank Private Health Insurance, said the intention was to provide access to a broader cross section of optical outlets, through expanding the Medibank network for members.

"Our consumer research shows that a large portion of our members want to go to an independent optometrist for their eye care treatment. This new agreement means they will have access to a network that is up to 30 per cent larger," he said.

VSP owns General Optical in Australia and New Zealand, which operates a fully integrated supply chain offering private practice optometry lower-cost quality products and the operational efficiency benefits of the larger chains.

Peter Lewis, CEO of General Optical in Sydney said, "By working together with Medibank, we are committed to supporting independent optometry and providing Australia with the best possible optical care. The creation of VSP Neighbourhood Eyecare will message quality care through trusted providers people know, professional relationships, emphasising clinical excellence, value and access."

In the United States, VSP has a 55-year track record of supporting private practice optometry and providing best-in-class eye health services to more than 58 million Americans.

About VSP Global

VSP Global includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 58 million members; Marchon Eyewear Inc., one of the world's largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear represented through Sydney based General Optical; Monkey Software, based in Melbourne, a division Eyefinity offers innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new lens technologies, production processes, service and logistics. In Australia and New Zealand, VSP owns General Optical and Monkey Software.

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