Moving Onto Phase 2: Vision Benefits
Moving Onto Phase 2: Vision Benefits
In 2015, my co-founder Michael Rahimzadeh and I founded Lensabl with a mission to bring transparency and choice to the vision care industry.
We saw that the $37.5b vision care industry was ripe for disruption. While many industries have undergone digital transformations over the past decade, vision care largely remains an old-school space that’s resistant to change.
Most vision care products and services are purchased at brick and mortar locations instead of conveniently online, and the American Optometric Association (AOA) spends millions each year lobbying lawmakers in Washington to influence policies and try to keep the status quo.
The majority of the industry have been controlled by a small group of large corporations who essentially have a monopoly on the market. The industry lacks transparency and, most importantly, consumers lacked choice when it comes to where and how they manage their vision needs.
Realizing the complexity of transforming such a large industry, we began by focusing on a very specific problem: replacing existing frames with prescription lenses.
Phase 1: Lens Replacement
Before we launched Lensabl, when someone’s Rx changed or they scratched their lenses, most immediately they assumed they needed a completely new pair of glasses. Lenses and frames were long considered a package deal.
We asked ourselves, Why is that? Why can’t the lenses and frames be considered separate products? There was one reason: that was the way things had always been done. For us, that wasn’t a good enough answer, so we set out to change this.
In 2017, we officially launched a new idea into the market: lens replacement. Why pay for new frames when all you need are new lenses? Since launching this service, we’ve provided over 100,000 consumers a more affordable way to replace their lenses.
Serving so many consumers provided us the opportunity to dive deeper into their challenges and frustrations when it comes to all aspects of their vision care. They relied on antiquated vision “insurance” plans to provide access to eye doctors for exams, frames, contacts, and other products. Many of these conversations with consumers all pointed in the same direction: these vision plans were deeply flawed.
Phase 2: Vision Insurance
The major players who dominate the vision insurance space are reliant upon people not questioning how things are currently being done.
But we should question it, and that’s exactly what we’ve spent the past five years doing as we’ve studied this industry and spoke with thousands of consumers.
Why is it that an estimated 80% of people with vision insurance pay out of pocket for needs beyond what their plan covers?
Why do traditional vision insurance plans not offer a modern day user experience and require you to do things in-person?
And why does the vision plans have to be so complicated?
We believe consumers deserve a better approach to vision insurance and we are uniquely positioned to bundle that all together into a better and more consumer friendly vision benefits plan for our customers.
Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce this new offering.
Why We’re Introducing Lensabl+
Lensabl+ is the first digitally-native vision benefits platform.
Our platform challenges the typical way of getting vision benefits by offering personalized plans for those without an employer-sponsored option.
These plans, which are sold direct-to-consumer and fully redeemable online, can be customized specifically to each individual’s needs so they receive comprehensive coverage at a more affordable price.
Our mission is to optimize the benefit redemption experience, offer coverage that is personalized and comprehensive, and save customers a great deal of money each year.
We’re pleased to formally announce that over the past year, we’ve raised an additional $5m from both institutional and strategic investors to support this new effort.
Lensabl+ is part of our long-term vision to become the one-stop shop that will fundamentally change the way people view vision care. This new solution was built specifically for the consumer and carefully considers and respects their wallet, their health, their time, and their intelligence.
Thank you to our incredibly hard-working team, our investors, and most importantly, our customers for their support along the way.
~ Andy Bilinsky, CEO, cofounder, Lensabl