Frustrated with Vision Insurers? Here’s How We’re Different.

Published 08/31/2023
by Heritage Vision Plans


Heritage has the network of an industry giant but the customer care of a neighbor.

Across the country, whether helping a small business provide vision insurance for employees or onboarding a new eye doctor to our provider network, we hear many familiar complaints:

  • Vision insurance companies are too slow. It takes too long for claims to process and payments to be made
  • Contacting a real person at the company is difficult. Customer service has been contracted out and the other company doesn’t know anything.
  • The company’s systems are too rigid and its processes can’t accommodate changes to support the needs of their organization.

In a way, these complaints are an inspiration. They show us how we can stand out from the crowd and offer an experience as an insurance provider that resolves the pain points that so many of our clients and providers feel when working with other companies. Here are four ways that we’ve built our company to stand out from the competition.

1. We are small but mighty.

Over the past few years, we’ve watched our industry consolidate as other, smaller insurance companies have been bought out by larger organizations. These positions leave both consumers and care providers with fewer options when it comes to the kinds of companies they want to work with.

It also often means they’re working with organizations that are a step or two removed from their needs. The insurance provider they’re contracted with is owned by a larger conglomerate that dictates the policy. The insurance network has been purchased and has no direct relationship to the organization.

At Heritage, we’re proud of our size because it makes us nimble. We’re able to work more directly with businesses to accommodate their needs, whether they have two employees or two thousand. In some cases, this has involved creating a unique plan for one client’s specific needs. Because we don’t have a lot of red tape to cut through, we can provide solutions that larger and more cumbersome organizations cannot.

2. Vision is our only focus.

We consider ourselves a boutique firm. We’re not diluting our mission by dabbling by chasing down every opportunity that comes our way. Instead, we devote our attention to making sure that the services we do offer are the ones that make sense for our business and our customers.

One area where the value of our single-focus approach shines through is in our provider network. Our provider network is our own, vetted by our team and developed through our own outreach efforts, and it covers every state. Our work has paid off in long-term relationships with high quality providers and better service for our members.

3. Our customer service doesn’t give up.

Our customer service team is tireless. They understand that their mission is to resolve problems, not pass them on. We’ve had members contact us from the office of a service provider and have stayed with them on the line until we are certain they can receive the care they need. And if going the extra mile means helping an elderly member in a remote area find a provider that they can access safely, we’ll do all we can to make sure they receive care.

The same applies to our providers. Should they ever need to reach us, they can expect to speak with an actual employee at our company whom they will know by name and who will work with them to handle any concern or query that may arise.

4. Our history tells a powerful story.

We are a woman-led, minority-led, and veteran-owned business with Detroit roots that go all the way back to 1975, when our founder, George P. Barnes, Jr., first started Heritage Optical Center. In doing so, he became the first African-American dispensing optician in Michigan to own and operate a full-service optical dispensary.

From the beginning, Heritage has honored that history by giving back to our community. In collaboration with Detroit public schools, we began a voucher program to help children receive the vision care they need—care which is directly linked to their performance and engagement in school. Currently, we are working to expand our care through the Heritage Vision of Hope: a fully fitted mobile optometry unit that will allow us to bring vision care to underserved communities throughout Detroit.

The work that we do ties us to our roots and gives a deeper meaning to all the work we do at our company. When you work with us, that desire to deliver the highest quality of care flows from our community work right on to our customers.

Working with Heritage is a difference you can feel.

We would say that we want any interaction with Heritage to be the best part of anyone’s day, but really, we hope that’s the part spent with family and friends. But we certainly want any encounter with us to leave our clients, members, and providers feeling reassured. After all, peace of mind is what insurance is supposed to provide.

So, if you are an employer hoping to expand vision coverage to your employees or a provider interested in becoming part of our network, we hope you’ll contact us. You may just find a vision insurer that is unlike any you’ve worked with before.