VSP'S History

In 1955, a small group of optometrists had a vision to provide access to affordable, high-quality eye care to the world. They formed the first prepaid, not-for-profit vision benefit company, California Vision Services, the precursor to Vision Service Plan (VSP).

Over the past 60-plus years, that vision has evolved into VSP Global, a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors.

1950s - 60s

With a dream to offer affordable, accessible, high-quality eye care insurance, a group of optometrists in Oakland, CA, form the first prepaid, not-for-profit vision benefit organization – CVS (California Vision Services), the precursor to VSP.


With a dream to offer affordable, accessible, high-quality eye care insurance, a group of optometrists in Oakland, CA, form the first prepaid, not-for-profit vision benefit organization – CVS (California Vision Services), the precursor to VSP.


The idea of pre-paid vision care catches on and CVS signs a significant client, the Western Conference of Teamsters.


With a growing client base and rapid business expansion, CVS moves its headquarters from Oakland to Sacramento, CA, under the leadership of John O'Donnell, the first president and CEO.

1970s - 80s

VSP reaches 100 employees and is available in four states – California, Oregon, Nevada and Hawaii. VSP signs its first major health plan client, marking VSP's entrance into the managed care market.


CVS opens its first optical lab in Sacramento, CA, to better serve its members and network providers with a wide range of products and specialized services.


CVS officially becomes Vision Service Plan (VSP) when it registers the VSP service mark.


VSP signs its first major health plan client, marking VSP's entry into the managed care market.


VSP makes an official decision to become a national company with plans to expand to all 50 states.

Throughout the decade, the company continues to experience growth with revenue of $100 million, 2.4 million members, and a provider network of more than 5,000.


Vision care benefits grow increasingly popular among employers as they recognize the competitive advantage of providing their employees with a complete benefits package. As a result, membership increases 11 times to more than 31 million. By the end of the 90s, VSP earns $1 billion in revenue.



VSP launches Altair® Eyewear, a private-label frame company that sells its products exclusively to VSP network providers.


Roger Valine becomes president and CEO of VSP and the company moves its headquarters to Rancho Cordova, CA, where its campus is still located today.


VSP's employee population reaches 1,000.


VSP covers 25 million Americans, earns $1 billion in revenue, and logs nearly 1,000,000 calls a month at its call centers.


The Sight for Students® program launches, delivering free eye care services to thousands of children in need.


During the first decade of the millennium, VSP celebrates its 50th anniversary, launches Eyefinity, a business solutions company for practices, and buys the frame company Marchon. Additionally, VSP Optics Group opens three new optical labs and introduces the first UNITY product. With these endeavors, VSP vastly expands its footprint in the optical industry.


VSP launches Eyefinity®, a separate company that provides business solutions to VSP network doctors.


VSP opens its second high-tech optical lab, located outside Columbus, OH.


VSP is recognized by J.D. Power and Associates, which ranked the company “Highest in Member Satisfaction Among National Vision Plans” three years in a row, 2004-2006.



When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, VSP was on the scene to replace lost or damaged eyewear and help doctors continue to provide care. The response, which provided eye care for 11,175 people, would grow into the VSP Mobile Eyes® program.

In September, VSP celebrates its 50th anniversary. VSP also ranks 10th in Fortune Magazine's "Best 100 Companies to Work for."


VSP begins providing voluntary coverage to many of the more than 8 million federal employees and retirees. Rob Lynch takes the helm of VSP as president and CEO.


VSP launches the first VSP Mobile Eyes clinic with two state-of-the-art eye exam rooms and a full eyewear dispensary. When not responding to disaster, the clinic will travel the U.S. to provide no-cost eye care and eyewear for people in need.

VSP begins to expand its company and network of providers internationally. VSP also begins offering a "direct to consumer" comprehensive eye care plan to those who don’t have access to vision coverage through an employer. In addition, VSP purchases its third optical lab, Legends 4.0, located in Lewisville, TX.



VSP expands its existing frame and practice solutions business by acquiring Marchon, an industry-leading manufacturer, designer, and distributor of quality eyewear and sunwear. OfficeMate, Marchon’s practice solutions business, merges with Eyefinity to create Eyefinity/OfficeMate, and Altair becomes an eyewear division of Marchon.

VSP purchases its fourth optical lab, Ultra Lens, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.


The VSP Global brand launches, further extending its reach across the world to help people see.


After an amazing start to the first decade of the 21st century, VSP continues to innovate and look to the future of the optical industry. In 2015, the company celebrated its 60th "Diamond" anniversary, and now serves more than 80 million members, 57,000 clients and 37,000 network providers worldwide.


VSP launches the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign which provides free comprehensive eye exams and health risk assessments for diabetes and high blood pressure to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured Americans.

Vision Monday names VSP Labs the "Top Lab of 2010."


VSP responds to the destruction caused by 358 tornadoes in 21 states with a state-of-the-art 45-foot mobile eye exam clinic to help tornado victims regain their sight after losing or breaking their glasses. VSP also provided the American Red Cross with 3,000 gift certificates valued at $1.15 million to distribute to Red Cross clients affected by the destruction.

The VSP Eye on Wellness program launches, helping doctors achieve their annual continuing education requirements at no cost to them, while empowering them with the latest research and data on important subject matters impacting the profession.

VSP Optics launches UNITY® Performance Optics.


VSP Global provides relief efforts for victims of Superstorm Sandy with deployment of two VSP mobile eye care clinics and gives the American Red Cross 2,100 gift certificates, valued at more than $800,000, to distribute to those in need.

Marchon acquires Dragon Alliance, one of the world’s leading goggle and performance eyewear brands in the action sports market, and Scandinavian Eyewear, which has a 65-year history of designing optical frames for the Nordic region.

Inc. Magazine names VSP Global a top job creator in 2012, ranking it 11th in its inaugural "Hire Power Awards" which recognizes businesses that are adding jobs and rebuilding the economy. Further, the organization was ranked 4th in California as a top job creator.

In December, key VSP Global stakeholders met to discuss the need for an innovation arm within the organization to embrace disruption and test new products and business models. The Shop was formed, with co-leads Jay Sales and Leslie Muller leading the bi-coastal innovation labs in Sacramento, CA, and New York City, NY, respectively.


VSP Vision Care launches in the Australia, UK and Ireland markets.

VSP Global announces the launch of Eyes of Hope®, a global corporate social responsibility initiative. To date, through Eyes of Hope programs that include Sight for Students and VSP Mobile Eyes, VSP Global has invested $175 million to provide no-cost eye care and eyewear for 1 million people in need.

VSP Global introduces the Premier Program, a national community of private practices that offer the best patient experience, where VSP members can maximize their benefits and Premier Program practices receive valuable opportunities.



VSP Global announces the creation of a new division to give consumers more choice in eye care, eyewear, and shopping experiences.

VSP announces a partnership to provide prescription lenses for members who use Google Glass and introduces a training program for optometrists to become certified as VSP Glass Preferred Providers. Marchon and The Shop also team up with licensor Diane von Furstenberg and Google to launch the DVF | Made for Glass collection.


VSP celebrates 60 years of vision, innovation and giving, and welcomes its fourth president and CEO, Jim McGrann. Looking forward, VSP Global has its sights on reimagining how eye care and eyewear are delivered globally.

Through its innovation lab, The Shop, VSP Global debuts "Project Genesis," the first wearable tech prototype from a healthcare company to seamlessly integrate health-tracking technology into an optical frame.

Nearly 18 million WellVision Exams® were delivered by VSP doctors to ensure that members received the personalized care they deserve, and more than $21 million in extra frame value was delivered.


VSP Global celebrates a huge milestone — helping 1 million people see through Eyes of Hope programs — and announces the A Million More initiative to provide no-cost eye care and eyewear to an additional 1 million individuals in need by 2020.

The Shop collaborates with Nike Vision and Zeiss to create a new, innovative line of running eyewear that combines Nike's expertise in athletic performance and VSP Global's expertise in eyewear design.

With more than 82 million members and counting, the company continues its commitment to people around the world with a lifetime of good vision.


VSP Global and the U.S. Conference of Mayors renew their partnership to increase access to vision care for thousands of adults and children in need.

VSP Global partners with more than 38,000 VSP network doctors worldwide to serve 85 million members globally.

In response to natural disasters including Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, VSP Global supports 18 VSP network doctors, and provides access to care to more than 11,000 individuals.


Michael J. Guyette takes the helm as President and CEO of VSP Global.

Level Glasses

VSP Global launches Level smart glasses, featuring activity-tracking technology seamlessly embedded inside the temple of an optical frame. Level was designed and developed by VSP Global’s innovation lab, The Shop, with frames produced by Marchon Italy.