VSP'S History

VSP was founded in 1955 in Oakland, CA, by a group of committed and forward-thinking optometrists. Their vision was to offer affordable, accessible, high-quality eye care insurance to the world that promoted visual wellness and improved members' quality of life.

Today, VSP Global and its complementary businesses remain committed to those same principles.

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.

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 (VSP) opened 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 low-income children.


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 providers.


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.



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


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


VSP expands its company and network of providers into Canada. 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. With more than 75 million members worldwide, 53,000 clients and 32,000 network providers the company is well positioned to celebrate its 60th "Diamond" anniversary in 2015.


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.

VSP Optics Group launches UNITY® Performance Optics.


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

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 Neighbourhood Eyecare® launches in the Australian market.

VSP Global announces the launch of Eyes of Hope®, a global charity initiative. To date, through the Eyes of Hope programs, VSP Global businesses have invested nearly $173 million in free eye care and eyewear for nearly 1 million adults and children in need.



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

VSP Vision Care announces partnership with Google Glass to offer frames and prescription lenses for Google Glass. Additionally, VSP and Google announce a comprehensive training program for VSP network providers to be certified as Glass Preferred Providers.


This year, VSP celebrated 60 years of vision, innovation and giving, and welcomed 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.