Participating Panelist Program

How do I use the Participating Panelist Program?

1. Eligibility information will be available electronically via the GVS website, the GVS mobile app as well as via a dedicated phone line: (212)729-5395. Information on your eligibility for benefits will be available not only to you and your eligible dependents, but also to optical service providers, making it easier to schedule appointments and use your benefits for covered services.

2. Once you confirm your eligibility, you can simply contact a participating provider’s office to schedule an appointment.

3. The provider will offer you the services and associated discounts you are entitled to through the plan. There are no claims to file.

What are the advantages of using the Participating Optical Panelist Program?

  • There is no cost to you for a covered optical service.
  • The Fund has negotiated a discount and surcharge program with participating panelists. As affiliated providers, they have agreed to give all members and/or their dependents the following discounts in addition to the one hundred and twenty-five dollar ($125.00) benefit credit:
  1. For any frame or lenses (i.e. progressives) that are upgraded, they will receive a minimum 10% discount and a $100 frame allowance. The discount will be applied as follows:

Upgraded Service Example:

Retail Price
Designer Frames: $220.00
Progressives Lenses: $225.00
Total Retail Price: $445.00
10% Minimum Panelist Discount: ($ 44.50)
Sub-Total: $400.50
Basic Frame Allowance (if upgraded) ($100.00)
Sub-Total: $300.50
Welfare Fund Benefit: ($125.00)
Member’s Final Cost: $175.50

Other Service Types:

TYPE OF SERVICE MINIMUM 10% DISCOUNT $100 FRAME ALLOWANCE $125 WELFARE FUND PAYMENT
LENS - NO FRAME  
LENS WITH FRAME
FRAME -NO LENSES

Note: Member’s Final Cost does not take into account the surcharge items in #4 below. These items are not included in the Total Retail Price for calculating the member’s discount.

      2. For any item purchased not in connection with their covered service, for example, a second pair of glasses, a minimum 10% discount off the retail price.

      3. If the member/dependent chooses, or the prescription requires, items as listed below, the panelist may charge the member/dependent no more than the following surcharges (per pair):

  • Tinting $15.00
  • UV Block: $15.00
  • Scratch Resistant Coating: $20.00
  • Glare Free Coating: $30.00
  • Polycarbonate: $35.00
  • Photochromic (Transitions): $50.00

     4. The provider cannot charge more than their usual and customary prices, including sales and special promotions.

     5. Because of its contractual relationship with the panelist, the Welfare Fund will offer its assistance in helping you resolve any problems with a participating optical panelist that may arise.


Source URL: https://www.uft.org/your-benefits/health-benefits/optical/participating-panelist-program