Maryland House Bill 1160 passed into law on May 16th. Similar to that of the Texas bill noted in my last post, the Maryland bill “prohibits a carrier from including in a vision plan contract a provision that requires a vision plan provider to …provide discounts on materials that are not covered benefits.” In my opinion, this legislation is critical to the future of the profession, resulting in the elimination of outside control over every optometrists’ brand. There’s a reason why every major designer places significant requirements on the use of their brand and how their products are marketed. Can you imagine any company standing still and allowing an outsider to dictate how it’s brand is positioned? Unfortunately, every provider within VSP and other plans have done so. But change is in the wind and Texas and Maryland have now stood up, recognized the injustice and their legislators have agreed. What are you doing about this injustice in your state?
This is another win for Maryland optometry. The law goes into effect with all contracts that renew after April 2014. Congratulations to the MOA and all Maryland optometrists.