Optique Solidaire, a cross industry collaboration in France, has expanded its reach this October by lowering the age of target beneficiaries from 60 to 45. The move is part of a wider initiative to access more underprivileged people in France as more ECPs and health providers come on board.

Optique Solidaire broadens scope as numbers grow 3

More than 1 million people in France do not have the means to buy progressive lenses, even if it would make a difference to their lives. Optique Solidaire, a consortium that brings together health insurers, eye care professionals, lens and frame manufacturers, aims to make a significant change in that number.

“Optique Solidaire is a unique and ambitious initiative from the main players in the French optical industry, who are pulling together to increase access to quality affordable lenses”

Expanding rapidly in vision and scope, the association is extending its presbyopia program to all those likely to be affected by it. Originally open to over 60s who are eligible for welfare complimentary health insurance, Optique Solidaire has now lowered the bottom age limit to 45. This is when many see the on-set of the condition, which is also known as “old man’s eye”. There are further plans to adapt the model to reach even more people as more partners join the association.

Optique Solidaire has grown significantly since its inception in 2012. Five new health insurers joined the association in April 2013. Since then, the organisation has added 65 new opticians and 6 new complimentary health providers. With the age limit lowered, Optique Solidaire has identified 50,000 beneficiaries amongst a total of 1.3 eligible people as compared with the 8,000 potential beneficiaries in 2013. The number of people helped has almost doubled, from 650 people in 2012 to 2,200 people today.

“Optique Solidaire is a unique and ambitious initiative from the main players in the French optical industry, who are pulling together to increase access to quality affordable lenses,” commented Martin Hirsch, former High Commissioner of Government and current Chair of the association’s Ethics Committee. He also pointed out this was a 100% social business.