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OFF BEAT: Insurer VSP gets cutting edge with Google Glass coverage


Google Inc. this week struck a deal with VSP, the nation’s largest optical insurance provider, to fit Google Glass, the tech giant’s techno-forward eyewear, with prescription lenses.

Google Glass is currently available only to a limited number of people through the Glass Explorer Program, at a cost of $1,500.

By the end of 2014, however, VSP hopes to have trained approximately 6,000 optometrists, beginning with doctors in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

VSP, which says it provides eye and vision care to 59 million members, plans to provide coverage similar to that for normal glasses with corrective lenses, generally between $125 and $150 for frames. Subsidies for lens options like anti-glare and -scratch protection will depend on the plan, the company said.

Customers will be able to choose from four styles of titanium frames priced at $250 (the cost of the computer element is not included). The consumer launch of the prescription program is scheduled for late 2014.