Carte Blanche, the French healthcare organization owned by SwissLife and other insurance companies, has extended until Dec. 11 the registration deadline for French opticians wishing to join its network, as many could not complete the process in time because of the new Covid-19 related lockdown. The company, which focuses on the eyecare, hearing-aids and dental care sectors, offers to the clients of more than 40 mutual health insurance groups special conditions and services when they choose to visit a healthcare professional member of Carte Blanche’s network. In the optical sector, the organization boasts 7,700 partner stores, or about 60 percent of the French market expressed in number of doors. They include 5,700 shops from major optical banners – such as Atol, Alain Afflelou, Grand Optical, Générale d’Optique, Krys, Optical Center or Optic 2000 - and 200 independent stores.

Consumers visiting partner opticians can benefit from discounts on lenses and contact lenses, payment facilities or additional warranties for example. The company’s offer also includes a Made in France or Origine France Garantie private label of eyeglasses with no “reste à charge”, meaning that the cost of the equipment is fully covered by the social security and mutual health insurance. In order to join the Carte Blanche network, opticians have to agree on a certain number of contractual requirements related to equipment and services’ prices as well as specific quality standards.

As of December 2020, the company’s portfolio of partner health insurances services represents 8 million French consumers, a number set to increase progressively to 12.5 million in the next two years following a recent partnership with Aesio Macif, a major French insurance group. Currently, the leading health care network in France is Kalixia, with 16 million clients covered and 6,500 referenced opticians. Santéclair, another major player with 10 million clients and about 3,500 optical shops in its network, has just announced a campaign to reference 100 more opticians in different regions until Dec. 22.