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|Check out the FAQ section for answers to commonly asked benefits questions.||Open Enrollment is coming October 14 - 30, so mark your calendar!|
Vanderbilt is pleased to offer a comprehensive and flexible benefits package. Read this overview carefully and select the benefits that fit you and your family.
Am I eligible for benefits right away? Which ones? When will they take effect? Are there deadlines to enroll?
Refer to the following charts as well as your manual for guidance.
Takes Effect Enrollment Deadline* Health, dental and vision Your hire date 30 days after your start date 403(b) retirement plan Your hire date, but employer match availability varies. Mandatory contributions begin automatically after one year and the completion of 1,000 hours for staff. Visit Vanderbilt’s Retirement page for details. none Life Insurance Your hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days after your benefit takes effect Accidental Death & Dismemberment Your hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days after your benefit takes effect Short-term disability First of the month following 30 days of employment/eligibility; enhanced coverage begins automatically after 1 year
Traditional and Enhanced: 30 days after your benefit takes effect
Long-term disability First of the month after 1 year of employment/eligibility 30 days after your benefit takes effect Flexible Spending Accounts First of the month following 3 months of employment/eligibility 90 days Tuition assistance (employee) 3 months from your hire date none
Benefit Takes Effect Enrollment Deadline* Health, dental and vision Your hire date 30 days after your start date 403(b) retirement plan Your hire date, but employer match availability varies. Mandatory contributions begin automatically after one year and the completion of 1,000 hours for staff. Visit Vanderbilt’s Retirement page for details. none Life Insurance Your hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days after your benefit takes effect Accidental Death & Dismemberment Your hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days after your benefit takes effect Long-term disability First of the month after 1 year of employment/eligibility 30 days after your benefit takes effect Flexible Spending Accounts First of the month following 3 months of employment/eligibility 90 days Tuition assistance (employee) Your hire date none
Benefit Takes Effect Enrollment Deadline* Health, dental and vision Your hire date 30 days after your start date 403(b) retirement plan Your hire date, but employer match availability varies. Mandatory contributions begin automatically after one year and the completion of 1,000 hours for staff. Visit Vanderbilt’s Retirement page for details. none Life Insurance Your hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days after your benefit takes effect Accidental Death & Dismemberment Your hire date (exempt), 90 days after your hire date (non-exempt) 30 days after your benefit takes effect Short-term disability First of the month following 30 days of employment/eligibility; enhanced coverage begins automatically after 1 year Traditional and Enhanced: 30 days after your benefit takes effect Long-term disability Your hire date 30 days after your benefit takes effect Flexible Spending Accounts First of the month following 3 months of employment/eligibility 90 days Tuition assistance (employee) 3 months from your hire date none
How many health plan options do we have?
What are they?
Aetna Plus, Aetna Select, Aetna HealthFund.
What’s the same about them?
All three options:
• Allow you to see providers and specialists without a referral
• Provide 100% coverage for preventive care and screenings, with no deductible or co-pay required, as long as the service meets the guidelines for a preventive care service and is not for screening of a diagnosis
• Have three networks:
-Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network. (Tier 1) For details, see vu.edu/vhan.
-In-network, Aetna “POS II” National network (Tier 2)
-Out-of-network. These providers may be used, but you will not have the advantage of the network discount. (Tier 3)
What’s different about the plans?
The premiums, copays and deductibles are all different. Refer to the Benefits Overview or the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for each health plan. Required by law, SBCs provide an easy-to-understand summary about each health plan’s benefits and coverage. Visit Vanderbilt’s health plan page and click on the links for each health plan’s SBC or call 615.343.7000 to request a printed copy.
Where can I find premiums?
On page 4 of the Benefits Overview.
What are bands?
Ranges of annual base benefits rates of pay that determine how much you will pay for your portion of health insurance premiums. In most cases, your annual base benefits rate (ABBR) is the same as your annual salary. There are five bands:
Band 1: For employees with salaries up to $49,999.99
Band 2: For employees with salaries of $50,000-99,999.99
Band 3: For employees with salaries of $100,000-149,999.99
Band 4: For employees with salaries of $150,000-199,999.99
Band 5: For employees with salaries of $200,000 or more
What’s my copay?
That depends on what plan you choose, what Tier your service falls into, and what kind of service you receive. For specifics, refer to pages 6-8 of the Benefits Overview.
What are tiers?
Vanderbilt’s Aetna-administered plans give you a choice of in-network and out-of-network providers by providing benefits under three tiers:
• Tier 1 -Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN), Vanderbilt’s preferred network. You will save the most money when you use in-network providers. Click here for an up-to-date list of providers.
• Tier 2 – Aetna National Network
• Tier 3 – Out of network You can use Aetna’s DocFind to search for a provider.
Will my premiums come out of each paycheck?
If you are paid monthly, your premiums will come out of each paycheck all at once. If you are paid weekly or bi-weekly, these amounts will be divided equally between your four or two paychecks of each month.
What’s the best way to decide which plan to choose?
Choosing your health plan is a personal decision. Read the Benefits Overview thoroughly and visit Vanderbilt’s health plan page to help you decide. The Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for each plan provides an easy-to-understand summary about benefits and coverage. SBCs are found on Vanderbilt’s health plan page. To request a printed copy, call 615.343.7000. Alex is a virtual benefits counselor that can help you select the health plan option that’s best for you and your family. Just answer a few questions about how you think you will use your coverage and Alex will give you a custom recommendation. Go to Ask Alex.
What percentage of my health insurance premium does Vanderbilt pay for?
Vanderbilt shares a significant portion of the monthly cost. The percentage will depend on your band and which plan you choose. On average, Vanderbilt contributes 77% towards employee premiums.
Are the plans the same for staff/faculty/house staff?
The Benefits Overview provides information for staff. Some programs’ guidelines and eligibility vary for faculty, house staff and post-docs. If you fall into one of these categories, refer to your manual for guidance.
- When can I sign up for the health plan? Dental? Vision?
How long to I have to I enroll in benefits?
For most benefits, you have 30 days from your hire date. Refer to the charts above for additional benefit deadlines.
Can I enroll in the retirement plan right away?
Generally, you can enroll in the plan after your start date and begin making voluntary contributions the first of the month following your hire date. For full-time regular staff, mandatory and matching contributions begin the first of the month following one year of employment. For more details, visit the Retirement page.
What happens if I don’t enroll in any health plan?
You will be automatically enrolled in the Aetna Plus employee-only option, unless you make changes within 30 days of your hire date. If you do not want to elect coverage through Vanderbilt, you must waive the benefit in My VU Benefits to avoid payroll deductions.
Is there a guide that shows when benefits take effect and in what order?
See benefits charts above.
How soon will I accrue vacation and sick time?
Vanderbilt's flexPTO (Flexible Paid Time Off) program allows you to use your time off in ways that suit you best. The program includes a centralized bank of time that combines your vacation, personal, holiday and sick days. You can use this time for planned time off, including vacations and holidays, and for brief illnesses. University central employees accrue flexPTO each pay period, while Medical Center employees receive an allotment once per year. Medical Center employees hired during the course of the year will receive their allotments at the beginning of the following quarter. (For example, the allotment for employees hired between July 2 and October 1 will be available to use beginning October 1.) Visit the University central and Medical Center flexPTO sites for accrual and allotment rates and calculators, bank limits and FAQs.
What are FSAs?
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) enable you to direct some of your pay, on a pre-tax basis, into an account to pay for eligible health care or dependent day care expenses. "Pre-tax" means you do not pay federal income or FICA taxes on the amount of money you put in the FSA. Because your income is going into your FSA account pretax, you save money by not paying income tax on that amount. Click here for more information.
Are there different types of FSAs?
Vanderbilt offers a health care FSA and a dependent day care FSA to employees. With a health care FSA, you can pay for your and your dependents’ health-related expenses, up to the IRS limit of $2,550 (2015 limit). You have access to the full amount when you become eligible, even though the account is funded evenly from each paycheck you receive in the calendar year. Visit the HR website for a list of eligible health care expenses and for details on how to submit a claim. With a dependent day care flexible spending account, you can pay for daycare services for eligible dependents, up to the IRS limit of $5,000 (2015 limit). Dependent day care FSAs are not for medical expenses for your dependents. You can use the health care FSA for your dependents’ medical expenses. The dependent day care flexible spending account is “pay as you go,” meaning the amount contributed per pay period is accessible at that time.
Do staff automatically get disability insurance?
No, but you can enroll in traditional short-term disability during your first 30 days of employment/eligibility, and coverage begins on the first of the month following 30 days of employment/eligibility. Enhanced short-term disability coverage and long-term disability coverage* begin automatically the first of the month after one year of employment/eligibility.
*Long-term disability coverage begins immediately for house staff.
What’s the difference between short- and long-term disability insurance?
Short-term disability insurance (STDi) provides nearly full income replacement if you are unable to work for an extended period due to an approved medical condition. Once you have fulfilled the two-week (14 calendar day) waiting period, short-term disability insurance provides income protection up to 66 2/3% of your annual base benefits rate (ABBR) (up to $2,500 per week). Short-term disability benefits may continue for up to 24 weeks.
Long-term disability insurance (LTDi) pays 60% of your ABBR, up to a maximum monthly benefit of $33,000, if you become disabled and are unable to work for six months or longer. The LTDi benefit also includes a 10% monthly contribution to your retirement account if you participate in the Vanderbilt University 403(b) Retirement Plan.
Can I waive the one-year waiting period for short-term or long-term disability coverage?
You may be able to waive the one-year wait if you had group LTDi coverage within 90 days prior to coming to work at Vanderbilt. Complete and submit the Long-Term Disability Certification of Prior Coverage Form within 90 days of your hire date to waive the one-year wait. If approved, full long‐term disability coverage must be effective on your hire date. Any missed LTDi premiums will be collected from future paychecks. The one-year waiting period for enhanced STDi cannot be waived. However, you do have the option to enroll in traditional STDi during your first year of employment.
Does Vanderbilt have a 401(k)?
Vanderbilt has a 403(b) retirement plan for employees (nonprofit equivalent of a 401(k) plan). The Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan is a mandatory long-term investment program for eligible faculty and staff to prepare for retirement. Fidelity Investments is the plan’s administrative services provider.
How much does Vanderbilt match on the retirement plan?
Vanderbilt will match up to 5% of your retirement plan contributions, in the following ways:
• After one year of service, you will be automatically enrolled in the plan and mandatory pre-tax contributions as a condition of employment. The contribution is fixed at 3% (6.47% for VMG) of your salary and 3% is matched 100% dollar-for-dollar by Vanderbilt.
• Also after one year AND 1,000 hours of service, Vanderbilt will match up to an additional 2% of your salary dollar-for-dollar if you choose to make additional voluntary contributions of 2 %. This can be done on a pre-tax or Roth (after tax) basis. The IRS sets an annual limit for voluntary retirement plan contributions.
You are immediately vested 100% in their contributions and in the University's matching contribution upon your eligibility for participation. This means you immediately owns your contributions and Vanderbilt's contributions upon eligibility and may take them if/when your employment with Vanderbilt ends.
Can I combine my 401(k) from my previous employer into my Vanderbilt retirement account?
Yes. The Vanderbilt University Retirement Plan accepts rollovers of taxable distributions from other pre-tax, qualified retirement plans. Only active employees currently contributing to Vanderbilt’s plan may roll over money into the plan. To process a rollover, call the Fidelity Retirement Service Center at 800.343.0860.
How much of a discount do I get on tuition?
Eligible staff receive a 70 percent discount (47 percent for faculty) on course work at Vanderbilt or another accredited college or university for one course per semester, or three courses per academic year.
For classes taken at Vanderbilt and at other colleges/universities, you must submit the Tuition Benefit for Myself or My Spouse/Partner form before the class begins. If the form is not submitted on time, the benefit may be denied.
For classes taken at Vanderbilt, the benefit is calculated and posted at the beginning of the term (as opposed to a reimbursement received after the class is completed).
For classes taken at other colleges/universities, you will be reimbursed after the class is completed. You must submit the Request for Reimbursement of Tuition Expenses form before the start of your next class and include your final grade report with an itemized invoice. The benefit will pay for grades “C” and above. The reimbursement is included in your next paycheck after verification and approval by the HR Tuition Office. Any reimbursements over $5,250 in a calendar year may be subject to tax. Since this is a conditional reimbursement, no communication is made with the school.
Eligible staff members may also audit one Vanderbilt course per semester and tuition will be waived, provided the staff member has the instructor's and the supervisor's written permission to attend. No credit is given for audited classes.
Click here for additional details.
Can my spouse/same-sex domestic partner take advantage of a tuition discount?
Your spouse/same-sex domestic partner will receive a 47 percent discount on tuition for one course per semester taken at Vanderbilt, or three courses per academic year, provided coursework is not in pursuit of a degree and your spouse or partner is not enrolled in a full-time program. Spouses/partners of eligible staff members may also audit one Vanderbilt course per semester and tuition will be waived, with written permission from the instructor. Click here for additional details.
Is there a tuition discount for children?
Dependent children of employees with five or more years of service may receive the greater of: • 100 percent of up to $2,000 of the total tuition per semester, or • 55 percent of the total tuition, not to exceed 55 of Vanderbilt’s tuition for similar coursework. • Tuition will be paid directly to the college or university on your child’s behalf. Each eligible dependent child may receive tuition assistance for up to eight academic semesters or 12 academic quarters of undergraduate courses. The maximum family tuition benefit is 24 semesters or 36 quarters for all of the employee’s children; or a maximum of 48 semesters or 72 quarters for all of the children if Vanderbilt employs the eligible employee and his/her eligible spouse or eligible same-sex domestic partner. Click here for additional details.
How do I log into C2HR?
Go to the HR home page and click on the C2HR tab (second from right at top of page). Then simply log in with your VUnetID and password.
How do I get a VUnetID?
If you don’t have a VUnetID yet, ask your supervisor. If you think you have a VUnetID but forgot it, contact the VUIT Help Desk at 343-4357, and ask the support provider to “reclaim” your account. Then, go to the AccessVU website, click on “Re-Authenticate” and follow the directions to reset your password. You’ll need the last five digits of your social security number, your birth date and your legal first and last names.
Can I view my benefits from any computer? How about a tablet or phone?
You can view your benefit from any Internet-connected computer or device, anywhere in the world. All you will need is your VUnetID and password to access My VU Benefits.
- Where do I park?
Do I have to pay for parking?
Most employees have to pay a moderate fee for parking. Rates depend on where you park. Check with your supervisor.
When do I get paid?
You will be paid on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis, depending on your employment status. Check with your supervisor if you are unsure of your status.
What is the pay date?
Check the payroll calendar for pay dates.
Is there a campus map?
This campus map allows you to search by building.
- How do I change contributions in my retirement plan?
How do I change an address?
Go to the HR home page and click on the C2HR tab (second from right at top of page). Then log in with your VUnetID and password. Click on “Personal Profile” (second tab listed under your name and Employee ID) then “Edit” at the bottom of the page. Enter your information, and then click “Next” at the bottom of the page. Click “Confirm” to save your changes.
How do I sign up for direct deposit?
Go to the HR home page and click on the C2HR tab (second from right at top of page). Then log in with your VUnetID and password. Click on “Direct Deposit” (third tab listed under your name and Employee ID) and follow the instructions on the page.
Where do I get my ID badge?
If you are a university central employee, you can get your badge at the University Card Services Office located at Sarratt Student Center, Room 184. If you are a Medical Center employee, you can get your badge at the Medical Center Card Services Office located at Medical Center North, S-2311. Click here for directions to both locations.
Can I drop my benefits at any time?
You can only make changes to benefits if you experience a qualifying event or during Open Enrollment. Qualifying events include marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, death of a covered dependent, termination of employment, or change in spouse or same-sex domestic partner coverage. See the Family Status Change website for more information.
Can I make insurance payments at HR Express?
No. Insurance payments are payroll deducted or direct billed if you are on leave.
Who is the HR consultant for my area?
Visit the HR Service Delivery Teams page and search by department number or name.
Did you receive my tuition form?
Once you submit your tuition reimbursement form, please allow at least two pay cycles to have your reimbursement processed and reflected in your paycheck. Remember that dependent tuition benefit payments are made directly to the college or university your child attends. If you have questions, you may email email@example.com or contact the Employee Service Center.
Is there a phone number for Payroll? I’d like to speak to a live person rather than email.
For Payroll questions, contact the Employee Service Center.
I waived out of my insurance in the first 30 days, but I was still charged. Will I get a refund?
You should get a refund as long as you waived the health plan in My VU Benefits within your 30-day window. If you do not see a refund within one to two pay periods, contact the Employee Service Center.
I am not that familiar with using computers. Who can help me?
Visit HR Express located on the 2nd floor of the 2525 West End building, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m to 5 p.m.
How will my performance be evaluated?
University central staff receive annual performance evaluations in the spring. Your evaluation may include goals you set with your manager and the university’s leadership model and be done using a paper or Word form, or in the Vanderbilt Performance Evaluation System (VPES). Talk to your manager to learn which system your department uses for evaluations. Medical Center staff use Performance Central for end of orientation evaluations, mid-year conversations and annual performance evaluations. Visit the Performance Central webpage to find job aids, a link to online training and log in to the system.
Why did I receive a COBRA general notice as a new hire or newly-benefits eligible employee?
Group health plan administrators must give new plan enrollees a general notice describing COBRA rights within 90 days of their coverage taking effect.
How can I confirm my elections were saved/updated correctly?
Log into My VU Benefits. From the Welcome page, click on "Benefits" then "Confirmation."
Next click "View" next to the specific enrollment window you want to confirm. You will then see the confirmation page for that enrollment.