Open Enrollment for 2015 Benefits
October 15-31, 2014
Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to make your benefits choices for the upcoming year. You’ll choose or waive the following benefits:
- Health, dental and vision insurance,
- Short-term disability*
- Accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) insurance
- Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
Selections made during Open Enrollment will be effective January 1 – December 31, 2015, unless you have a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child.
Important note: Some coverage details in the overview that was mailed to employees' homes have been updated. Please refer to this updated version or the detailed guide (link at right).
Who should enroll?
- All benefits-eligible employees should enroll to continue saving $20 per month on your health plan premiums if you and your covered family members are committed to being tobacco-free.**
- If you cover your spouse/same-sex domestic partner on your health plan, you should enroll to answer the spouse coverage question. Spouses or partners who have access to health coverage through an outside employer, but prefer the Vanderbilt plan, will pay an additional $100 per month in payroll premiums.**
- Your health, dental, vision, and AD&D plan coverage selections will remain the same unless you make changes during Open Enrollment.
Highlights for 2015
- Elect tobacco-free status. Continue saving $20 per month on your health plan premiums if you and your covered family members are committed to being tobacco-free. Just elect or re-elect your tobacco usage status when completing enrollment in My VU Benefits. If you pledged to quit last year, but are still using tobacco, you will not receive the credit this year.
- Covering spouses or same-sex domestic partners. If you elect or keep spouse/same-sex domestic partner coverage, indicate whether your spouse or partner has access to insurance through another employer. Spouses or partners who have access to health coverage through an outside employer, but prefer the Vanderbilt plan, will pay an additional $100 per month in payroll premiums.
- Limited opportunity for enhanced short-term disability buy-up coverage. Employees on flexPTO programs who previously declined short-term disability buy-up coverage can enroll this year without submitting an evidence of insurability form. However, any conditions or medical care received from October to December 2014, including pregnancy, will not qualify for a claim in 2015. Emergency and other new conditions are covered. Note: Faculty, house staff and post-docs should refer to their manuals and programs for guidance on disability benefits. Those with house staff benefits are eligible for short-term disability insurance.
- Premium updates. Minimal increases have been made in premiums for vision, dental, Aetna Plus, and Aetna HealthFund insurance plans. Further adjustments were made to the Aetna Select plan premiums. While Vanderbilt covers the majority of premium costs for the health plan options, modest increases are needed to help accommodate the increasing costs of health care. You can continue to minimize costs for both you and Vanderbilt by choosing Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (Tier 1) providers, transferring prescriptions to Vanderbilt pharmacies and funding a health care flexible spending account with pre-tax dollars to use toward eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses.
- Direct Go for the Gold dollars. If you participate in Go for the Gold, select to apply Go for the Gold funds to your health plan account or the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center membership while making your benefit selections in My VU Benefits. Earn up to $240 per year for completing healthy actions.
- Update beneficiaries. Review or update life and AD&D insurance beneficiaries, even if you have done so before. You should verify that the names and allocations for each beneficiary of these policies are correct. Beneficiaries are not necessarily the dependents on your health plan and need to be separately named.
Learn about your benefit options
- Detailed Guide (VUnetID required). Review and compare payroll premiums and make benefits decisions.
- Decision-Making Tools
- Webinar. Vanderbilt Benefits will host an online presentation with plenty of time for Q&A.
Which benefits are not part of Open Enrollment?
- 403(b) retirement plans. You are enrolled automatically after one year of service, but you can enroll or make changes to your account at any time.
- Life insurance. Use the My VU Benefits website to increase or decrease coverage. To increase coverage, complete the MetLife Statement of Health form (provided at the end of your enrollment).
- Long-term disability. You are enrolled automatically after one year of service. Vanderbilt pays for coverage for the first $24,000 of your annual base pay.
- Pet insurance, offered through Veterinary Pet Insurance. You can enroll anytime.
- Auto and homeowner insurance, offered by MetLife. You can enroll anytime.
* Employees on flexPTO programs who previously declined enhanced short-term disability buy-up coverage can enroll this year without submitting an evidence of insurability form during Open Enrollment only. You may opt in or out of buy-up coverage at any time, but if you wish to enroll or re-enroll later, you will be subject to medical review and could be denied. New hires should enroll in or opt out of enhanced short-term disability buy-up coverage in their New Hire Enrollment window. Union employees can enroll in or make changes to traditional short-term disability insurance coverage. Faculty, house staff and post-docs should refer to their manuals and programs for guidance on disability benefits. Those with house staff benefits are eligible for short-term disability insurance.
**Last year’s selection will not carry over, so you must re-elect your status every year.