Open Enrollment for 2016 Benefits
Oct. 14-30, 2015
Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to make your benefits choices for the upcoming year. Programs that can only be updated during Open Enrollment include:
- Medical, dental and vision insurance,
- Accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) insurance,
- Health care flexible spending accounts, which reimburse medical expenses for you and your dependents,
- Dependent day care flexible spending accounts, which reimburse day care service expenses for your dependents.
Elections made during Open Enrollment will be effective Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2016, unless you have a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child.
Programs that can be updated anytime include:
- Life insurance, enhanced short-term disability and long-term disability insurance, which can be managed through My VU Benefits,
- Retirement plan contributions and investments, which can be managed through Fidelity NetBenefits, and
- Discounted pet, auto and home insurance, which are managed directly with the providers.
If you have questions or need help, contact the Employee Service Center.
Who should enroll?
- All benefits-eligible employees should enroll to continue saving $20 per month on your health plan premiums if you or 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 same-sex domestic partners who have access to health coverage through an employer other than Vanderbilt, but prefer the Vanderbilt plan, will pay an additional $100 per month in payroll premiums.*
- Your health, dental, vision, traditional and enhanced short-term disability, long-term disability, supplemental life and AD&D plan coverage elections will remain the same unless you make changes during Open Enrollment.
Highlights for 2016
- Confirm 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 indicate 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.* Because same-sex marriages are now performed and legal in all U.S. states, married same-sex couples are eligible for the same benefits and tax advantages as other married couples. For this reason, 2016 will be the last year unmarried same-sex domestic partners will be eligible for Vanderbilt benefit programs, including insurance plans and tuition assistance.
- Premium, deductible and co-pay updates. Minimal premium increases have been made for all health and the CIGNA dental plans. Health plan deductibles - the amount you pay for health care services before the health plan begins to pay - were adjusted, primarily to increase the difference between individual and family deductibles.The Tier 2 office visit co-pay also increased to $50 for Aetna Plus and Aetna Select plan participants.
While Vanderbilt continues to cover the majority of premium costs for the health plan options, increases such as these are needed to help accommodate the increasing costs of health care. You can get the best value and minimize costs 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.
In 2016, a new group of partially benefits-eligible employees and their dependent children will be eligible for Vanderbilt Health Plan coverage. This includes all monthly paid employees who are not currently benefits eligible and weekly or bi-weekly paid employees regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week.
- Expanded hours for main campus pharmacies. Beginning Oct. 5, the Medical Center East pharmacy will be open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Vanderbilt Clinic pharmacy will be open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The clinic pharmacy will no longer be open Saturdays, as employees can use Medical Center East.
- Appointments over the phone, also referred to as telehealth or telephonic appointments, will be piloted with select providers. Telephonic appointments allow you to speak to your health care provider and get specialized services from nearly anywhere; no trip to the office is needed. Beginning in 2016, several Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN) providers will also offer telemedicine services. These include appointments held using online video chat or communicating with your provider by exchanging pictures and information about your condition through a secure online system.
- Direct Go for the Gold dollars. If you participate in Go for the Gold, you can apply Go for the Gold funds to your health plan account or the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center membership while making your benefit elections in My VU Benefits. Earn up to $240 per year for completing healthy actions. Beginning in 2017, the credit for VUMC employees will automatically be added to your health plan account to be used toward medical expenses.
- Update beneficiaries. Review or update life and AD&D insurance beneficiaries as well as retirement 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.
*Last year's election will not carry over, so you must re-elect your status every year.
Learn about your benefit options
- Detailed Guide. Review and compare payroll premiums and make benefits decisions.
- Decision-making tools: choosing a health plan, Ask Alex (coming soon), spouse/same-sex domestic partner coverage fee
- Webinar: Vanderbilt Human Resources will host an online presentation with plenty of time for Q&A.
- How to enroll
- VUnetID and password help
- Enrollment labs
- Vendor, carrier and provider contact information
- Open Enrollment Top 10 videos
- Summary of Benefits and Coverage booklets (SBCs)
- Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network
- Smoking cessation
- Go for the Gold
- Notices required by federal law