Benefits Overview and FAQs
Last Modified: 2016-09-22
News and Updates
- Check out the FAQ section for answers to commonly asked benefits questions.
- The August 2016 Social Security 101 and Medicare 101 workshop recordings are now available to watch on demand. (VUnetID required)
- ICYMI: Fidelity webinar recordings are available on demand:
- Fundamentals of Retirement Income Planning
- Fundamentals of Retirement Income Planning: On Your Own
- Make the Most of Social Security
- 2016 health plan summaries of benefits and coverage have been added to the SBC page.
- You can now download benefits mobile apps from your favorite Apple or Android apps store. Some of the apps are also compatible with Apple Watch, iPad, and Windows Phone 8.
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.
Benefits Overview 2016 for current employees (VUnetID required)
Benefits Overview 2016 for future employees (no VUnetID required)
|Dental insurance||Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D)|
|Vision insurance||Go for the Gold|
Flexible Spending Accounts
Health Reimbursement Account
(Employees hired on or before Dec. 31, 2004)
|Short-Term Disability||Time off (PTO)|
|Long-Term Disability||Employee Assistance Program (EAP)|
Summary plan descriptions and reports
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
Benefit Takes Effect Enrollment Deadline* Health Your hire date 30 days after your start date 403(b) retirement plan none
When can I sign up for the health plan? Dental? Vision?
Anytime during the first 30 days of your employment with Vanderbilt. Log into My VU Benefits to sign up. You can access My VU Benefits from the Benefits tab of Vanderbilt’s HR homepage.
How long do I have to I enroll in benefits?
For most benefits, you have 30 days from your hire date. Refer to the chart above for additional benefit deadlines.
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.
Is there a guide that shows when benefits take effect and in what order?
See benefits chart under the first question in the "Eligibility and timing" section.
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.
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 Human Resources.
I’m having trouble adding dependents in My VU Benefits. When I click the button to add one, the icon spins but nothing happens. What should I try?
You may be using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. My VU Benefits may not function correctly in Internet Explorer 9 or earlier. Try logging into the system in Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. If you aren’t able to upgrade or access one of these browsers, come to the Human Resources.
How many health plan options do we have?
What are they?
Aetna Plus, Aetna Select, and 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 contact the Human Resources to request a printed copy.
Where can I find premiums?
In 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 4-6 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.
• 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 the Human Resources. 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 percent 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.
What happens if I don’t enroll in any health plan?
If you are fully benefits-eligible, 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.
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.
Who can I call about my COBRA enrollment form?
Call the Benefit Express Customer Care Center at 877.837.5017 if you do not receive your enrollment form.
Are part-time and temporary employees eligible for health plan coverage?
As of Jan. 1 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. Temporary employees in these types of roles are included. Vanderbilt Health Plan coverage for partially benefits-eligible employees is optional and you must enroll to receive coverage. You will not be automatically enrolled in a default health plan option.
Can I waive health plan coverage?
Yes. When you enroll, indicate in My VU Benefits that you want to waive health coverage. If you are a fully benefits eligible employee and you don't waive, you will default into coverage. If you are a partially benefits- eligible employee, you will not have coverage unless you enroll.
How can I find my annual base benefits rate, so I know my band for health plan payroll premiums?
To find your annual base benefits rate, log in to C2HR, click on the "Job Information" button, and look for your "Annual Base Benefits Rate" (ABBR).
I am an active employee on Vanderbilt's health plan and I also have Medicare coverage. Which plan will pay first?
In most cases, the Vanderbilt Health Plan will pay first. If you need further assistance, please contact Aetna Member Services at 800.743.0910. See this guide to who pays first for more information.
Which benefits are affected when health coverage is waived?
If you receive the $25 per month Health Reimbursement Account (for employees hired on or before Dec. 31, 2004), waiving the health plan will result in the loss of your HRA balance. In addition, you will lose your prescription drug coverage and will not be able to use your Go for the Gold wellness credit for your Vanderbilt Health Plan account or have it applied toward a membership to the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center.
I do a lot of foreign travel. How does Aetna handle my care when I am overseas?
Aetna offers overseas coverage. However, Aetna requires that you pay the provider and then submit a claim form to Aetna. Foreign emergency/urgent care claims are paid at the Tier 2 or Aetna in-network level of coverage (not at the Tier 1 Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network level). Foreign non-emergency claims are paid at Tier 3 (out-of-network). See also the FAQs for AD&D coverage.
Does the Vanderbilt Health Plan cover Durable Medical Equipment (DME), such as wheelchairs, CPAP machines and crutches?
Yes, the Vanderbilt Health Plan covers eligible DME claims, and there are several providers in the Tier 1 network. To locate a Tier 1 DME provider, go to the Aetna DocFind website.
What is a tobacco credit?
Save $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. The credit lowers your health care payroll premium by $20 per month.
If I smoke e-cigarettes, can I claim to be tobacco-free?
No, Vanderbilt considers e-cigarettes to be tobacco products, like regular cigarettes. You should indicate you use tobacco.
I am a new employee. What if I am a tobacco user but I’m trying to quit?
If you indicate in My VU Benefits that you are committed to tobacco cessation you will receive the $20 per month credit. You can only receive the credit for trying to quit one time.
I am a new employee. What if a dependent on my health care plan uses tobacco but nobody else does?
If you indicate in My VU Benefits that your dependent is committed to tobacco cessation you will receive the $20 per month credit. If your dependent uses tobacco and does not plan to quit, you will not receive the $20 per month credit. You can only receive the credit for trying to quit one time.
What is the spouse/same-sex domestic partner coverage fee?
Spouses or same-sex domestic partners who have access to health coverage through an outside employer, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but prefer the Vanderbilt University Health Plan, will be subject to an additional $100 per month in payroll premiums. The fee will be added to your health care payroll premiums. Learn more.
Why does Vanderbilt University have a working spouse/same-sex domestic partner coverage fee?
The fee encourages spouses and partners to take the coverage offered by their employers. We recognize there are circumstances where the Vanderbilt University plan is more attractive – whether for family convenience, providers, or cost. In that case, the $100 per month fee would apply. Some organizations do not offer coverage for spouses/partners with other health insurance options. At Vanderbilt University, only spouses/partners with access to health insurance through an outside employer, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, would pay the fee. We compared this cost with other employers and learned that for the majority, the fee is $100 per month. This amount keeps the University aligned with similar-sized organizations and is enough to encourage people to consider other available health insurance options with their employer.
If my spouse/same-sex domestic partner is currently covered on his or her employer's health plan, and he or she loses that coverage, am I able to add them to my Vanderbilt plan?
Yes. Your spouse/partner's loss of coverage would be considered a qualifying event. You should declare a life event in My VU Benefits, and the fee will be waived. You may be audited and required to submit documentation proving your qualifying event– and there are limitations in allowable changes. See Life/Work Changes for more information.
If my spouse/same-sex domestic partner enrolls in his or her employer's health plan, can he or she stay on my Vanderbilt Health Plan and use it as secondary coverage?
Yes, they can remain on your Vanderbilt Health Plan, but you will pay the coverage fee. However, we generally do not recommend carrying secondary coverage.
If my spouse/same-sex domestic partner is also a Vanderbilt University employee, but we choose to enroll on one plan, will I be charged the fee?
No, the fee only applies to spouse/partners who do not work at Vanderbilt University, but are offered employer-sponsored coverage. If your spouse or partner works for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (not Vanderbilt University), the coverage fee will apply.
My spouse/same-sex domestic partner has health insurance available through his or her employer, but the employer requires payment of the full cost of the insurance. Does the fee apply in this case?
Yes, the coverage fee would apply, because the employer offers the coverage.
If am widowed or divorced during the calendar year 2016, and I am paying the coverage fee, will the fee be discontinued during the year under either of these circumstances?
Yes, you should declare a life event in My VU Benefits, and the fee will be discontinued.
If my spouse/partner has Medicare and is covered by my Vanderbilt insurance, will I have to pay the coverage fee?
No, Medicare coverage is not considered employer-sponsor coverage, so the fee would not apply.
My spouse works part-time at Vanderbilt University, but also for another employer that offers benefits. If I elect employee+spouse coverage for us both, will I have to pay the spousal coverage fee?
Yes, because your spouse is eligible for coverage through the other employer, you will pay the spousal coverage fee if you add your spouse to your coverage. You would not need to pay the fee if your spouse only worked part-time at Vanderbilt University. If your spouse or partner works for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (not Vanderbilt University), the coverage fee will apply.
If my spouse/same-sex domestic partner works for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but we choose to enroll in just the Vanderbilt University plan, will I be charged the fee?
Yes, effective April 30, 2016, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a separate employer. You will pay the spousal coverage fee if you add your spouse to your Vanderbilt University coverage, just like you would for other employers.
If I earn less than normal during a pay period and my paycheck does not cover my premium deduction, how can I pay the balance?
If this happens, the unpaid balance will be automatically deducted from your next paycheck. You do not need to take any action.
Same-sex marriages are now performed and legal in all U.S. states. Will this affect same-sex domestic partner coverage?
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. We will continue to offer fully benefits eligible same-sex domestic partners and their children access to Vanderbilt benefit programs, including insurance plans and tuition assistance, in 2016. However, only spouses and natural, step- and adopted children will be eligible in 2017. This updated eligibility also extends to FMLA protection.The portion of your medical, dental, and vision premiums for your same-sex spouse will not be treated as taxable income as it was for partners.
I regularly work 20 hours per week, but my work schedule is inconsistent throughout the year. I could go months without working. How will I pay insurance premiums when I am not working?
If you will not be working for a month or more, you should request your department place you on unpaid leave. Once on unpaid leave, you can make payments through direct billing with Vanderbilt’s benefit administrator, Benefit Express. If your department keeps you in an active status, but you happen to not work for a month or so, any premiums you missed will be collected from the next pay check you receive. You will pay the same premium amount on leave as you do when you are activity working, even though you will pay through direct billing.
Does Vanderbilt offer help if I’m trying to quit using tobacco?
Health & Wellness offers a variety of Tobacco Cessation Resources including self-help, medical, and one-on-one coaching services to help support you in becoming smoke-free. The Quit Rx Smoking Cessation program offers counseling and treatment services, including prescription medication when recommended. More than 500 employees have participated in this program since its launch. Let the program help you begin your plan to quit today. Call the Occupational Health Clinic at 615.936.0955 for an appointment or more information. Licensed counselors at Work/Life Connections-EAP are available to teach relaxation techniques and help you build your stress resilience. Make an appointment by calling 615.936.1327. Contact Health Plus to receive a free tool-kit or to schedule one-on-one coaching. Call Health Plus at 615.343.8943. Additional information can be found on the Health & Wellness Tobacco Cessation Resources website.
How do I find a dental provider?
For Cigna, go to the Cigna website and choose the Cigna Dental Care HMO network or call Cigna Dental Care Customer Service at 1.800.367.1037. Instructions are as follows: 1. In the orange bar in the middle of the page, FIND A DOCTOR. 2. Click on FOR PLANS OFFERED THROUGH WORK OR SCHOOL. 3. Choose Find a DENTIST. 4. Under Select a Plan, click on PICK. 5. Under DENTAL PLANS, choose Cigna Dental Care.
For BlueCross BlueShield DentalBlue, go to the BlueCross BlueShield website, select Find a Provider and then select Dentist from the options menu. Choose DentalBlue Network as the network for Tennessee. You also can call the Dental Member Service at 1.800.523.1478 between 8 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. EST Monday-Friday. If you use or plan to use the Vanderbilt Dental Clinic, please call the clinic at 615.322.2193 for insurance details.
Where can I go to find out about covered procedures and patient charges for each dental plan?
Cigna DHMO Patient Charge Schedule, BlueCross BlueShield Summary of Benefits and DentalBlue Covered Services, Limitations and Exclusions
How do I find a vision provider?
Go to the Superior Vision website and click on Locate a Provider map in the right column. You can also call Superior Vision at .800.507.3800.
Where can I learn more about covered procedures and patient charges for the Superior Vision Plan?
See the Superior Vision: Benefits Overview Brochure for details (VUnetID required).
How do I print my Superior Vision ID card?
If you have an account, simply log in with your user name and password and click on Print ID Card (blue button on left of screen). If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one at superiorvision.com with your last name, ID number and email. Your ID number is your employee ID preceded by 86. Your seven digit employee ID can be found on C2HR. From Superior’s home page, click on “Login” under “Members,” then “Create a new account” under “New Member” and follow the steps.
How do I view my vision plan benefits?
If you have an account, simply log in with your user name and password and your benefits will be displayed on the page. If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one at superiorvision.com with your last name, ID number and email. Your ID number is your employee ID preceded by 86. Your seven digit employee ID can be found on C2HR. From Superior’s home page, click on “Login” under “Members,” then “Create a new account” under “New Member” and follow the steps.
Is there additional information about the vision plan?
Visit the vision plan page for more information.
How soon will I accrue vacation and sick time?
Vanderbilt's PTO (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. You accrue PTO each pay period. Visit the PTO page for accrual 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. The money contributed to your FSA account must be used during the calendar year; it does not carry over from year to year. You do have a grace period in which you are allowed additional time to incur claims for reimbursement. This grace period allows participants to incur claims up until March 15 of the following plan year. Money not used will be forfeited. Please plan your election amount carefully.
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 per employee. If both spouses work, both can claim $2,550 - for a total household limit of $5,100. 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 $2,500 per employee. If both spouses work, both can claim $2,500 - for a total household limit of $5,000. 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.
How can I check my flexible spending account balance?
1. Log into My VU Benefits.
2. On the welcome page, scroll down to the section that says "Reimbursement Accounts (FSA/HRA)."
3. Click on "View My Reimbursement Account."
How do Flexible Spending Accounts save me money?
Putting pre-tax money from your paycheck into a flexible spending account lowers your taxable income, so you pay less income tax. Ask Alex, your interactive benefits advisor can further explain how FSAs can save your money.
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.
There are two types of short-term disability. Who is eligible for each type?
Enhanced short-term disability is for benefits-eligible staff with more than one year of benefits-eligible service. It does not apply to faculty or post-doctoral fellows.Those with house staff benefits are eligible for short-term disability. You can make changes to enhanced short-term disability at any time through My VU Benefits. Traditional short-term disability is for newly benefits-eligible staff within their first year of benefits-eligible service.
If I already have short-term disability insurance, is there anything I need to do?
No, your existing short-term disability coverage will automatically roll over into the new plan year.
What is traditional short-term disability insurance?
Newly eligible staff with less than one year of service have access to Vanderbilt's traditional short-term disability insurance. Traditional short-term disability covers your annual salary and is voluntary for those within their first year of benefits-eligible service. Premiums are 100% employee paid. If you are approved for a claim, benefit payments are 66 and 2/3% of your covered salary. There is a pre-existing conditions clause for traditional short-term disability. Any conditions or medical care received in the six months prior to the effective date of your coverage will not qualify for a claim within your first year of coverage.
What is enhanced short-term disability insurance?
For employees eligible for enhanced short-term disability insurance, Vanderbilt pays for base coverage which covers the first $24,000 of your annual base salary. You can pay for the buy-up portion, which covers the amount of your annual base salary above $24,000. If you are approved for a claim, benefit payments are 66 and 2/3% of your covered salary. Learn more.
Enhanced short-term disability provides a no-cost base coverage, which is paid for by Vanderbilt, and buy-up coverage, which is paid for by the employee. The base portion pays 66.7% of your weekly wages on the first $24,000 of annual base salary with only a two-week waiting period (14 calendar days). Costs for the buy-up depend on your annual salary. You may opt out of the buy-up coverage at any time. If you wish to re-enroll in the buy-up coverage at another time, you will be subject to medical review and you could be denied.
I am eligible for enhanced short-term disability. During last year’s Open Enrollment, I opted out of the buy-up option. Did that election carry over into 2016?
Yes, if you opted out of the buy-up option at any time, that same election carried over into 2016.
I previously opted out of the buy-up coverage, but now I'd like to add it. How do I do that?
Employees who previously declined short-term disability buy-up coverage can enroll at any time on My VU Benefits. You will be subject to medical review and the insurer may deny you coverage.
How much does the buy-up coverage cost?
When you enroll in My VU Benefits, you will see the cost, which is based on your annual income.
Can I get buy-up coverage outside of Open Enrollment?
Yes, you can apply for the buy-up coverage at any time through My VU Benefits. However, you will be subject to medical review and the insurer may deny you coverage.
Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before the short-term disability benefit payment begins? How does that work?
Yes, there is a 14 calendar day waiting period. You can use grandfathered sick time, PTO bank,or parental leave (if eligible) until the short-term disability benefit payment begins. If you enrolled only the base option, you must first exhaust your grandfathered sick time balance before short-term disability begins. Short-term disability benefit payments can last for up to 24 weeks. Note that you will need to a file a claim to receive the benefit and have your physician complete paperwork before you return to work. Click here for how to file a claim.
Can I use short-term disability for my spouse’s or child’s illness?
No, short-term disability is only for a staff member’s covered medical condition.
Is there a pre-existing condition clause in the enhanced short-term disability insurance program?
There is no pre-existing condition clause if you enrolled in the plan as a new employee. If you enrolled during Open Enrollment, you may be subject to a pre-existing conditions clause. Please review the Summary Plan Description for full details.
I didn't choose the enhanced short-term disability buy-up coverage when I enrolled for benefits. Can I add it now?
Yes, you can go to My VU Benefits to elect buy-up coverage. You will need to complete a medical evaluation and coverage may be denied due to your medical history.
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.
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 webpage.
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% of your salary and is matched 100% dollar-for-dollar by Vanderbilt. Also after one year AND 1,000 hours of service, Vanderbilt will match 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 do I change contributions in my retirement plan?
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 70 percent reimbursement at 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Human Resources.
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.
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.
Is there a phone number for Payroll? I’d like to speak to a live person rather than email.
For Payroll questions, contact the Human Resources.
- 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.
Is there a campus map?
This campus map allows you to search by building.
Does AD&D coverage include a benefit for travelers?
If you purchase $10,000 or more of Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance, you are eligible for MetLife's Travel Assistance. Participants have access to assistance when faced with an emergency while traveling internationally or domestically more than 100 miles from home. Learn more by reading the MetLife Travel Assistance brochure.
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, 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.
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 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.
Where do I get my ID badge?
The University Card Services Officeis located at Sarratt Student Center, Room 184. Click here for directions .
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.
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, 7:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m.
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.
How will my performance be evaluated?
Generally, your manager will have an annual performance discussion with you in the spring. Your evaluation may include goals you set with your manager and the university’s leadership model. Your manager may use a paper template or the Vanderbilt Performance Evaluation System (VPES) as a guide.