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Benefits for New Hires

Welcome to Vanderbilt University!

Vanderbilt offers a comprehensive and flexible benefits package. Please take some time to review the materials in detail to ensure you elect the benefits that meet the needs of you and your family. Here you’ll find the information you need on Vanderbilt’s medical, prescription, dental and vision coverage, as well as details on our retirement plan, generous PTO program, and much more.

Important things to keep in mind as you review this website:

  • As a new hire, you will be automatically enrolled in and charged for the Choice CDHP health plan option with employee only coverage. You have 30 days from your hire date to add eligible dependents, change or waive medical coverage, as well as select other benefits that do not provide automatic enrollment such as dental, vision and flexible spending accounts. Failure to take action during this 30-day enrollment window will result in you remaining in the Choice CDHP health plan option with employee only coverage if you are fully benefits-eligible for the rest of the plan year.
  • If you are partially benefits eligible (classified as a part-time employee working less than 20 hours a week), benefits coverage is optional, and you will not be defaulted into the Choice CDHP medical option if you do not enroll in or waive health coverage within the first 30 days of your employment.
  • Once your 30-day new hire enrollment window has passed, you will only be able to make changes if you have a qualified life event that provides 30 days from the event date to make changes to your benefits.
  • Health, dental, and vision benefits begin on your hire date, or the first date you are eligible. Heath, dental, and vision monthly premiums are not pro-rated. 
  • If you are a newly-benefits eligible employee, this information pertains to you as well. 

Please review the detailed benefit information packet, the links below, and the benefits checklist to help you progress through your benefit decisions and enrollment. Once you are ready to enroll, visit My VU Benefits to view your benefit elections, update your beneficiaries, or make a family status change.

Here are some of our benefits at a glance.

Health insurance


We offer two health plan options: Aetna Choice (CDHP), and Aetna Select (PPO). Aetna Choice has lower monthly premiums and has a bonus of seed money from Vanderbilt going into a Health Savings Account, but it has a higher deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. Aetna Select has higher monthly premiums, but a lower deductible, lower out-of-pocket maximum, and comes with the predictability of copays for certain services.


Prescription Drug Benefit coverage is included with both medical plan options, so you don’t have to enroll separately. Vanderbilt partners with Capital Rx to administer our prescription benefit.


Vanderbilt offers two dental options, both administered by Delta Dental, to best suit your and your family’s needs.


For those who need contacts or eyeglasses, Vanderbilt partners with Delta Vision to provide coverage to our employees.

Tax Advantaged Accounts

Health Savings Account

Those who enroll in Aetna Choice CDHP may be eligible for a Health Savings Account (HSA). For those who are eligible and who open an HSA when prompted after enrollment, Vanderbilt contributes up to $750 for those with individual coverage, and $1,500 for those who cover an eligible dependent.

Flexible Spending Account

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars to help pay for eligible medical, dental, vision, prescription, and over-the-counter expenses. FSAs are available to anyone who is fully benefits eligible and is not enrolled in the Aetna Choice CDHP.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

Dependent Care FSAs allow you to set aside money to help pay for eligible childcare or elder care expenses. There is no requirement to enroll in a health plan to be eligible to contribute to this account.

Income Protection

Short-Term Disability

Fully-benefits eligible employees are able to enroll in short-term disability which provides income replacement of up to 66.67% of your annual base pay (with limits) if you are unable to work for up to 24 weeks.

Long-Term Disability

Fully-benefits eligible employees are able to enroll in long-term disability which provides income replacement of up to 60% of your annual base pay (with limits) if you are unable to work for up to six months or longer.

Life Insurance

MetLife administers Vanderbilt’s life insurance plan. For those who are fully benefits-eligible employees, Vanderbilt provides basic life insurance, and employees can choose to purchase supplemental life, as well as spouse and child life coverage.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment

This benefit is available to fully benefits-eligible employees and covers you and your family (with limits) with protection should you lose your life or any functioning part of your body.


Vanderbilt sponsors a 403(b) plan to which all staff employees can contribute immediately. There is a mandatory 3% employee contribution which Vanderbilt will match dollar-for-dollar. In addition, 3% of your eligible compensation will be directed to the plan as a pre-tax voluntary contribution, and Vanderbilt will also match this dollar-for-dollar, for a total of a 6% match. You have 35 days from your date of hire to make changes to the voluntary default election before your contributions begin, and you may choose to change your voluntary contributions at any time by visiting the Fidelity NetBenefits portal.

Hourly Union Members receive a pension through LIUNA but may voluntarily contribute to the 403(b) without matching contributions from VU. Union members who want to receive the VU match may choose to waive their right to the LIUNA pension.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

Vanderbilt has a generous PTO program which provides benefits-eligible employees a bank of time to use for planned and unplanned absences from work, as well as certain holidays.

Tuition Benefit

This benefit provides tuition assistance via reimbursement for eligible employees, their spouses, and children.


Quick Links


Helpful Information

    Learn more about making the right choice
    for you and your family.