Skip to main content

Death of a Vanderbilt Employee

If you are the surviving spouse or dependent of a Vanderbilt employee, you should notify your loved one's department administrator and the Benefits Office in Human Resources.

Action Items Checklist

  1. Notify your loved one's department supervisor. If you are unsure how to contact the department, you may start with the Vanderbilt University operator by calling 615.322.7311.
  2. Make a decision about continuing health and dental insurance coverage through COBRA. To enroll for COBRA, contact:

Benefit Express - Vanderbilt COBRA
P.O. Box 189
Arlington Heights, IL 60006
877.837.5017 (7:30 am - 6 pm, CST)
253.793.3766 (Fax)

Benefits Details:

Health, Dental, Vision

Changes must be made within 60 days of the death.

  • You can choose to continue, on a self-pay basis, your health, dental and/or vision coverage through COBRA.
  • Initial payment is required within 45 days of election date in order for benefits to be provided under COBRA.
  • For details about COBRA, visit the COBRA page.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

If your loved one was enrolled in an FSA for health or dependent care expense reimbursement, the enrollment ends on the day that the death occurred.

  • However, claims can be submitted by survivors by April 15, following the Plan Year of participation. You can file claims for eligible expenses incurred prior to your loved one’s death. You can still use the Flexible Spending Account Reimbursement Request Form and submit your claims to Benefit  Express  by the deadline of the run-out period, which is April 15.  To obtain claim forms and review your balance you must register at . For tips on registering click  here . 
  • If you have a MasterCard for the Health Care Flexible Spending Account, you must destroy the card and NOT use it past your loved one’s death. You can file claims for eligible expenses incurred by the filing deadline. If you use the MasterCard past your loved one’s date of death, you are responsible to repay those charges. See the Summary Plan Description for more information.

Life Insurance & Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)

  • Contact the Human Resources to begin the life insurance and/or AD&D claim process.

Retirement Benefits

Contact the retirement plan vendor to obtain distribution forms. Completed forms should be returned to the benefits office for processing. Mail to Benefits Administration, PMB #407704, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-7704.  If you aren’t sure what company your loved one selected as their retirement plan vendor, contact Human Resources.

Completed forms should be returned to the appropriate vendors to upload to the online portal for VU to process.

Updated 5/3/2022