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Open Enrollment allows employees to select benefits

Oct. 11, 2012, 10:48 AM

Open Enrollment, the annual opportunity for Vanderbilt staff and faculty to elect the coverage that best suits their needs, will take place Oct. 17-31. As it was last year, this is an active enrollment, which means that all benefits-eligible employees need to make benefits elections.

Even those who aren’t planning to change benefits will still need to enroll to ensure they get the coverage they want for themselves and their family in 2013.

During Open Enrollment, you will make elections for medical, dental, vision, short-term disability insurance (staff only) and accidental death and dismemberment insurance for the 2013 plan year.

Open Enrollment is also when you decide if you want to put any money into a health care or dependent care flexible spending account.

Enrollment will take place using the C2HR web tool. The window to enroll begins at 8 a.m. on Oct. 17 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31. To enroll, go to the Open Enrollment website ( and click on “Enroll Now!”

If you want to waive all benefits, including medical coverage for yourself, you need to waive your coverage in the Open Enrollment Tool.

Those who don’t enroll receive default benefits for 2013 of Aetna Plus (formerly Aetna Standard) employee-only plan for medicalDental, vision, AD&D and Flexible Spending Account participation are not included. For staff, note that your Short-Term Disability insurance election will continue.

What’s new for 2013?

Short-Term Disability insurance (staff only) — This insurance is critical for staff who may not have accrued sick time or who have little available due to past use. This is the modern “sick bank,” meant to continue pay during illness. In the past, some staff members may have been discouraged by the insurer’s requirement that new enrollees had to submit health information. But the University has reached an agreement with the new provider, Unum, to allow staff to enroll this year, regardless of current health status. After this initial opportunity, new enrollees will need to submit health information and coverage may be denied. Enroll online using the Open Enrollment Tool (not using the provider’s website as in years past).

2013 Health Plan Premiums — Premiums have been adjusted for 2013. See the Detailed Guide on the Open Enrollment website for details.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) — Pre-tax accounts for health care have been lowered according to federal law from $3,600 to $2,500 per employee. The dependent care FSA contribution limit remains $5,000 per household.

Adjustments to Deductibles and Out-of-Pocket Limits — The Aetna HealthFund plan will have separate deductibles for each coverage tier, just like the BCBST Select and Aetna Plus plans for 2013. All of the health plan options have had some adjustments to deductible and out-of-pocket amounts, with the best benefit levels found in the Tier 1 networks.

Dental Plan  — Premiums have been adjusted for the CIGNA DHMO plan.
The BlueCross BlueShield DentalBlue PPO premiums will remain the same.

Health Care Reform — What does Health Care Reform mean for your medical benefits next year? Primarily, there are new preventive care guidelines and services for women, which means a wider range of covered routine services that are not subject to co-payment.

New Aetna Name — To reflect the ongoing expansion of Aetna programs, the Aetna Standard plan is now referred to as Aetna Plus.

The Open Enrollment website ( has a wealth of information to help staff and faculty make their benefits decisions for 2013.

For other questions, contact the Employee Service Center at 343-7000 or

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