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Open Enrollment offers chance to make crucial benefit decisions

Oct. 8, 2015, 9:19 AM

Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for Vanderbilt employees to update or choose the benefit options that best meet your and your family’s needs. Mark your calendars for Oct. 14-30 so you’re ready to enroll for 2016 Open Enrollment.

During Open Enrollment, there are several programs you can elect, make changes to or waive:

• Medical, dental and vision insurance

• Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance

• Health care flexible spending accounts, which reimburse medical expenses for you and your dependents, and

• Dependent day care flexible spending accounts, which reimburse day care service expenses for your dependents.

You can make changes to other benefit programs anytime, including during Open Enrollment.

These include:

• Life insurance, enhanced short-term disability insurance and long-term disability insurance, which can be managed through My VU Benefits

• Retirement plan contributions and investments, which can be managed through Fidelity Net-Benefits, and

• Discounted pet, auto and home insurance, which are managed directly with the providers.

Updates and key actions for 2016

Confirm tobacco-usage status — Continue saving $20 per month on your health plan premiums if you and your covered family members are committed to being tobacco-free. 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 in 2016.

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. If your spouse or partner has access to health coverage through an outside employer but prefers the Vanderbilt plan, you 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. We will continue to offer unmarried 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- or adopted children will be eligible starting in 2017.

Partial benefits eligibility for health coverage — In 2016, a new partially benefits-eligible group of employees and their dependent children can enroll in Vanderbilt Health Plan coverage. This includes all monthly (exempt) paid employees who are not currently benefits-eligible, and weekly or bi-weekly paid (non-exempt) employees regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week who are not currently benefits-eligible.

Temporary employees in these roles will also be eligible. The health plan options will be the same as those offered to fully benefits-eligible employees, but the premiums will be different. During this fall’s Open Enrollment, partially benefits-eligible employees can choose employee-only or employee plus child coverage. Spouses and same-sex domestic partners are not eligible.

Expanded pharmacy hours — 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 on Saturday, as employees can use Medical Center East.

Telephonic and telemedicine coverage — These appointments with select Vanderbilt and VHAN providers will be available for employees who are eligible to participate, and can be held over the phone, online or using an online system. Scheduled the same way you schedule office visits, the Vanderbilt Health Plan will cover telephonic and telemedicine appointments at the same level as office visits. The same co-pay or coinsurance levels will apply.

Learn more about Open Enrollment programs and updates online at

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