All benefits-eligible employees should complete Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is right around the corner. Are you ready? To help you prepare, Vanderbilt’s HR team is sharing the top 10 things you need to know.

Today’s tip is a reminder that all benefits-eligible employees need to complete Open Enrollment, whether you enroll in or waive coverage. While your medical, dental, vision, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) and short-term disability insurance selections will default to your current coverage levels, skipping Open Enrollment could cost you big time. Here’s how:

Tobacco-free status

You must elect or re-elect tobacco-free status for you and your family members to receive the $20 monthly medical premium credit. If you pledged to quit last year but are still using tobacco, you will not receive the credit in 2015.

Spouse/partner coverage

If you elect or keep spouse/same-sex domestic partner coverage, you must indicate whether your spouse or partner has access to insurance through another employer. Spouses or partners who have access to health coverage through an outside employer but prefer the Vanderbilt plan will pay an additional $100 per month in payroll premiums. The fee will be applied if you don’t complete Open Enrollment.


If you fund flexible spending accounts for health care or dependent day care expenses, you must re-enroll every year. Don’t forget that funds must be used by March 15, 2016, or they will be lost, so choose your amounts wisely.

Update beneficiaries

Review or update life insurance and AD&D insurance beneficiaries, even if you have done so before. You should verify that the names and allocations for each beneficiary of these policies are correct. Beneficiaries are not necessarily the dependents on your health plan and need to be separately named.

Open Enrollment begins at 8 a.m. on Oct. 15 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31. Selections are effective Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2015, unless you have a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child.

Visit for additional information, and stay tuned for more tips.