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All benefits-eligible employees should complete Open Enrollment

Sep. 28, 2016, 3:24 PM

open-enrollment-2017-logoOpen Enrollment for your 2017 benefits is right around the corner. Are you ready?

Open Enrollment begins at 8 a.m. on Oct. 17 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31. Elections are effective Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2017, unless you have a qualifying event like getting married or having a baby.

As a reminder, all benefits-eligible employees should complete Open Enrollment.

Even if you don’t plan to make changes, you should log in to My VU Benefits to:

  • Make sure your dependent and beneficiary information is up to date, correct and complete;
  • Review your current elections; and
  • Attest to whether or not you and your covered family members use tobacco. You’ll save $20 per month on health insurance premiums if you’re committed to being tobacco-free.

After the plan year starts on Jan. 1, 2017, you can only make coverage changes if you have a qualifying life event. Consider your choices carefully; changes and corrections are not permitted except during Open Enrollment or within 30 days of a qualifying event (like getting married or having a baby).

Employees who cover their family members should keep the following things in mind when enrolling for benefits this year:

  • If you carry coverage for your spouse who has access to health insurance through another employer—including Vanderbilt University Medical Center—you’ll pay a spousal fee of $100 per month.
  • In 2017, same-sex domestic partners and their children will no longer be eligible for coverage under Vanderbilt benefit plans. Only spouses and natural, step- and adopted children will be eligible for benefit coverage, including the dependent tuition benefit and FMLA.


If you fund flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for health care or dependent day care expenses, you must re-enroll every year. Don’t forget that funds for the 2017 plan year must be used by March 15, 2018, or they will be lost—so choose your amounts wisely.

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