2019 health care benefits: What is changing?

What are my options for 2019?

Vanderbilt University will offer two health care coverage plans in 2019: the Aetna Select PPO plan and a new consumer-driven health plan called Aetna Choice CDHP.

Both plans meet Vanderbilt’s ongoing commitment to provide high-quality health care coverage to its faculty and staff. Both plans provide preventive care at 100 percent, and both will continue to use the Aetna and Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network providers. The monthly premium costs for both plans will continue to be prorated based on your base salary. And regardless of which plan you choose (the PPO or the CDHP), Vanderbilt will contribute the same amount on your behalf.

The AETNA Select PPO

There will be only minor changes to the Aetna Select PPO plan in 2019. For example, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums will not increase in 2019. The plan will still provide co-insurance coverage at the 90 percent level. Monthly premiums will reflect the tier of coverage you select (individual / +spouse / +children / +family).


Choice CDHP takes a new approach. It will have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums—but lower monthly premiums—than the PPO plan. Employees pay 100 percent of expenses (including pharmacy) until they meet the deductible and then pay 20 percent until they meet the out-of-pocket maximum. After that, the CDHP plan covers 100 percent of eligible expenses.

The CDHP plan includes an accompanying health savings account that allows employees and/or their employer to set aside pre-tax money to cover health care costs. Employees can either use the contributions in the same year or save it for the future. For 2019, Vanderbilt will contribute to the HSA as a “seed” fund to get people started.

More information to come

Continue to watch for communications from the Human Resources Benefits Office between now and Open Enrollment, which begins Oct. 17. Helpful videos and other learning materials will be available, as well as an online “decision support” tool to help faculty and staff choose the plan that best meets their needs. In addition, there will be opportunities to meet with benefits staff members and ask questions.

To continue learning more about the Choice Consumer Driven Health Plan, visit the HR Benefits Choice CDHP page or click here (or on the banner at the top of the page) for an introductory video.