2019 health care benefits—active enrollment required

What are my options for 2019?

Vanderbilt University will offer fully benefits-eligible employees two health care plan options 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 faculty and staff. Both plans provide 100 percent coverage for preventive care and employees will continue to use the Aetna and Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network providers under both plans. The monthly premium costs for both plans will continue to be prorated by base salary. Once employees have met the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum, both plans fully cover all eligible expenses for the rest of the plan year. Regardless of which plan an employee chooses, Vanderbilt will contribute the same amount towards employee health care needs. Some differences between the two plans are described below.


The Aetna Select PPO plan has minor changes for 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 selected (individual / +spouse / +children / +family).


The Choice CDHP takes a new approach. This plan offers 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 the out-of-pocket maximum is met.

The Choice CDHP plan includes an accompanying health savings account that allows employees and/or their employer to set aside pretax 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 a “seed” fund to the HSA to aid fully benefits-eligible employees who select the CDHP plan.

Active enrollment required—plan ahead!

All fully benefits-eligible faculty and staff will be required to make an active plan selection during October open enrollment for 2019 coverage. Unlike some other years, employees will not automatically default into their current plan if no action is taken.

If employees fail to make a selection during the open enrollment period in October, they will default to the Choice CDHP plan at their current selected tier (e.g., individual, family).

Faculty and staff whose appointments are defined as partially benefits-eligible will only be eligible for the Choice CDHP plan.

More information to come

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

View this video to learn more about choosing a medical plan.

To learn more about the Choice Consumer Driven Health Plan, visit the Choice CDHP page on the HR website.