2020 health care benefits—active enrollment required

2020 Open Enrollment

What are my options for 2020?

It will soon be time to choose benefits coverage for next year. Vanderbilt University will continue offering fully benefits-eligible employees two health care plan options in 2020: the Preferred Provider Plan (the Select PPO plan)  and the Consumer Driven Health Plan (the Choice CDHP).

Employees planning to stay in their current plan at their current level must actively enroll during annual Open Enrollment for 2020 coverage.

Neither plan will experience material plan design changes for 2020. Both plans continue to meet Vanderbilt’s ongoing commitment to providing high-quality health care coverage for faculty, staff and their dependents.

Both plans provide 100% coverage for preventive care. Employees in both plans will continue to have access to both the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN) and Aetna National Network providers. The monthly costs for both plans will continue to be based on the employee’s salary tier (higher-paid faculty and staff pay higher premiums). Once employees meet the out-of-pocket maximums, both plans fully cover all eligible expenses for the rest of the plan year. Regardless of which of the two plans an employee chooses, Vanderbilt’s contribution amount will be equivalent (the university doesn’t subsidize one plan more than the other).

Both plans will experience modest average premium increases for 2020; the CDHP’s premiums will increase less than the PPO’s. Some additional differences between the two plans are noted below.


The plan will still provide co-insurance coverage at the 90% level. Monthly premiums will reflect the tier of coverage selected (individual / +spouse / +children / +family); a few tiers will be adjusted so that no family tier has the effect of subsidizing any other.


The Choice CDHP offers higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums—but lower monthly premiums—than the PPO plan. The CDHP’s deductibles and maximums will remain the same for 2020 as for 2019. Employees pay 100% of expenses (including the full cost of pharmacy prescriptions) until they meet the deductible, and then they pay 20% until the out-of-pocket maximum is met.

The Choice CDHP plan includes an accompanying health savings account (HSA) that allows employees and/or their employer to set aside pre-tax money to cover eligible health care costs. Employees can either use the contributions in the same year or save them for the future. In 2020, Vanderbilt will continue contributing “seed” funds to HSA accounts.

All fully benefits-eligible faculty and staff will be required to make an active plan selection during October Open Enrollment for 2020 coverage. Employees will not automatically default into their current plan if no action is taken.

Employees who fail to make a selection during the Open Enrollment period in October 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 are eligible only to enroll in the Choice CDHP plan.

More information to come

Continue to watch for communications from VU Human Resources between now and the Open Enrollment period, which runs Oct. 17-31. Helpful videos and other learning materials will be available, including 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 the HR Benefits team to ask questions.