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Benefits Roadmap

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Ready to Elect Benefits? Start Here.

At Stanford, you matter as much as the work. Our benefits support your holistic well-being priorities and goals in work and life as you work to make a difference in the world. We believe well-being is …

  • Having a choice of health plans that work for you
  • Understanding how to use your health plan
  • Having easy access to free in-network preventive care
  • Being able to save for health care needs
  • Having access to comprehensive benefits and employee programs 

Choosing your benefits ensures you have coverage that meets your needs. Take the time to explore the health, life and financial benefits that you can elect as a benefits-eligible employee, so you can choose what works best for you. When you’re ready, you can elect your coverage on the My Benefits portal

Medical Plan Options

Having access to high-quality, comprehensive medical care matters. Stanford offers four medical plans — two copay-based plans and two high deductible health plans (HDHPs)— so you can choose the plan that works best for you. All plans cover in-network preventive care at no cost to you, prescription drug benefits and mental health services. Your 2024 medical plan options include:

  1. Stanford Select Copay Health Plan
  2. Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan
  3. ACA Basic HDHP
  4. Kaiser HMO (California and Hawaii only)

Learn more about your medical plans

 View your medical plan rates

Things to Consider

  • Save on health care expenses.

Take advantage of the health care flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) and Stanford’s financial programs, including the Medical Contribution Assistance Program (MCAP) and Employee Emergency Assistance Fund (EEAF), to offset your health care expenses.

  • Think through your options before you decide.

Making informed decisions matters. Use the decision tools and resources to help you consider each option before choosing your plan. 

  • See the checklist before choosing your medical plans.

Review this checklist before selecting your medical plan

  • Receive a credit for waiving coverage.

Full-time employees who have medical coverage elsewhere can waive Stanford coverage and receive a $25 credit (or $12.50 credit if you work part-time) provided as taxable income in each paycheck.

Dental Plans

Dental Plans 

The dental plans through Delta Dental help you maintain good overall health. You may choose between two plans: the Basic PPO and Enhanced PPO. The Basic PPO is offered at no cost to employees. The Enhanced PPO provides coverage for orthodontia and dental implants and has a higher annual maximum benefit.

Learn more about your dental plans View the Enhanced PPO rates 

Things to Consider

  • Do you or your dependent(s) need orthodontia?

Only the Enhanced PPO provides benefits for orthodontia and implants.

  • Get extra cleanings — for free!

If you have an approved condition, you can receive additional cleanings through the SmileWay benefit at no cost to you.

  • Save on your dental expenses.

Lower your out-of-pocket costs by comparing the fees of different dentists before you receive care and asking your dentist to request a pre-treatment estimate from Delta Dental for any treatment over $300. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and stay in-network for care.

Vision Plan

If you or a dependent have eyewear needs, Stanford offers vision coverage through Vision Service Plan (VSP). The vision plan covers eye exams, prescription glasses, and contacts every calendar year.

Learn more about your vision plan View your vision plan rates

Things to Consider

  • There are no ID cards.

VSP does not issue ID cards. Simply tell your provider you are a VSP member and provide your ID number. You can also print out an ID card from your VSP member portal. Your provider will file your claim and inform you of any out-of-pocket costs.

  • Use the bonus offers and savings.

VSP offers exclusive member savings for lens enhancements and featured frames.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Stanford gives you access to two FSAs as a way to lower your taxable income, receive savings, and pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses. The IRS requires new FSA elections each year, even if you wish to contribute the same amount as last year. 

Please note: If you participate in a health savings account (HSA), you may not contribute to the health care FSA.

  • You can contribute up to $3,050 to the health care FSA, and you may roll over up to $610 in unused health care FSA funds from 2023 to 2024. 
  • For the dependent day care FSA, you may contribute a household limit of $5,000 (or $2,500 if you are married and filing taxes separately). 

Learn more about the health care FSA and dependent day care FSA.See a list of eligible health care expenses and dependent care expenses.

Things to Consider

  • Save on taxes.

Your FSA contributions are not subject to federal, state or payroll tax withholding, so you receive more value for the dollars you spend on eligible expenses for you and your family.

  • Plan wisely.

You cannot stop or change your contribution amount during the year unless you experience a qualifying life event.

  • Know the rules.

The IRS has specific rules about FSAs. If you do not use the full amount in your dependent day care FSA by Dec. 31, you will lose any remaining funds. You may only roll over up to $610 of unused 2023 health care FSA funds to 2024, if you enroll in a health care FSA in 2024. Remaining funds over this amount will be forfeited

  • Are you receiving the Child Care Subsidy Grant (CCSG)? 

Your award will be automatically accepted for you in My Benefits and applied to your dependent day care FSA.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you are enrolled in the Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan or the ACA Basic HDHP, you may elect an HSA, which allows you to set aside tax-free money through convenient payroll deductions for health care expenses now and in the future. Unused funds roll over from one year to the next, and you can invest your HSA balance to earn interest tax-free. 

  • You can contribute $4,150 for employee-only coverage and $8,300 for employee + dependents coverage. If you are age 55 or older, you may contribute an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution. 
  • If you enroll in the Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan, Stanford will contribute $1,152 for employee-only coverage or $2,352 for family coverage to your HSA. You must make an active election in the HSA (at least $0) to receive the university contribution. 
  • Keep in mind that your personal contributions and Stanford’s contribution cannot exceed the annual HSA limit.
  • Stanford does not contribute if you are enrolled in the ACA Basic HDHP.

Learn more about HSAs

See a list of eligible expenses

Things to Consider

  • Know the rules. You must meet the following eligibility criteria to elect an HSA.
    • You are not covered by other health insurance.
    • You are not enrolled in Medicare Part A or B.
    • You are not listed as a dependent on someone else's tax return.
    • You do not participate in a Health Care FSA.
    • Your spouse is not enrolled in a health care FSA (because the FSA covers spouses automatically per the IRS). However, your spouse may enroll in an HSA.
    • You must live in the United States and have a U.S. address on file with Stanford.
  • Save on taxes.

Your HSA contributions, withdrawals, and earnings are all free from federal income taxes. California and New Jersey tax HSA contributions, and New Hampshire and Tennessee tax interest or investment earnings.

Life Insurance

Stanford automatically provides basic life insurance at no cost to you. You can purchase additional coverage for yourself, your spouse or registered domestic partner, and your dependent child(ren). You may be required to provide evidence of insurability (EOI) — proof of good health — before coverage is active. If you have already elected supplemental life insurance between one and three times your salary and are not at the maximum amount of $1,500,000, you can increase your coverage by one level during Open Enrollment without submitting EOI. 

Learn more about life insurance

View your supplemental life insurance rates 

Things to Consider

  • Purchase coverage for your spouse or registered domestic partner. You can elect up to 50% of your combined basic and supplemental coverage up to $250,000. Keep in mind that EOI will be required when you elect coverage over $25,000 or if you’re enrolling your spouse after your new hire or life event closes.
  • Purchase coverage for your children. You may select coverage of $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 for your child(ren) as long as you have at least twice as much coverage for yourself. Designate your beneficiary. When you log in to enroll on the My Benefits portal, please complete the beneficiary designation section. You may designate more than one beneficiary.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)

In addition to life insurance, you can purchase AD&D coverage, which offers financial protection in the event of a severe accident, injury or death. You can elect coverage for yourself, your spouse or registered domestic partner, and your dependent child(ren). AD&D coverage amounts are similar to supplemental life insurance amounts. There is no EOI requirement for AD&D coverage.

Learn more about AD&D insurance

View your AD&D rates

Things to Consider

  • Designate your beneficiary. When you log in to enroll on the My Benefits portal, please complete the beneficiary designation section. You may designate more than one beneficiary. 
  • Purchase coverage for your family members. To enroll your dependents, you must have coverage for yourself equal to or greater than their coverage. You must be actively at work to apply for or increase coverage.
Critical Illness Insurance

Having extra financial support during a serious illness can give you and your family peace of mind. Critical illness insurance provides non-taxable, lump sum cash payments for 24 specific high-cost, serious illnesses. 

You can purchase coverage for yourself, your spouse or registered domestic partner, and your dependent child(ren) from three coverage options: $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000. 

Learn more about critical illness insurance

Read the plan documents to be informed of covered illnesses and exclusions

View your critical illness insurance rates

Pre-Paid Legal Plan

You can purchase legal coverage to have access to attorneys who can answer your questions and assist you with a variety of legal needs. You can choose an attorney in any specialized area of practice from the network and can connect face to face, by phone, or through the online Attorney e-Panel. The cost for this plan is $9.25 per pay period, after-tax, paid through payroll deductions.

Learn more about pre-paid legal services

Home and Auto Insurance

You can purchase coverage for home and auto insurance at discounted rates through Liberty Mutual. Reach out to Liberty Mutual directly for a quote. You can enroll in this benefit anytime during the year. 

Learn more about home and auto insurance.

Pet Insurance

You can purchase pet insurance coverage from Nationwide Insurance or MetLife to save money on veterinary expenses for your pet. Reach out to the carriers directly for a quote. You can enroll in this benefit anytime during the year.

Learn more about pet insurance

Identity Theft Protection

Stanford pays the cost for active employees to receive identity theft protection through Experian. Services include credit monitoring, fraud alerts, credit report scores, dark web monitoring, and identity restoration. This benefit is not available to family members. You can enroll anytime during the year. 

Learn more about identity theft protection and how to activate your coverage.

Enrollment Checklist

As you choose your benefits, be sure to complete these important steps, too. 

  1. Make sure your emergency contact information and mailing address are accurate in Axess (scroll down to the Personal and Contact Information section). Also, complete your personal data, including veteran and disability status, as well as your race and ethnicity to help Stanford better understand our community. 
  2. Choose your beneficiaries for your life insurance, retirement plan, and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance. Beneficiaries for life and AD&D can be designated on the My Benefits portal. Visit Fidelity and TIAA to designate your retirement beneficiaries.
  3. Gather new dependent information before enrolling, including their legal name, date of birth, and Social Security number. You will also need to provide certification documentation
  4. Participate in the BeWell program and complete wellness activities, including preventive health care activities, to earn up to $560 in financial incentives that can be used toward health care expenses. 
  5. Use the decision tools and view your plan rates before choosing your medical plan. 
  6. Consider your financial needs and take advantage of the tax saving accounts, including the health care flexible spending account (FSA), dependent day care FSA, health savings account (HSA), and retirement savings program

Who to Contact with Questions

The University HR Service Team is available to answer your questions about Stanford’s benefits offerings and help you elect or change your benefits. For questions about the individual plan benefits, reach out to the plan administrator.

View Contacts