Open Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions 2024
What is changing for the Stanford health plans in 2024?
Every year, we strive to improve our benefits to give you the care you need while keeping cost increases as low as possible. In 2024, our goal was to manage costs while preserving access to Stanford Health Care (SHC). Below are highlights of the enhancements we are making to our medical plan options:
Introducing Aetna, our new plan administrator
Starting in 2024, Aetna will administer all of Stanford’s medical plans, except the Kaiser HMO plan. With this partnership, we will discontinue our relationship with Blue Shield of California and will no longer offer the Trio plan. With Aetna’s nationwide network, you will continue to have access to SHC along with Sutter Health (which includes the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) network), University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and other local provider groups, and increased access to primary care.
Redesigning and renaming two medical plans to expand options for all employees, including our distributed workforce and employees with out-of-area dependents
In 2024, you’ll have four plan options, but we have redesigned and renamed two of the plans: the Stanford Select Copay Health Plan (formerly the Stanford Health Care Alliance or SHCA plan) and the Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan (formerly named Healthcare + Savings HDHP).
Both of these plans are administered by Aetna, which means you’ll have access to Aetna’s nationwide network of 1.2 million health care professionals, no matter where you live, giving our distributed workforce and employees with out-of-area dependents another plan option to choose from.
Consolidating and partnering with a new administrator for the health savings account (HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
We are discontinuing our relationships with TASC and HealthEquity and consolidating the administration of our HSA and FSAs, including the tax-free Child Care Subsidy Grant (CCSG), to Fidelity, which is also our current retirement plan administrator. Expanding this partnership provides streamlined services, robust financial tools, and a user-friendly online portal and mobile app. If you elect an FSA or HSA for 2024, you will receive a new debit card.
FSA contribution increases
For 2024, you can contribute up to $3,050 in tax-free funds to the health care FSA to pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses. Keep in mind that you cannot contribute to a health care FSA and the HSA. If you re-enroll in a health care FSA, you can also roll over up to $610 in unused 2023 health care FSA funds to 2024.
Stanford increases HSA contribution
If you enroll in an HDHP and open an HSA, you can contribute $4,150 for employee-only coverage (up $300) and $8,300 for employee + dependents coverage (up $550). Plus, Stanford is increasing its contribution to your HSA — $1,152 for employee-only coverage and $2,352 for employee + dependents coverage. You must be enrolled in the Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan and make an active election in the HSA (at least $0) during Open Enrollment to receive these funds.
Under the Delta Dental plans, diagnostic and preventive claims no longer count toward the Annual Maximum Limit leaving more dollars available to cover other services. Also, the SmileWay benefit through Delta Dental provides additional free cleanings for approved conditions.
MetLife pre-paid legal plan enhancements
For 2024, the MetLife pre-paid legal plan will cover legal assistance for reproductive issues.
What are my medical plan options in 2024?
Stanford offers four medical plan options — three plans administered by Aetna and the Kaiser HMO plan. The employee contribution and the level of service provided by each plan option vary. All Stanford health care plans provide in-network preventive care covered at 100%, including well-woman visits, child wellness exams, and other adult preventive services.
Stanford Select Copay Health Plan (formerly SHCA)
The Stanford Select Copay Health Plan requires you to receive all care from in-network physicians and facilities. There is no annual deductible, and you will pay a copay when you receive medical services. A primary care physician (PCP) is required to oversee your care. Out-of-network care is not covered, except in emergencies. Access to non-network outpatient mental health services is continuing with this plan.
Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan (formerly Healthcare + Savings HDHP)
The Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan requires you to pay the full cost of medical care, including prescriptions, until you meet your annual deductible ($1,750 individual/$3,500 family) before Stanford shares in your health care costs. Under this plan, you can also elect a tax-advantaged HSA, and Stanford contributes funds each pay period to your HSA. You also have the option to utilize your HSA funds to cover your initial health care costs until you reach the deductible threshold.
ACA Basic HDHP
The ACA Basic HDHP works the same as the Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan but has higher out-of-pocket costs. This plan option meets the minimum essential coverage requirements under the federal health care reform, Affordable Care Act (ACA). You may contribute to an HSA, but Stanford does not contribute HSA funds.
Kaiser HMO (California and Hawaii employees only)
Kaiser Permanente is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) that provides patient services, hospitalizations, supplies, and prescription drugs through its own network of doctors, hospitals, and other Kaiser-affiliated health care facilities. Out-of-network care is not covered, except in emergencies.
For more information visit the Medical Plans page on Cardinal at Work.
How much will I pay for health care in 2024?
Your employee contributions for 2024 can be found on Cardinal at Work.
- The Kaiser HMO will continue to be free to all full-time employees for employee-only coverage.
- The costs for the Stanford Select Copay Health Plan (formerly SHCA) will decrease.
- The costs for the Kaiser HMO (all levels except employee-only coverage), the ACA Basic HDHP, and Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan (formerly Healthcare + Savings HDHP) will increase slightly, including the out-of-area rates for our distributed workforce.
What providers and hospitals are available with each medical plan?
We know access to care is important to you. Below is a high-level summary of providers and hospitals available in-network:
|Stanford Select Copay Health Plan (formerly SHCA)||Aetna Select Network, includes SHC, Sutter Health (includes PAMF) and UCSF providers|
|Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan (formerly Healthcare + Savings HDHP)||Aetna Choice Network, includes SHC, Sutter Health (includes PAMF) and UCSF providers|
|ACA Basic HDHP*||Aetna Choice Network, includes SHC, Sutter Health (includes PAMF) and UCSF providers|
|Kaiser HMO||Kaiser Permanente|
Preferred Providers for Stanford Select Copay Health Plan and Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan
Through the Aetna network, you will have two tiers of in-network providers for certain services. When you receive certain outpatient services, such as lab work, imaging, and physical therapy, from preferred providers, you will pay less out of pocket. Preferred providers include LabCorp, Quest and other independent labs, imaging centers and independent rehabilitation centers offering physical therapy that are not associated with or licensed with a hospital. You can find preferred providers by calling Aetna at 888-922-3862.
Will my current doctors and medications be covered under the Stanford Select Copay Plan and the Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan?
Most of your current providers will be in Aetna’s network. However, some employees will need to change to a different provider. You can find a new physician by visiting:
- Stanford Select Copay Health Plan
- Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan
- ACA Basic High Deductible Health Plan
or calling Aetna at 888-922-3862. Advocacy services can help you establish with a doctor, transfer your medical records, and set appointments.
Your current prescriptions are covered in Aetna’s formulary. Because each administrator’s formulary is different, for a small number of you, your medication may be covered at a different cost tier. If you want to change medication to a lower cost rate, Aetna will help you find an alternative medication.
How can I continue to receive care while plan administration transitions to Aetna?
Aetna offers transition of care as a temporary benefit, where if approved, you can continue the course of your treatment if your physician is an out-of-network provider for 90 days. During that 90-day period, if approved, your claims will be paid as in-network. Aetna offers transition of care treatment for the following areas:
- Behavioral health and substance abuse
- Multiple: If you are in process and had one or more multiple, staged surgeries prior to Jan. 1, 2024, you may continue treatment for 90 days.
- Recent surgery: If you completed surgery prior to Jan. 1, 2024, you may continue treatment for a limited time for the purpose of follow-up treatment.
If you are eligible for transition of care services, expect communication from Aetna staring Jan. 2, 2024. For questions, call Aetna’s member services at 888-922-3862.
Will I receive a new ID card?
If you are a current Kaiser HMO member and you continue your coverage, you will not receive an ID card.
For all other employees that enroll in a health plan for 2024, a new ID card will be sent to your home address in January. Please verify that your personal information is correct during Open Enrollment. You may also access a digital ID card on your health plan portal starting Jan. 1, 2024.
How can I learn more about the plan changes?
During Open Enrollment, you have many resources on Cardinal at Work to help you understand the plans. Take these steps to get to know your plans, so you can choose the coverage that’s best for you and your family:
- Attend a virtual Town Hall for an overview of Open Enrollment and your benefits options and a Q&A with the Stanford Benefits team.
- Watch pre-recorded information sessions to learn more about specific topic areas important to you. Each session will only take 15–30 minutes.
- Use Nayya, our online decision tool available during Open Enrollment, to help you choose your health care plans. Nayya asks you questions and gives you personalized recommendations based on the information you provide. Your information is confidential, and you can decide how much personal information to input. Access the tool via My Benefits portal during Open Enrollment.
- Contact the University HR Service Team at 877-905-2985, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT, to get your questions answered from members of the Stanford Benefits team.
- Use the Cardinal at Work Comparison Tool to compare the cost of coverage and out-of-pocket costs under the medical and dental plans offered by Stanford.
- Visit our in-person Benefits Fairs on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 to talk to the Benefits team and vendors to learn more about your options and ask questions.
How do I enroll in benefits?
Visit cardinalatwork.stanford.edu/OE24 to learn more about plan updates, rates, support tools, and more. When you are ready to enroll in benefits, log in to My Benefits to make your choices from Oct. 23 through Nov. 10. Don’t forget to save the summary of your confirmation for your records after you click the “submit” button. Any changes you make will be effective on Jan. 1, 2024.
How can I learn more about what’s changing for 2024?
Refer to the What’s Changing page to see an overview of the plan updates for 2024. Also, refer to the communications sent to your home address and email.
What do I have to do during Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is your opportunity to review your current coverage and enroll in or make changes to your benefits for 2024. You may also add or remove dependents from coverage. Once Open Enrollment ends on Nov. 10, you cannot change your elections until the next Open Enrollment period, unless you have a qualifying life event.
If you don’t make any changes during Open Enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled in the health care default coverage as shown in the table below. The health savings account (HSA), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and Medical Contribution Assistance Program (MCAP) require an election or application for 2024
|If you are currently enrolled in…||You will automatically receive this plan in 2024.|
|SHCA||Stanford Select Copay Health Plan|
|Healthcare + Savings HDHP||Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan|
|ACA Basic HDHP||ACA Basic HDHP|
|Kaiser HMO||Kaiser HMO|
|Trio||Stanford Select Copay Health Plan|
|Waived coverage||Waived coverage|
When are the benefits I elect during Open Enrollment effective?
The benefits you choose during Open Enrollment become effective on Jan. 1, 2024. If you elect supplemental life insurance, your coverage will begin as soon as your evidence of insurability (EOI) has been completed and approved. If you add new dependents during Open Enrollment, be sure to upload certification documentation before Jan. 31, 2024.
Which benefits can I make changes to or enroll in during Open Enrollment?
You may elect the following benefits during Open Enrollment:
- Supplemental life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Pre-paid legal services
How do I choose the best medical plan for me (and my covered dependents)?
Choosing a medical plan is an important decision. The election you make during Open Enrollment will be effective Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2024. You will not be able to make changes outside Open Enrollment, unless you have a qualifying life event, such as marriage or the birth or adoption of a child.
To help you make the best choice for you, we are providing valuable tools during Open Enrollment:
- Visit the Medical Decision page at Cardinal at Work to walk through how to choose a medical plan based on your stage of life, cost of coverage, and access to preferred providers. You’ll also find links to decision tools.
- Get the full list of your health, life, and financial benefits you can make changes to during Open Enrollment.
Attend an Open Enrollment event to learn more about your options and ask questions.
Who can I contact with questions?
If you need assistance enrolling for your 2024 benefits, call the University HR Service Team at 877-905-2985 (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT). They can also help you with questions about your employee or retiree benefits. Call them if …
- you are a new hire and need plan services before you receive your plan ID card — your doctor’s office or pharmacy may call to verify coverage
- you need help enrolling in benefits during the enrollment window
- you have a question about a payroll deduction related to your benefits
- you are unsure if a dependent is covered under your plan
- you plan to retire in the next three to six months
What are my benefits choices if I do not live in California?
We’ve listened to your feedback and are providing additional coverage options for remote employees and for employees with out-of-area dependents.
For employees located out of the area, you have three medical plan options in 2024:
- NEW Stanford Select Copay Health Plan (formerly SHCA)
- Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan (formerly Healthcare + Savings)
- ACA Basic HDHP
If you enroll in either the Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan or the ACA Basic HDHP, you can contribute tax-free funds to an HSA.
If you enroll in the Stanford Select Copay Health Plan, you can contribute tax-free funds to an FSA.
Who will administer the HSA and FSAs in 2024?
In 2024, the FSAs and HSA will be administered by Fidelity. This includes the tax-free Child Care Subsidy Grant (CCSG) facilitated by the dependent day care FSA. Since Fidelity already administers our retirement plan, expanding this partnership provides streamlined services, robust financial tools, and a user-friendly online portal and mobile app.
What do I need to do to change my HSA or FSA to Fidelity?
If you want to contribute to an FSA or HSA in 2024, you must actively enroll through the Open Enrollment event in My Benefits. Your account will automatically be set up with Fidelity. If you have a current FSA or HSA, Fidelity will reach out to you in mid-October with additional information.
If you enroll in an FSA or HSA for 2024, you will receive new debit cards in the mail. You may begin using these cards to pay for eligible expenses in 2024. For more information, visit Fidelity.
What will happen to my current HealthEquity HSA?
Because the HSA is a bank account, you may keep your current funds with HealthEquity. However, if you want to receive Stanford’s HSA contribution and contribute personal funds to an HSA in 2024, you must actively enroll in an HSA through the Open Enrollment event in My Benefits, and an account will be opened for you with Fidelity.
You will have the option to keep your current funds with HealthEquity and manage two separate accounts or transfer your funds to your new account with Fidelity. You will receive information from Fidelity about how to transfer funds in November.
Will I have access to my HealthEquity account even if I enroll in the HSA through Fidelity?
Yes. Your HSA is an account that you own. You can continue to manage this account or transfer your funds to Fidelity.
Will my health care FSA roll over to Fidelity?
If you have unused health care FSA funds from 2023, TASC will send a report to Fidelity after the run-out period ends on April 30, 2024. If you elect to participate in a health care FSA for 2024, you may carry over up to $610 in unused 2023 health care FSA dollars to 2024. If you do not contribute to a health care FSA, if there is any carry over after the run-out period, a 2024 FSA account will be created for you.
What happens to my HSA funds if I enroll in the new Stanford Select Copay Health Plan?
You will be able to use the funds you have already contributed to pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses at any time, but you will not be able to continue contributing to an HSA nor receive HSA contributions from Stanford. With the Stanford Select Copay Health Plan, you can elect a health care FSA, which allows you to set aside tax-free funds to pay for eligible health care expenses. You will have the option to roll over your existing HSA funds from HealthEquity to Fidelity or keep them with HealthEquity. Learn more on the Health Savings and Spending Account page.
Will I be able to pay claims directly from Fidelity NetBenefits®?
Yes. You’ll be able to pay claims online through NetBenefits.com/stanford. You can also use the NetBenefits app to make it easier to track, manage and pay your claims and eligible expenses. In addition, if you paid out of pocket, you can reimburse yourself on NetBenefits (see the question above).
How do I reimburse myself from my Fidelity account?
You can reimburse yourself for eligible expenses you paid out-of-pocket by accessing funds on NetBenefits.com/stanford or on the NetBenefits app. To do this:
- Log in to NetBenefits.com/stanford.
- Select the tile for the account from which you want to reimburse yourself (either HSA, or Flexible Spending and Reimbursement Accounts for all other accounts)
- For the HSA:
- Select the Paying tab
- Select Reimburse Yourself
- For the HCFSA or DCFSA
- Select Reimburse Yourself
Will my HealthEquity transaction history be transferred to Fidelity?
No. Account transaction history will not be transferred. You’ll be able to access your HealthEquity statements online through the HealthEquity website. You will use your same user ID and password. You can also call the Benefits Service Center at 888-793-8733 if you need assistance.
Will existing provider information carry over to Fidelity?
No, you will need to enter provider information and addresses as they will not transfer over from HealthEquity.
Will my current beneficiaries transfer to Fidelity?
No, you will need to designate new beneficiaries for your HSA in your Fidelity account. Any beneficiaries designated for your Stanford Contributory Retirement Plan (SCRP) will not apply to your HSA. Your HSA beneficiaries must be designated separately.