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What's Changing: Your Benefits for 2024

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At Stanford, we understand that your well-being is the foundation for a healthy and purposeful life. Our benefits and employee programs support your holistic well-being, priorities, and goals as you work to make a difference in the world.

Every year, we strive to improve our benefits to give you the care you need while reasonably managing cost increases. For 2024, we are enhancing our medical plans to better manage costs, expand the network of providers and facilities, and provide nationwide coverage. 

Review the exciting plan changes and enhancements to your offerings in 2024:


Introducing Our New Medical Plan Administrator, Aetna


Starting in 2024, Aetna will administer all of Stanford’s medical plan options, except the Kaiser HMO plan. Consolidating our plans under one administrator offers many advantages: 

  • Minimized cost increases. Due to the recent trend of rapidly increasing health care costs, we faced a substantial increase in our medical plan premiums. Moving to Aetna allows you and Stanford to avoid significant increases for 2024 and will help better manage costs going forward. 
  • Larger selection of providers. Aetna has over 1.2 million health care professionals, including those at Stanford Health Care (SHC), Sutter Health and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) network, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and other local provider groups, which means you and your family can continue to access Stanford physicians or any other physicians in the Aetna network. 
  • Expanded and easier access to primary care. With over 690,000 primary care doctors and specialists, Aetna’s broad network helps you find available primary care doctors so you can receive the services you need.
  • Nationwide coverage. All Stanford employees, including our distributed workforce and employees with out-of-area dependents, will have an additional plan option.
  • Affordable outpatient services. Aetna will help you locate high-quality and cost-effective options for diagnostic services, lab draws, imaging, colonoscopies, and other services tests. 
  • Advocacy and clinical care management. Aetna offers a concierge program to help you maximize your benefits and guide you to the right resources. Clinical care specialists assist you in managing chronic medical conditions, answering questions, and finding the right doctors.
  • Improved user experience. Aetna’s website and the Aetna HealthSM app let you easily manage your benefits. You can find doctors, compare costs, get a digital member ID card, view claims, track your spending, and more.


2024 Medical Plan Options


Stanford will offer four medical plan options in 2024. We’re pleased to share that the copay plan (formerly Stanford Health Care Alliance/SHCA plan) and the high deductible health plan (formerly Healthcare + Savings HDHP) have been redesigned and expanded, and we have updated their plan names. All of Stanford’s medical plans, listed below, provide in-network preventive care covered at 100%, including well-woman visits, child wellness exams, and other adult preventive services.

  1. Stanford Select Copay Health Plan (formerly SHCA)
  2. Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan (formerly Healthcare + Savings HDHP)
  3.  ACA Basic High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
  4. Kaiser HMO (for California and Hawaii employees)

Selecting Aetna as our single administrator for our self-funded medical plans means we will discontinue our relationship with Blue Shield of California, and the Trio plan is no longer available in 2024. Trio plan members who do not actively choose a plan during Open Enrollment will be automatically enrolled in the Stanford Select Copay Health Plan.

Overview of Stanford Medical Plans

Medical PlanNetworkPlan Features
Stanford Select Copay Health Plan (formerly the SHCA plan)Aetna Select Network, includes SHC, Sutter Health and the PAMF network, and UCSF providers 
  • No annual deductible 
  • In-network preventive care covered at 100%
  • Most services covered with copay
  • Care coordinated by primary care physician (PCP)
  • Out-of-network care is not covered, except in emergencies
Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan (formerly Healthcare + Savings HDHP)Aetna Choice Network, includes SHC, Sutter Health and the PAMF network, and UCSF providers
  • In-network annual deductible ($1,750 individual/$3,500 family) 
  • In-network preventive care covered at 100%
  • Tax-advantaged health savings account (HSA)
  • Stanford contributes to HSA, if enrolled ($1,152 individual/$2,352 family) 
ACA Basic HDHP*Aetna Choice Network, includes SHC, Sutter Health and the PAMF network, and UCSF providers
  • In-network annual deductible ($3,250 individual/$6,500 family) 
  • In-network preventive care covered at 100%
  • Minimum essential coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • High out-of-pocket costs; no Stanford HSA contribution
Kaiser HMOKaiser Permanente
  • In-network preventive care covered at 100%
  • Most services covered with copay
  • Care coordinated by PCP
  • Covers services, hospitalization, supplies, and prescriptions through its own network 
  • Out-of-network care is not covered, except in emergencies
  • New for 2024: Prosthetic & Orthotic Devices will be covered at Kaiser CA: Base formulary and special footwear covered at no charge upon referral. See Evidence of Coverage or contact Kaiser for more details and covered with Kaiser HI: Covered at base formulary only at 20%


Aetna formulary for all three plans: Aetna Standard Plan


*The ACA Basic HDHP meets the minimum essential coverage requirements under the federal health care reform, Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Learn more about your medical plans


2024 Medical Costs


Moving to one medical plan administrator has helped us manage costs for both you and Stanford.

  • 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), Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan (formerly Healthcare + Savings HDHP), and the ACA Basic HDHP will increase slightly.


View 2024 rates on Cardinal at Work

New Administrator for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Account (HSA)


In 2024, Stanford will consolidate the administration of our FSAs, including the tax-free Child Care Subsidy Grant (CCSG), and HSA to Fidelity, which is also our current retirement plan administrator. You will now be able to access information about your tax savings account and your retirement plan on the same website. Fidelity also offers robust financial tools and a user-friendly mobile app. 

If you are currently enrolled in an FSA or HSA, you will receive additional information from Fidelity in mid-October. In addition, you will receive new debit cards in the mail in Dec. 2023 to begin using in Jan. 2024. Remember, you need to enroll in the FSAs or HSA during Open Enrollment to participate in 2024.


Learn more on MyFidelity

Increases to HSA Contributions


Enrolling in an HDHP allows you to set aside tax-free dollars in an HSA for health care expenses now and in the future. Unused funds roll over from one year to the next, and you can invest the balance to grow interest tax-free.

  • In 2024, you can contribute more to your HSA — $4,150 for employee-only coverage and $8,300 for employee + dependents coverage. 
  • If you enroll in the Stanford Choice High Deductible Health Plan and make an HSA election (at least $0), Stanford will contribute $1,152 for employee-only coverage and $2,352 for employee + dependents coverage. 
  • Both your personal contribution and Stanford’s contribution cannot exceed the IRS annual limit. 


Learn more about HSAs on Cardinal at Work

Increases to Health Care FSA Contribution


You can now contribute up to $3,050 to your health care FSA to pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses for you and your eligible dependents. If you re-elect a health care FSA in 2024, you may also carry over $610 of your unused 2023 health care FSA funds 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.

Learn more about health care FSA on Cardinal at Work

Dental Enhancements

We are enhancing your dental coverage through Delta Dental:

  • Diagnostic and preventive claims no longer count toward the Annual Maximum Limit, leaving more dollars available to cover other services. 
  • The SmileWay benefit through Delta Dental provides free additional teeth and gum cleanings for approved conditions. 

             - One periodontal scaling and root planing procedure per quadrant, per calendar year.*

             - Four of the following (any combination) per calendar year.*

                    Prophylaxis (teeth cleaning)

                    Periodontal maintenance procedure

                    Scaling for moderate or severe gingival inflammation

            *Expanded coverage for members diagnosed with certain medical conditions. Members need to opt in. Refer to flyer on Dental Page or EOC for conditions of coverages and details.


Stanford Benefits is aware that some local dentists have dropped out of the Delta Dental network. Many of these departures are from retirements and issues related to inflation. Overall, more than 98% of providers have kept their contracts with Delta Dental, and Delta Dental continues to offer the largest network of providers nationwide.

Learn more about your dental plan options

Supplemental Life Insurance

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 coverage by one level without submitting evidence of insurability (EOI).

If you are newly electing supplemental life insurance, you must submit EOI. 

Learn more about supplemental life insurance