Basic & Supplemental Life Insurance
We provide basic life insurance, plus the opportunity to purchase supplemental life insurance. As a Stanford employee, you are automatically enrolled in our basic life insurance program.
Stanford’s basic term life insurance provides a benefit if you die when employed at the university. Both the basic life insurance and supplemental life insurance are provided through Prudential Insurance Company.
All life insurance benefits are based on your salary as of Sept. 1 and your age. Premium payments and benefit payouts are also based on your salary as of Sept. 1. For employees hired after Sept. 1, benefits are based on your salary as of your date of hire.
BASIC LIFE INSURANCE
SUPPLEMENTAL LIFE INSURANCE
No charge to you for basic life insurance
Maximum: up to $50,000
You may elect to purchase supplemental life insurance
Maximum: one to eight times your salary, up to a $1.5 million
Evidence of Insurability (proof of good health) is required when:
You may elect to purchase supplemental coverage for your spouse or registered domestic partner
Maximum: up to 50 percent of your combined basic and supplemental coverage, or $250,000, whichever is less.
You can also 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.
Evidence of Insurability (proof of good health) is required when:
View the Basic Life Insurance Summary (good through 12-31-24)
View the Supplemental Life Insurance Summary (good through 12-31-24)
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding life insurance.
Do I have to pay for this benefit?
Stanford pays the entire cost of the basic life insurance benefit for you. However, if you are on an approved unpaid leave of absence, you may have to pay for a portion of the cost.
Why does this benefit only go up to $50,000?
Because Stanford pays for the basic life insurance benefit, the maximum is limited to one times your annual salary up to $50,000 in order to avoid imputed income being charged to you. Imputed income increases your taxes.
If I do not enroll in benefits, do I get any life insurance?
Yes. You will be automatically enrolled in basic life insurance for one times your annual salary up to a $50,000 maximum.
If I become terminally ill, can I use part of this benefit while I am still alive?
Yes. You can access a portion of this benefit while you are still alive. This will reduce the amount paid at the time of your death. For example, if you access $50,000 while you are alive, the amount paid to your beneficiary when you die will be reduced by $50,000.
What happens to my life insurance if I go on an unpaid leave of absence?
You will receive information from Stanford’s direct pay administrator, Vita Administration Company, on how to either continue or cancel your coverage. If you continue coverage, you are responsible for the paying the full cost to Vita Administration Company. Be aware, if you do not pay within 38 days of the due date, your coverage will be canceled. If you cancel your supplemental life insurance you can re-elect it when you return to active status from your unpaid leave, but you will be required to go through the Evidence Of Insurability (EOI) process and answer a health questionnaire before your life insurance election is approved.
Can I continue life insurance coverage after my employment ends?
Basic life insurance coverage ends when your employment ends at Stanford, however, you may be able to continue your supplemental life insurance coverage. To learn more, call the University HR Service Team at 650-736-2985.
Can I continue supplemental life coverage when my employment ends?
You will receive information from Prudential on how to either continue or cancel your coverage. If you continue your coverage, you are responsible for paying the full cost to Prudential. Remember, if you fail to pay within 38 days of the due date your coverage will be canceled. If you cancel your supplemental life insurance you can re-elect it when you return to active status from your unpaid leave, but you will be required to go through the Evidence Of Insurability (EOI) process and answer a health questionnaire before your life insurance election is approved.
What is a beneficiary and how do I name one?
Your beneficiary is the person to whom your life insurance benefits are paid in the event of your death. You can have more than one beneficiary at a time. When you log in to enroll for benefits you are asked to complete the beneficiary designation form. Be sure to print a copy for your records.
What is imputed income?
Imputed Income is the estimated value of Stanford's financial contribution towards health insurance coverage (medical, dental, vision, and accidental death and dismemberment) for registered domestic partners. It must be reported as taxable wages earned and as such, the value of their coverages are exempt from State taxes. However, because Federal tax rules do not recognize domestic partners, the cost of the coverage is not tax protected and an imputed income tax is calculated on the cost of the coverage for the non-employee.
The imputed income rates are calculated based on the unadjusted rates established for each medical plan for Stanford University. These unadjusted rates represent the best estimate by our actuaries for the plan costs, which are used as the basis for the fair market value of the health care coverage extended to the employee’s domestic partner and/or domestic partners’ children.
The rates shown on the Stanford website as the “total cost” represent the risk-adjusted rates and do not reflect the actual cost of the plan. When Stanford calculates the plan rates that we charge employees we follow our managed competition philosophy. This means we do a rate adjustment based on the health demographics of a plan when compared to others to spread the risk evenly across all plans (i.e. a plan with a sicker population would see the rates we charge reduced as compared to the "actual" cost and a plan with a healthier population would see the rates we charge go up as compared to "actual" cost). Our university subsidy is also based upon the cost of the lowest cost plan. However, for purposes of calculating imputed income we are required by the IRS to base it on the actual plan values which is why the two numbers will not be comparable to each other. To ultimately determine the imputed income amount you can look on your final paystub of the year under DOM-YTD. If you have any trouble finding this, Payroll may be able to assist.
Who is my beneficiary if I do not complete the Beneficiary Designation Form?
If you die without naming a beneficiary, your benefit will be paid to a relative or your estate. Prudential follows a standard procedure to determine the payee.