Syracuse University’s benefit program offers flexibility and choice to meet the diverse needs of our employees. Unless you experience a qualifying life event in 2020, Open Enrollment is your one opportunity to review your current benefits, consider all of your options and decide which benefits you want to elect for the coming year. If you want to make changes to your benefits for 2020, be sure to complete your enrollment online via myslice.syr.edu Nov. 4-15.

Questions about benefits? Come join us! Various sessions are available to fit your needs.

Please contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu with any questions or requests for accessibility and accommodations.

Benefits Open House: Join us at the Benefits Open House on Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Barnes Center at The Arch, MAC Court. You can speak directly with our benefit partners and HR representatives about your 2020 options and have your questions answered in time for Open Enrollment.

Information Sessions: Attend one of our on-campus presentations or view a recorded webinar to learn the ins and outs of our 2020 benefit offerings.

Office Hours: Meet one-on-one with an HR representative for assistance with any questions about enrolling, coverage and how to get the most out of your benefits. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) will also be available with personalized assistance for your medical plan questions. View the dates, times and locations for Office Hours.

Can’t make it to any of these options? HR Shared Services is available 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 315.443.4042, email hrservice@syr.edu or stop in to HR Shared Services, Skytop Office Building, anytime during business hours for assistance.

The University offers benefits-eligible employees three health plan options: SUBlue, SUOrange and SUPro.

All three options include medical coverage administered by Excellus BCBS and prescription drug coverage administered by OptumRx. In general, the same services are covered under all three plans, but with a different deductible and copay/coinsurance structure. For 2020, there will be no increases in deductibles, copays or coinsurance for SUBlue or SUOrange. The only medical service that will experience a cost increase under the SUPro health plan will be partial hospitalization.

Health Plan Changes

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the University’s health plan will change in the following ways, subject to applicable cost share:

  • Infertility coverage will be expanded to include coverage of artificial insemination and prescription drugs with lifetime limits of $20,000.
  • Out-of-network coverage will now be provided under SUBlue for routine vision, routine hearing and chiropractic services.
  • Eligibility for fully covered prostate screenings will be expanded with a broader definition of “high risk.”
  • Partial hospitalization will be reclassified as an outpatient hospitalization rather than inpatient for both in- and out-of-network services. Under SUBlue and SUOrange, the in-network copay for partial hospitalization will be reduced to a $200 copay. Under SUPro, the in-network coinsurance will increase to 20 percent.
  • The definition of the types of services that will be covered at an emergency room will be expanded.
  • OptumRx regularly evaluates and makes changes to the prescription drug formulary and programs that focus on safety and proper usage of certain prescriptions. If there are changes that may impact you, OptumRx will notify you prior to Jan. 1 with additional information.

Schedule A SUBlue SUOrange SUPro
Employee Only $143.57 $139.40 $130.94
Employee + Spouse/ Domestic Partner $315.86 $306.67 $288.06
Employee + Child(ren) $277.10 $269.03 $252.71
Employee + Spouse/ Domestic Partner + Child(ren) $449.38 $436.30 $409.83
Schedule B
Employee Only $125.77 $122.11 $114.70
Employee + Spouse/ Domestic Partner $276.69 $268.64 $252.34
Employee + Child(ren) $242.74 $235.67 $221.37
Employee + Spouse/ Domestic Partner + Child(ren) $393.66 $382.20 $359.01

Contributions listed are based on the 12-month calendar year. The actual deduction from your paycheck depends on your deduction cycle.

Depending on your household income and size (see the chart below), you may be eligible for lower health plan contributions under Schedule B. If you think you may qualify, complete the application by Dec. 6, 2019. You will be notified after this date if your application is approved.

You must apply each year to receive a reduced contribution. For more information and a copy of the application, visit the Schedule B website.

2020 Eligibility Guidelines for Schedule B Contributions
Household Size Household Income
1 Less than $37,000
2 Less than $51,000
3 Less than $64,000
4 and up Less than $77,000

If you expect to have health care or dependent care expenses next year, setting aside money in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a great way to save on taxes—whether you enroll in the University’s health plans or have other coverage.

Which type of FSA do you need?

Health Care FSA Dependent Care FSA
What can you use it for? Copays, coinsurance and deductibles from your health plans; dental and vision expenses; prescriptions and eligible health care products Day care expenses for a child under age 13, or an adult dependent, so you (and your spouse/ partner) can work
How much can you contribute? $2,700* per employee $5,000 per household
What if you don't claim the full amount? Rollover up to $500 to the next year (lose any amount over $500 not claimed by April 30 of the following year) Lose any amount not claimed by April 30 of the following year

*amount subject to change pending IRS regulation

Health Care and Dependent Care FSAs have different rules. Be sure you read and understand which expenses are eligible, when you can access the funds and how to file claims by the deadline. Details, online calculators and tips can be found at WageWorks.com or on the Flexible Spending Account page.

In support of the changing needs of families, the University’s Dependent Care Subsidy Program provides:

  • Financial assistance to households with an annual income of less than $150,000 to help pay expenses for eligible dependent care services provided by qualified caregivers.
  • An annual tax-free dependent care subsidy of $1,500 for children under age 6, $750 for children ages 6 to 13 and $750 for adult or disabled dependents.

The annual cumulative maximum household tax-free subsidy for faculty and staff is $3,000.

If approved, your subsidy will be deposited by the University into a Dependent Care FSA on your behalf for use in 2020. Applicants must apply each year to receive this benefit. If you think you may qualify, complete the application by Dec. 6, 2019. You will be notified after this date if your application is approved. For more information and a copy of the application, visit the Dependent Care Subsidy page.

Whether you’re just beginning your career or planning for retirement, Syracuse University provides assistance with meeting the financial demands of many of life’s most significant events. You can find resources to help plan for a financially secure future on the Financial Wellness website. Be on the lookout for upcoming opportunities to increase your financial know-how and understand the steps toward retirement readiness.

Although you can change your retirement plan contributions at any time, Open Enrollment is a perfect time to evaluate what you’re setting aside for retirement and ensure you’re on track to meet your future goals. You can log in and review your retirement account balance online with TIAA and increase your voluntary contributions through MySlice.

  • Dental and Vision: It is the second year of a two-year commitment for the University’s dental and vision plans. This means that the only change you can make this year is to add or remove dependents from the plan you chose for 2019—unless you have a qualifying life event. Your current elections will remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2020. Check out our online resources to ensure you’re using your dental and vision benefits to the fullest.
  • Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D): Syracuse University provides you with life insurance and AD&D offered through MetLife, with options to purchase supplemental coverage for yourself and your family members at favorable group rates. Visit hr.syr.edu/life or hr.syr.edu/accidental to learn more. A Statement of Health must be approved by MetLife before certain coverage is effective. Enroll or increase your supplemental life coverage to protect your family, and gain a valuable additional benefit: free will preparation [PDF].
  • Voluntary Long Term Disability Insurance: Offered through The Standard Life Insurance Company, this benefit provides supplemental income if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury. Review the information about the policy and how this benefit integrates with the University’s disability programs at hr.syr.edu/ltd.
  • Convenient Prescriptions—Home Delivery and the Barnes Center at The Arch Pharmacy: Home delivery of your prescription medications is available through OptumRx. Check out hr.syr.edu/rx to see if you can save money. Did you know that the Barnes Center at The Arch has a full-service pharmacy with a wide selection of prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, dietary supplements and health and wellness supplies? Visit the Barnes Center website to learn more.
  • Additional Benefits: Find out about Adoption Assistance, Auto and Home Insurance, and the Remitted and Dependent Tuition Benefits at hr.syr.edu/benefits.

Life circumstances can change from year to year, and Open Enrollment is a time to review who is covered under your benefits and add or remove dependents, if necessary. A few reminders:

  • If you add a dependent to any benefit plan, you must provide proof of eligibility (i.e., marriage license, domestic partner documentation, birth or adoption certificate, legal custody paperwork, etc.) Eligible dependent criteria can be reviewed at openenrollment.syr.edu/eligibility.
  • Beneficiary designations can be updated through MySlice (for your life insurance policy) or at tiaa.org/syr (for your retirement account).
  • While you’re in MySlice, review your personal information, such as your address, military status, tax withholding information, direct deposit and emergency contact, and make any changes.

Download a printable summary of this information [PDF]


Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information on this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.