Syracuse University strives to offer a comprehensive benefits program that provides flexibility and choice to meet the diverse needs of our employees. Unless you experience a qualifying life event in 2021, Open Enrollment is your one opportunity to review your current benefits, consider all of your options and decide which benefits you wish to select for the coming year. Various opportunities will be available to connect with HR Shared Services, get the information you need and have your questions answered. If you would like to make changes to your benefits for 2021, be sure to complete your enrollment online via MySlice, Nov. 2-13.

  1. Affordable employee contributions. The University strives to keep benefit costs affordable and this year will continue to hold employee health plan contribution increases below national health trends. As a reminder, the University provides a subsidy to assist approved employees with lowering their health plan contributions. Applications for reduced health plan contributions are due by Dec. 4.

Additionally, vision rates will decrease and there will be no rate increase for other employee benefit contributions, including dental, life, accidental death & dismemberment and long term disability insurance.

  1. Expanded breast cancer screening. All in-network screenings for breast cancer, including preventive and diagnostic screenings, will be covered in full.
  2. Flexibility in accessing health care. In response to the global health emergency, telemedicine and telehealth coverage through MDLIVE was introduced to ensure continued access to care. In most cases, your member cost is equal to the amount you would pay for an in-person office visit. In addition, as previously announced, COVID-19 testing is covered in full for enrolled participants.
  3. Medical plan deductibles increase. The in-network deductibles for SUBlue and SUOrange will increase by $50, the first routine increase in three years.
  4. Enrollment changes allowed for dental and vision coverage. A new two-year commitment cycle for the University’s dental and vision plans will start Jan. 1, 2021. Dental and vision benefits will continue to be administered by Delta Dental and VSP Vision.
  5. Action required for Flexible Spending Account (FSA) enrollment. FSA contributions will not continue into 2021 unless you take action during Open Enrollment. And, just for calendar year 2020, you are able to change your FSA elections mid-year without experiencing a qualified change.
    Take note of these key amounts:

    • $550–the amount of 2020 unused Health Care FSA funds that you can roll over into 2021
    • $2,750*–the maximum annual contribution amount for a Health Care FSA (not including up to $550 in rollover funds)
    • $5,000–the annual maximum household contribution for a Dependent Care FSA to pay for child care and adult dependent expenses

*Amount subject to change pending IRS regulation.

  1. Enhanced caregiving resources. The University provides a variety of support to assist with child and dependent care needs. Employees now have access to a free premium membership to the caregiving website Care.com. In addition, the University will continue to provide a subsidy in 2020 and 2021 to assist approved employees with dependent care expenses. Applications for the Dependent Care Subsidy Program will be accepted through Dec. 4.
  2. Increase your life insurance or enroll in the long term disability plan. If you enroll in or increase your life and long term disability insurance, don’t forget to complete MetLife’s Statement of Health  or The Standard’s Medical History Statement and send them directly to the vendor for potential approval.
  3. Add or change your dependent(s). Review the Benefits Eligibility Policy for more information about eligible dependents under the University’s benefit program. Remember, when you add a spouse, partner or child to your coverage, you must provide supporting documentation to HR Shared Services to confirm their eligibility.
  4. HR Shared Services is here to help. Various opportunities are available to help you get your questions answered. Attend a virtual information session or check out the 24/7 on-demand webinar. HR Shared Services is available at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu to answer your personal questions or, if preferred, to schedule a virtual visit.

Take action now! Review the information within this website for everything you need to know about 2021 benefits. When you’re ready to enroll, log in to MySlice, make your elections and click FINISH to submit.

There are several ways to connect with resources that will enable you to make the best decisions for you and your loved ones. Please contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu with any questions or requests for accommodations.

  • View the 24/7 on-demand, recorded webinar to learn everything you need to know about 2021 benefit offerings.
  • Attend a live information session to learn about your 2021 benefits.
  • HR Shared Services is available at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu to answer your personal questions. Virtual appointments are available as well.
  • Call our dedicated Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) customer service center at 800.493.0318 (TTY: 800.662.1220) if you need additional assistance regarding your personal medical plan questions. Excellus BCBS has expanded hours of operation Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. For prescription drug questions, contact OptumRx member services at 866.854.2945 (TTY: 711). They are available to assist you 24/7.

The University offers benefits-eligible employees three health plan options: SUBlue, SUOrange and SUPro. Please visit the health plan information webpage for additional information on member cost sharing and plan design.

All three options include medical coverage administered by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) and prescription drug coverage through OptumRx. In general, the same services are covered under all three plans, but with a different deductible and copay/coinsurance structure. For 2021, there will be no increases in copays or coinsurance for SUBlue, SUOrange or SUPro. There will be a routine increase to the in-network deductibles for SUBlue and SUOrange of $50 for both individual and family coverage.

Expanded Health Plan Coverage

The University’s health plan will change in the following ways, subject to applicable member cost sharing:

  • The University has previously covered all in-network preventive mammograms in full. As of Jan. 1, 2021, full coverage will be expanded to include all in-network preventive and diagnostic breast cancer screenings.
  • COVID-19 testing will continue to be covered in full to ensure health plan members have access through the health plan.
  • In response to the global health emergency, telemedicine and telehealth coverage was introduced to ensure members had access to care. These services will continue to be provided, including both provider-facilitated telemedicine coverage as well as telehealth through MDLIVE, at the equivalent cost sharing associated with in-person visits.
  • 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.

2021 Monthly Health Plan Contributions

The following rates apply to full-time, benefits-eligible faculty and staff. Contributions are based on the 12-month calendar year. The actual deduction from your paycheck depends on your deduction cycle.

Schedule ASUBlueSUOrangeSUPro
Employee Only$147.88$143.58$134.87
Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner$325.33$315.87$296.70
Employee + Child(ren)$285.41$277.10$260.29
Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner + Child(ren)$462.86$449.39$422.13

Schedule BSUBlueSUOrangeSUPro
Employee Only$129.54$125.77$118.14
Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner$284.99$276.70$259.91
Employee + Child(ren)$250.02$242.74$228.01
Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner + Child(ren)$405.47$393.67$369.78

Qualifying for Reduced Employee Contributions Under the Health Plan

Depending on your household income and size, you may be eligible for lower health plan contributions under Schedule B. If you think you may qualify, complete the application by Dec. 4. 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 webpage.

Household SizeHousehold Income
1Less than $38,000
2Less than $52,000
3Less than $65,000
4 and upLess than $79,000

This is the year to make changes to your dental and vision coverage—a two-year commitment—unless you have a qualifying life event. The choices you make during this Open Enrollment will remain in effect through the end of 2022. If you do not take action by the Nov. 13 deadline, your current elections will remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2022. Check out our online resources to ensure you’re using your dental and vision benefits to the fullest.

2021 and 2022 Dental and Vision Plan: Employee Monthly Contributions
Preventive DentalPreventive Dental and VisionComp. DentalComp. Dental and Vision
Employee Only$8.32$13.33$30.08$35.09
Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner$21.38$31.40$70.51$80.53
Employee + Child(ren)$24.25$35.13$69.64$80.52
Employee + Spouse/Domestic Partner + Child(ren)$40.50$57.88$109.04$126.42

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
How much can you contribute? $2,750* per employee $5,000 per household
What if you don't claim the full amount? Rollover up to $550 to the next year (lose any amount over $550 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 on the HealthEquity/WageWorks website or on the FSA webpage.

Just for the current calendar year, 2020, if you want to make a change to your existing Health Care or Dependent Care FSA election, you can do so by contacting HR Shared Services at hrservice@syr.edu.

In support of the changing needs of families, the University provides the following resources:

  • Care.com: Eligible faculty and staff now have access to a free premium membership for Care.com where they can get help finding child care providers, tutors, elder caregivers, pet sitters, house cleaners and more through the world’s largest network of caregivers.
  • The Dependent Care Subsidy Program provides assistance to households with an annual income of less than $150,000. If approved, the subsidy amount listed below is per dependent, with an annual maximum benefit of $3,000.
    • You may qualify for an annual tax-free dependent care subsidy of $1,500 for children under age 6, $750 for children ages 6 through 12 or $750 for adult or disabled dependents, when provided by qualified caregivers.
    • If approved, the subsidy will be deposited by the University into a Dependent Care FSA on your behalf for use in 2021.
    • Just for 2020, the application process to receive the benefit for use in 2020 was reopened and applications are being accepted through Dec. 4.
    • If you think you may qualify for either the 2020 or 2021 benefit, complete the application by Dec. 4. You will be notified after this date if you are approved. For more information and a copy of the application, visit the Dependent Care Subsidy Program webpage.
  • Additional resources can be found on Human Resources’ WorkLife Benefits and Resources webpage, including Carebridge, the University’s faculty and staff assistance program, which connects faculty and staff with information, resources and referrals for caregiving.

Whether you’re just beginning your career or planning for retirement, the University provides assistance with meeting the financial demands of many of life’s most significant events. Now it is as important as ever to review your assets to ensure a financially secure future.

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.

  • Life Insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D): The University provides you with life insurance and AD&D through MetLife, with options to purchase supplemental coverage for yourself and your family members at favorable group rates. Visit the Life Insurance page or the Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance page 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.
  • 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 information about the policy and how this benefit integrates with the University’s disability programs.
  • Additional Benefits: Find out about Adoption Assistance and Auto and Home Insurance on the additional benefits page.

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 the Benefits Eligibility Policy webpage.
  • Beneficiary designations can be updated through MySlice for your life insurance policy or TIAA 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 contacts, and make any changes.

Once you are ready to enroll, follow these simple steps to make your selections for 2021.

  1. Log in to MySlice. From Nov. 2-13, click on the Open Enrollment icon within MySlice to begin the enrollment process. If you do not know your NetID or password, visit Self-Serv or call 315.443.2677.
  2. Select Your 2021 Benefits. Be sure to maximize your benefits! Don’t forget you can add/change/drop your plan options and dependents, elect an FSA, update your beneficiaries and more.
  3. Click Finish. Be sure to update your selections by clicking FINISH to replace your prior choices. You can update your benefits as often as you like before the deadline of Dec. 13.
  4. Review Your Confirmation Statement. Review the email sent to your syr.edu email account. This will confirm your 2021 plan choices and pre/post tax costs.

For more detailed information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions resource guide. For personal benefit questions, please contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 and we are happy to help.


Every effort has been made to ensure the information 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 within 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.