What’s New for 2021

What You Need to Know for 2021

  1. Affordable employee contributions. The University strives to keep benefit costs affordable and 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.
  2. Expanded breast cancer screening. All in-network screenings for breast cancer, including preventive and diagnostic screenings, will be covered in full.
  3. 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.
  4. Medical plan deductibles increase. The in-network deductibles for SUBlue and SUOrange will increase by $50, the first routine increase in three years.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Download or View: What You Need to Know for 2021 [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.