2020 Benefits Preview for Faculty and Staff

Open enrollment runs Oct. 7-25, and the university has released highlights, with more details coming soon.

Benefits Open Enrollment 2020
September 17, 2019

Faculty and staff will have the opportunity to change benefits elections during the annual open enrollment period, which this year runs from Oct. 7 through Oct. 25. Most changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

All benefits-eligible faculty and staff recently received information on 2020 benefits by email. The information also is available online.

Open enrollment offers faculty and staff the chance to explore the many health and welfare benefits that GW offers, including changes and enhancements to benefits programs available for 2020. It is the annual opportunity to make changes to benefits to ensure they continue to support faculty and staff members’ needs and goals for the upcoming year.

The open enrollment period will end at 8 p.m. on Oct. 25.

Health care

The university will continue to offer the GW PPO and the GW Health Savings Plan (HSP), administered by UnitedHealthcare, and there are no changes to salary bands for medical plan contributions.

In an effort to offset increases in faculty and staff medical plan contributions, the university made an additional investment in its overall subsidy. Participating faculty and staff will experience a 2 percent increase in their contributions, which ranges from $1 to $16 per month depending on plan, coverage tier and salary band. More than 65 percent of medical plan participants will see an increase of fewer than $5 per month.

For HSP participants, GW will continue to match up to $600 for individuals who contribute at least $600 to a health savings account (HSA), and up to $1,200 for those covering dependents who contribute at least $1,200. The in-network family out-of-pocket maximum for the HSP will increase by $100, from $7,900 to $8,000.

HSA annual maximum contributions as well as flexible spending account (FSA) limits will both increase for 2020. The annual maximum for dependent day care remains the same.

New medical benefits

The in-network infertility benefit covered under the GW PPO medical plan will be expanded to become a fertility benefit. This enhancement removes the previous requirement that participants meet the medical definition of infertility and includes additional benefits not previously covered.

The gender dysphoria benefit covered under both the GW PPO and GW HSP medical plans will be enhanced to now include coverage for associated procedures for individuals with a gender dysphoria diagnosis.

Visit the 2020 Open Enrollment webpage to find more information about the enhancements made to these two benefits.

Dental and vision

GW will continue to offer three Aetna dental plans—a DMO as well as high and low PPOs—with no changes in premiums or benefits.

The basic and enhanced vision plans through UnitedHealthcare will remain the same, with no changes in plan coverage or premiums.

Other highlights for 2020

There will no longer be a 5x benefits salary cap on optional employee life insurance or optional employee accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance through Lincoln Financial.  Employees may continue to elect up to $750,000 in $10,000 increments. Evidence of insurability requirements still apply.

GW will continue to offer complimentary access to Castlight, the integrated web and mobile platform that helps participants maximize medical plan benefits and reduce spending.

The university also will continue coverage of CVS Health’s Transform Diabetes Care with Livongo under the pharmacy benefit to improve health outcomes and lower participant pharmacy costs.

Real Appeal, a weight-loss program available under GW’s health plans, will continue, helping participants make small changes for long-term results. The no-cost program is designed to support members with a body mass index of 23 or higher.

Voluntary benefits, including pet insurance through Nationwide, identity theft protection through InfoArmor and access to legal support through Legal Resources, also are still available.

Online enrollment is now easier

During this year’s open enrollment season, employees will experience a simpler way to log on to EasyEnroll to elect or make changes to benefits. Single sign-on will now be used in place of last year’s multi-step authentication process.

More information

In the coming weeks, more information about 2020 benefits will become available, including a comprehensive guide with details of 2020 benefits offerings and contributions.

GW Benefits also will host a series of seminars and information sessions in the weeks leading up to open enrollment, including “How to Pick a Medical Plan” and general information sessions.

The annual Open Enrollment Fairs, which include flu shot clinics, will be held throughout October at both the Foggy Bottom and Virginia Science and Technology campuses.

Faculty and staff will receive more information about these resources and events as it is available.


For questions in advance of the 2020 open enrollment period, contact the Benefits Call Center at 1-888-4GWUBEN (449-8236), visit the Benefits website or send an email. Faculty and staff can also find resources on the GWell blog and follow GW Benefits on Twitter.

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