Open Enrollment and 2018 Benefits Plan Design Information Now Available

Open Enrollment, the annual period when University faculty, staff and other eligible individuals make their benefit choices for the coming year, begins Monday, Oct. 30, and continues through Friday, Nov. 10. This is the only time of year when participants may elect or change coverage for many benefits, unless they experience a qualifying life event.

As previously announced, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has been selected to administer the medical plans for Syracuse University, effective Jan. 1, 2018. As an Upstate New York-based provider with offices in DeWitt, Excellus was selected as part of a comprehensive benefits review process to ensure employees and retirees have access to an excellent set of options from the highest quality plans.

In an Oct. 2 email to the campus community, Andrew R. Gordon, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, shared information and updates about the Syracuse University benefits package for 2018. Some important highlights include the following:

  • There will be no increase in employee per-paycheck contributions for any University benefit plans for 2018.
  • Members enrolled in SUBlue and SUOrange will not be required to obtain referrals to see in-network providers.
  • Copays for certain medical services will increase by $10. This is the first such increase in four years. An annual in-network deductible will be applied to SUBlue and SUOrange.
  • All copays and deductibles are listed on the University’s Open Enrollment website, including detailed information provided in our frequently asked questions resource guide.
  • There will be no changes to existing deductibles or coinsurance for SUPro. SUPro has no referral requirement.
  • OptumRx will continue to provide prescription drug coverage.
  • The University’s dental and vision plans will have no copayment, coinsurance or contribution increases. In these plans, 2018 is the second year of a two-year commitment, so the only change participants can make is to enroll or remove dependents from the plan, unless they experience a qualifying life event.

Employee contributions for dependent life, supplemental life and AD&D, and voluntary long-term disability insurance will have no rate increases or plan changes. Free will preparation services are included when employees enroll in supplemental life insurance.

Information sessions and office hours are available during Open Enrollment. In addition, on-campus office hours will be held twice per week this fall and into 2018 by an experienced representative from Excellus to assist members with any personal transition questions. All of the relevant information will be posted online at as it becomes available.

Employees who have any immediate questions about Syracuse University benefits can contact the HR Service Center by phone at 315.443.4042 or by email at