Faculty and Staff Open Enrollment Benefits Overview

  2024 Open Enrollment Period: October 9 - 27, 2023


Dear George Washington University Community,

Welcome to the 2024 Benefits Open Enrollment season! Open Enrollment begins on Monday, October 9, 2023, and closes at 8 p.m. (ET) on Friday, October 27, 2023.

Open Enrollment provides an annual opportunity to reflect upon your current benefit elections and make any needed changes for the upcoming 2024 calendar year, including adding or removing eligible dependents. Any changes that you make to your health and welfare plans must be completed during the 2024 Open Enrollment period*, with most changes going into effect on January 1, 2024.

If you choose not to take action, your existing coverage options from 2023 will roll over into 2024, with the exception of the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) and Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) options, which the IRS requires you to actively re-enroll for each year.

Open Enrollment Fests

This year’s Open Enrollment period will offer both in-person and virtual opportunities for support. We invite you to join us for our newly imagined OE Fest experience featuring an in-person scavenger hunt with games and activities ranging from a dental pop-up clinic to a photo booth, wellness trivia, yoga class and more! You can also stop by the Fests to speak directly with GW benefit plan providers and receive assistance with the enrollment process. During our virtual week, we will offer live webinars led by our benefits’ vendor partners to provide details about the 2024 benefit programs as well as tools and resources available. Benefits’ vendor partners will also continue to hold 1:1 appointments throughout Open Enrollment, providing opportunities to get personalized support. Please mark your calendar and be on the lookout for chances to win exciting prizes and swag this Open Enrollment season.

Our Benefits Call Center and our team are always here to help you along the way.

Be well,
GW Benefits


*Changes requested outside of Open Enrollment must be accompanied by a Qualified Life Event.


Online Enrollment via the new GW Benefits Enrollment System
During the Open Enrollment season, employees will elect benefits through the GW benefits enrollment system, which has single sign-on capability. When you are logged into your GWcomputer with your UserID and password, you will automatically be able to enter the enrollment system to elect and/or make changes to benefits for 2024. When logging in to the enrollment system from a non-GW computer, you will be required to enter your GWID and DOB (MMDDYYYY).

Benefits Call Center
The Benefits Call Center is here to support you as you review your benefit elections and make your Open Enrollment decisions. As you elect benefits via the GW benefits enrollment system, benefits counselors are available to help answer questions along the way. The service is available M - F, 8:00 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET. Please have your GWID available.

On the Go? Download the mobile app, enter our company code GWbenefitscenter, along with your GWID and password (date of birth in MMDDYYYY format) and take your GW benefits with you wherever you go.

We are Here to Help
Email any questions to [email protected]. Or, call the Benefits Call Center at (833) 698–0324. Follow @gw_benefits on X (formerly Twitter) for the latest Open Enrollment information, updates, and reminders.


   Reminder: Give your address a checkup! 

Each year, take some time to review and confirm your Campus, Check & W-4 and Work Location* addresses in GWeb to ensure you receive timely information. Log in to GWeb at banweb.gwu.edu and access the Employee Information tab to confirm and/or update your address information.

*Work Location is defined as the physical location where you are working more than 50% of your time.


Benefits Overview

It is important to prioritize your health and well-being goals. Open Enrollment 2024 provides the opportunity for you to reevaluate your current workplace benefits and make intentional choices for the year ahead that will allow you to maximize your health and well-being.

Please take a moment to review this summary of what’s new, what’s changing and what’s staying the same for the upcoming year. Join us for a virtual Coffee Chat where we will provide an overview of your 2024 benefit offerings including our new vendor partners and benefit programs, introduce our re-imagined Open Enrollment Guide, highlight important features of the GW Benefits enrollment system and recap well-being programs available to you and your family.



What’s New for 2024

Explore the new voluntary benefit programs available to Faculty and Staff as well as the new prescription program for specialty medications in the GW HSP.




NEW! Critical Illness – Voya

The selection of voluntary benefits will expand with the addition of Voya’s critical illness insurance beginning January 1, 2024. Plan participants who elect the insurance coverage will be provided a lump-sum payment if there is diagnosis of an unexpected covered medical condition for you or an eligible family member. Claims and documentation of the medical condition that meet the policy and certificate requirements will need to be provided directly to Voya. 

Critical Illness insurance will complement, not replace your medical coverage, and will be paid directly to you in addition to GW’s medical and disability benefits (if eligible and enrolled). You select your coverage amount from $10,000 or $20,000. Spouse/Domestic Partner coverage is also available in an amount equal to the selected employee benefit. Dependent coverage is available at 50% of the selected employee benefit. Additionally, covered plan participants receive an annual wellness benefit of $50 for completing an eligible health screening test. For more information on cost and coverage visit the the Voya Critical Illness brochure.

Enroll* online via the GW benefits enrollment system during 2024 Open Enrollment!

*Please Note: Enrollment is restricted to open enrollment, new hire, and life events.


NEW! Hospital Indemnity - Voya

Hospital Indemnity administered by Voya is another new addition to the GW voluntary benefit options beginning January 1, 2024. With this insurance, you’ll receive a fixed daily benefit if you or an eligible family member have a covered stay in a hospital, intensive care unit, or rehabilitation facility that occurs after your coverage effective date. Benefit amounts are dependent on the type of facility and number of days of confinement. Claims and documentation that meet the policy and certificate requirements will need to be provided directly to Voya. No medical questions or tests are required for coverage.

Hospital Indemnity insurance is not health insurance and doesn’t replace your medical coverage; instead, it complements it. The benefit payments go directly to you to be used however you’d like rather than straight towards medical bills and treatments you may need. Choose this supplemental health insurance for added protection and to get yourself back on track financially should a covered hospitalization occur. For more information on cost and coverage visit Voya Hospital Indemnity brochure.

Enroll* online via the GW benefits enrollment system during 2024 Open Enrollment!

*Please Note: Enrollment is restricted to open enrollment, new hire, and life events.


New! PrudentRx via the GW HSP Pharmacy Benefit

Beginning in January, PrudentRx for specialty medications will be included in the GW HSP Pharmacy Benefit (Note: This program is currently included in the GW PPO Pharmacy Benefit.) This program is designed to lower your out-of-pocket costs by facilitating enrollment in drug manufacturers discount copay cards/assistance programs. When enrolled in PrudentRx, once you’ve met your combined deductible, your out-of-pocket cost will be $0* for medications included on the PrudentRx exclusive specialty drug list.

If you opt out, you will be responsible for the 30% coinsurance. Payments made by you for a medication that does not qualify as an essential health benefit, will not count toward your out-of-pocket maximum. 

*HSP participants must meet their combined medical/prescription deductible before the out-of-pocket cost will be $0.

Once enrolled in the GW HSP plan, you will be contacted via phone to enroll in PrudentRx at the time of your first specialty fill for plan year 2024. You must complete any additional enrollment steps with PrudentRx to receive the $0 benefit when applicable. Note: HSP participants must meet their combined medical/prescription deductible before the out-of-pocket cost will be $0.

IMPORTANT: Members must enroll in the PrudentRx program to access $0 copay benefits. Formulary exclusions will supersede this list.

If a participant’s specialty medication is not on the PrudentRx list, then the brand formulary or brand non-formulary plan design will apply.

For additional information, visit https://hr.gwu.edu/prudent.




2024 Medical Contribution Overview

For the 2024 Plan year, participating full-time faculty and staff will experience an increase of 5.8% in their contributions (across all salary bands and plans*).

Approximately 73% of full-time medical plan participants will see an average increase of less than $20 per month. The monthly employee contribution increase will range from approximately $2 to about $48, depending on your plan, coverage level and salary band.

Below are three examples of the monthly medical contribution increase for a full-time benefits-eligible employee with a salary between $50k and $90k. Please note: Contribution details for all pay frequencies will soon be available in the Open Enrollment Guide.

  • If the employee enrolls in the GW HSP or PPO for individual coverage, the medical contribution increase will be about $5 or $7 per month, respectively, for 2024.
  • If the employee enrolls in the GW HSP with family coverage, the medical contribution increase will be about $18 per month for 2024.
  • If the employee enrolls in the GW PPO with family coverage, the medical contribution increase will be about $34 per month for 2024.

*Please note: There are no changes to the current salary bands and both the GW PPO and GW Health Savings Plan (HSP) will continue to be offered. UnitedHealthcare will continue to be the medical benefits administrator for both plans.

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  Reminder: MFA TIER
The GW PPO and HSP medical plans include a separate benefit coverage tier for Medical Faculty Associates (MFA). When GW medical plan participants see an MFA provider*, they receive lower co-payments and lower employee coinsurance, helping your medical expense dollars go further because a greater portion of your care will be covered by the Plan.

GW employees also have a dedicated phone number to schedule appointments at: 202-677-6000.

*The MFA tier applies to professional charges by MFA providers, MFA behavioral health providers continue to be out of-network.


  Tip: Health Advocate

Receive personalized, prompt, and reliable expert help in navigating the healthcare maze, while saving time and money, with Health Advocate. Need assistance understanding your medical bills, or looking for more information about treatment options? Health Advocate can help you and your family members at no cost. For details, visit hr.gwu.edu/health-advocate.



2024 Vision Contribution Overview

For the 2024 Plan year, participating full-time faculty and staff will experience an increase of 1.5% in their contributions across all plans and coverage tiers. The monthly employee contribution dollar increases will be less than $1 for all plans and coverage tiers.

*Please note: Both the Basic and Enhanced vision plans offered through United Healthcare will continue to be offered. There will be no changes in coverage.

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Your UHC Vision plan includes express vision exams (some state restrictions apply), a broad pediatric vision benefit, expanded benefits for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and a hearing discount.



2024 Dental Contribution Overview

Dental contributions will increase in 2024 across all three dental plan options and each coverage tier by approximately 4%. The monthly employee contribution will increase between $2 and $6, depending on your plan and coverage level.

*Please note: The DMO, High PPO and Low PPO plans offered through Aetna will continue to be offered. There will be no changes in coverage.

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  Tip: Check out Headspace

Headspace, the mindfulness app, is available at no cost for benefits-eligible faculty and staff. The app includes guided meditations, sleep programs, exercises and more. Kids programs include themes such as calm, kindness, and bedtime.

IRS Account Based Plan Updates

New Vendor: Bank of America for Tax Advantaged Accounts

Bank of America will replace PayFlex for Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Account, Pre-Tax Parking Account.

Beginning January 1, 2024, Bank of America will be GW’s vendor partner for the healthcare FSA (HCFSA), dependent day care FSA (DCFSA), Health Spending Account (HSA) and Pre-Tax Parking programs. Bank of America offers enhanced service (e.g. dedicated customer service phone line) and technology, along with reduced fees including no fees for HSA investment accounts.  We invite you to join our upcoming infosession with Bank of America to learn more! Details regarding dates/times will be forthcoming on our Open Enrollment events calendar.


  • 2023 FSA participants: PayFlex will continue to administer the 2023 HCFSA and DCFSA programs through the end of the claim run-out periods.
    • HCFSA: Submit claims incurred January 1, 2023 - March 15, 2024 to PayFlex no later than April 30, 2024.
    • DCFSA: Submit claims incurred January 1 - December 31, 2023 to PayFlex no later than April 30, 2024.
  • 2023 Pre-Tax Parking Account participants: PayFlex will continue to administer the 2023 Pre-Tax Parking program through December 31, 2023.
  • 2023 HSA participants – ACTION NEEDED: In the coming months you will have the opportunity to select if you wish to keep your HSA balance with PayFlex or have this balance transferred to Bank of America. More information will be forthcoming to help navigate this process.

  Tip: Take Advantage of an FSA or HSA

With an FSA or HSA, you can set aside pre-tax dollars from your paychecks for eligible healthcare expenses. These accounts can help you cover expected (and unexpected) health expenses while lowering your taxable income, which can save you money.



2024 Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) Contribution Limits

  • Annual maximum for the Health Care FSA will increase by $200 up to $3,050.
  • Annual maximum for the Dependent Day Care FSA will remain the same at $5,000 (or $2,500 if you and your spouse file separate tax returns).

2024 Health Savings Account (HSA) Contribution Limits

(combined employee + GW contribution)

  • For those with individual Health Savings Plan (HSP) coverage, the annual maximum for the HSA will increase by $300, from $3,850 to $4,150.
  • For those with family HSP coverage, the annual maximum for the HSA will increase by $550, from $7,750 to $8,300.
  • GW’s HSA matching contribution continues: GW will match dollar for dollar up to $600 for individuals who contribute at least $600, and up to $1,200 for those covering dependents who contribute at least $1,200.

Optional Life Insurance

During Open Enrollment, employees who have optional employee life insurance coverage below $250K, or are not yet enrolled, can elect up to an additional $250K of coverage without EOI.

Employees with $250K or more in optional employee life insurance can increase their coverage up to the new GI of $500K without EOI. Here are a couple of examples:

  • If you are currently enrolled with $100K, you can elect up to $350K without EOI
  • If you are currently enrolled with $350K, you can elect up to $500K without EOI

Important: Anyone previously declined for coverage on the basis of EOI must submit EOI for any increase.

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What's Staying the Same for 2024?



Health & Well-Being Benefits

  • Castlight
  • Disability Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with Talkspace
  • Family Care Benefits from Bright Horizons
  • Group Home and Auto Insurance
  • Health Advocate
  • Headspace
  • Legal Benefit
  • Optional Employee and Spouse Life Insurance
  • SimpleTherapy

Medical Plan Features / Programs

  • Centers of Excellence
  • Freestanding Imaging and Labs Preferred Network
  • Virtual Visits
  • GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) Benefit Coverage Tier on the PPO and HSP Medical Plans

Pharmacy Benefit Features

  • PrudentRx via the GW PPO Pharmacy Benefit
  • Mandatory Maintenance Choice - All Access with Opt Out
  • Diabetes Management Program



  Tip: Try Castlight - Cost. Quality. Informed Decisions.

Castlight is a free tool for GW medical plan participants and their adult dependents covered under a university medical plan.

  • Find top-rated in-network providers in your area
  • Get cost estimates before you go
  • Consider site of care choices (virtual care vs in-person, PCP, urgent care, ER)
  • Track your medical claims and healthcare spend

Information at your fingertips – Register today to access your digital ID card, conduct provider and service searches and more!


Tools, Information, and Services Available to You

The annual Open Enrollment period is a time of opportunity. As you review the 2024 benefit programs and changes, you are welcome to include your family in the planning process, if applicable.

Several resources and information sessions are made available to you during the weeks leading up to and during Open Enrollment. We encourage you to attend our open enrollment events, including in-person fests* and virtual webinars, and to make a 1:1 appointment to ask questions as you choose plan(s) and benefits that are the best fit for you and your family.