Post Docs 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 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.

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. 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 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 programs available to postdocs in 2024!



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. 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). For more information on cost and coverage review 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 review the 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! Group Legal – Legal Resources

Beginning, January 1, 2024, GW will offer a group legal program, provided by the Legal Resources® Plan, which is designed to give you access to a nationwide network of over 11,000 professional attorneys and provide protection against high legal fees. If you enroll in this benefit, you, your spouse/domestic partner and your eligible dependent children will have access to a broad range of legal services covered under the monthly fee of $18. Many legal matters like will preparation, traffic violations, divorce/legal separation, review of personal legal documents, real estate (buying/selling a home) are covered at 100%.  Legal matters not fully covered (e.g. child support, personal injury, immigration, bankruptcy, contested family law issues) will be at a 25% attorney fee discount, with one hour of free consultation. Please Note: You may not cancel your membership in the plan until the annual open enrollment following 12 months of participation. Mid-plan year qualifying life event changes are not permitted for both enrollment and coverage termination.  

For more information and to identify network providers on the Legal Resources Plan, visit


  Tip: Check out Headspace

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



What’s Changing for 2024

Please take a moment to review this summary of what’s changing  for the upcoming year including medical and dental contributions. 




2024 Medical Contribution Overview

For the 2024 Plan year, participating Postdocs will experience an increase of 5.3% in their contributions. The monthly full-time postdoc contribution increase will range from $3 to about $14, depending on your coverage level.

*Please note: UnitedHealthcare will continue to be the medical insurance provider for the GW Postdoc PPO. OptumRx will continue to be the prescription benefit provider. There will be no changes to plan design (e.g. deductibles, co-pays, etc.) or coverage.

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New Medical Plan Wellness Program Offering!

Good news — your health plan comes with a new way to earn up to $300 and you can use it however you want. UnitedHealthcare Rewards is included in your health plan at no additional cost. Personalize your experience by selecting activities that are right for you — and look for new ways of earning rewards to be added throughout the year. Eligible members can earn dollars for taking small steps towards creating a healthier lifestyle. Members can choose from a variety of reward activities including: sleep tracking, fitness tracking, completing biometrics and / or a health survey, going paperless and more. Get started by signing into and selecting UHC Rewards.


  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



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 full-time postdoc contributions 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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  Did you know?

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.



What's Staying the Same for 2024

The programs below will continue for 2024 with no changes to costs, discounts or plan designs (as applicable). 


Health & Well-Being Benefits

  • Castlight

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with Talkspace

  • Family Care Benefits from Bright Horizons

  • Group Home and Auto Insurance

  • Health Advocate

  • Headspace

  • SimpleTherapy

  • Capital Bikeshare

  • Quit for Life



  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

Get 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 Postdoc Coffee Chat to ask questions as you choose plan(s) and benefits that are the best fit for you and your family.