Rice’s open enrollment period for benefit plans is April 8-22 

RiceFest benefits fair is April 2 at the Grand Hall

Lovett Hall drone aerial

Rice University welcomes employees to review and change their benefits plans during the open enrollment period, running April 8-22 this year. Employees will have a chance to learn more about the updated plans and meet vendor representatives during the RiceFest benefits fair from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 2 at the Grand Hall in the Rice Student Center.

Amid an increase in health care costs, Rice is prioritizing employee well-being by enhancing its investment in medical and dental benefits, so most employees will pay less for their insurance. The university will cover an average of 78% of medical insurance premiums, up from 76%, saving employees an average of $222 annually.

Open Enrollment

Additionally, the university will cover 25% of dental insurance premiums for those earning $40,000 or more per year, up from 0%, and will maintain coverage of 50% for those earning less than $40,000 annually. 

The Rice benefits team recommends ways individuals can help minimize the cost of university-sponsored health plans. Among them:

• Get recommended wellness screenings when offered and annual exams from a primary care doctor and follow up as needed.
• Schedule an office visit with a primary care doctor rather than visiting urgent care or an emergency room, if possible.
• Consider lower-cost generic or preferred brand name medications and talk with a doctor about what medicines are individually correct under the pharmacy benefits.

Faculty and staff will complete open enrollment in iO.

• Log into iO and click the Me tab
• Select the Benefits icon
• Select Make Changes
• Follow the guided enrollment process

Employees are encouraged to review all benefits information to determine the best choices for their individual situations.

Employees who do not make changes to their benefits will be automatically re-enrolled in their current plans. However, renewing contributions to a flexible spending or a health savings account is not automatic. Employees must re-enroll each year to set their medical, dependent-care and health savings account contributions.

The university is investing in Rice’s benefits and many employees will find their costs decreasing in 2024-25. The HMO is the only medical plan that has a slight increase, and most employees will receive a new contribution for the dental plan.

The benefits team will offer in-person, one-on-one consultations and Zoom meetings to provide enrollment assistance.

The schedule of in-person consultations is as follows:

• Monday, April 8, 8-9 a.m. and 1-2 p.m., Room 110, Cambridge Office Building
• Wednesday, April 10, 8-9 a.m. and 2-3 p.m., Room 110, Cambridge Office Building
• Monday, April 15, 8-9 a.m. and 1-2 p.m., Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library
• Wednesday, April 17, 9-10 a.m. and 1-2 p.m., Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library
• Friday, April 19, 8-9 a.m. and 1-2 p.m., Room 110, Cambridge Office Building

The Zoom meeting schedule is as follows:

• Tuesday, April 9, 2:30-3:30 p.m. https://riceuniversity.zoom.us/j/92657671563?pwd=SXVOenU0Y3dPeG1ZMHpnZHFjMk9Pdz09#success
• Monday, April 15, 10-11 a.m. https://riceuniversity.zoom.us/j/91929738144?pwd=SFNtc1R1OEVVYnVYK3o0QXpINnFBZz09#success
• Thursday, April 18, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. https://riceuniversity.zoom.us/j/92194060664?pwd=anJBZnlXZXppYkpLR2c3dWhzU1diZz09#success

In addition, the annual RiceFest benefits fair is set for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 2 in the Grand Hall of the Rice Memorial Center. All benefits-eligible faculty and staff are welcome to attend and speak with representatives from the university’s benefits providers. Registration is required to be eligible for door prizes.

The benefits team is also available to answer questions at 713-348-BENE (2363), or employees can create a service request in iO by following these instructions:

1. Log in to iO
2. Go to the “Me” tab
3. Click on “Benefits”
4. Review your current benefits by clicking the “Your Benefits” tile

  • a. You can choose to review your benefits by clicking one of the options under “See Benefits as of Date or Event”
    • 1. Today
    • 2. Open Enrollment
    • 3. Specific date

5. Select “Today” and click on “Rice Employee Benefits”
6. Go back and click on “Make Changes” under your name to start your open enrollment
7. Review your eligible dependents and/or life insurance beneficiaries who are listed under “Family and Emergency Contacts”

  • a. If they are, click “Continue” on the top right corner
  • b. If they are not, you must add them as People to Cover before continuing with enrollment
    • 1. Click the “+Add”
    • 2. Enter all required fields marked with an asterisk (*)
    • 3. Enter gender and date of birth
    • 4. Click “Submit”
      • a. Repeat for any additional dependents and/or life insurance beneficiaries
    • 5. Once all your dependents and/or life insurance beneficiaries are added, you can click “Continue” to start your open enrollment process

8. Review the Authorization and Accept
9. For each benefit that you wish to change, click the “Edit” button with the pencil next to it

  • a. For medical coverage, you must provide responses to every area that is there (i.e. spousal surcharge, tobacco surcharge and your plan option selection, including selection of the dependents you wish to cover)
  • b. Click “Continue”

10. Continue with each benefit that you wish to change
11. Click “Submit” at the top of the page to reach your confirmation page once you have reviewed all your elections

  • a. Click “Print” to put it in the format needed to save as a PDF

12. Congrats! You have completed open enrollment
13. Click the “Home” button to return to the iO home page

For more information, visit Rice Human Resources’ KnOWLedge Café at knowledgecafe.rice.edu/open-enrollment-2024-2025.


Medical plan options for the 2024-25 fiscal year are as follows:

Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

This is a plan with a specific network of doctors and hospitals affiliated with Memorial Hermann with a primary care physician, or PCP, guiding each patient’s care with assistance from a specified team of professionals dedicated to that patient’s overall care.

The Memorial Hermann ACO monthly rates (for 12-month employees) are:

• Employee only $85
• Employee plus spouse/partner $321
• Employee plus child(ren) $280
• Employee plus family $545

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

In this plan, an employee selects a PCP who serves as a “gatekeeper” for all medical services. Under this plan, patients must consult with their PCP before receiving services from most specialist physicians and other service providers, who are all within the HMO network.

The Aetna HMO monthly rates (for 12-month employees) are:

• Employee only $118
• Employee plus spouse/partner $439
• Employee plus child(ren) $382
• Employee plus family $744

Point-of-Service (POS II)

With this plan, patients pay a set amount for in-network care. However, this plan does not require a patient to get a referral from a PCP before seeing a specialist and has an out-of-network option.

The Aetna Choice POS II monthly rates (for 12-month employees) are:

• Employee only $198
• Employee plus spouse/partner $707
• Employee plus child(ren) $620
• Employee plus family $1,190

Consumer-Directed Health Plan (CDHP)

This plan has a higher deductible and coinsurance rather than copayments for medical services. Participants pay the full cost for services and prescriptions up to the deductible, and then the plan kicks in, paying coinsurance (except for pharmacy expenses, which have copays) for medical services until the out-of-pocket maximum is met. This plan allows for the benefits of a health savings account because it is a qualifying high-deductible health plan. Employees can get the triple tax benefit of pre-tax deductions, tax-free growth and tax-free use of the savings for qualified medical, dental and vision expenses.

The Consumer-Directed Health Plan monthly rates (for 12-month employees) are:

• Employee only $138
• Employee plus spouse/partner $460
• Employee plus child(ren) $423
• Employee plus family $761

There are two new benefits plan updates: CapitalRx and SupportLinc Employee Assistance Program (or EAP).

Express Scripts’ pharmacy benefits coverage and management will end June 30. Effective July 1, Rice’s new prescription benefit manager will be CapitalRx.

• CapitalRx has a different formulary, so medications may change tiers or coverage effective July 1.
• All Rice employees will be receiving a new Aetna medical ID card that will include the new prescription manager information.
• Any mail order prescriptions and pre-authorizations that are currently in place with Express Scripts will be transitioning to Capital Rx automatically.
• Look for letters from CapitalRx on any potential impact to current medications and their preferred status. Work with a doctor to see if alternatives will work, if appropriate.

Present the new Aetna ID card to the pharmacy when filling a new prescription on or after July 1. ID cards are also available on demand via the Aetna app.

The University of Texas’ Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will end effective June 30. Effective July 1, Rice will work alongside SupportLinc EAP to provide support to faculty and staff. Rice will work with any employees who need assistance transitioning to the new EAP during this transitional period.

The SupportLinc EAP is a confidential resource that helps faculty and staff deal with life’s challenges and the demands that come with balancing home and work. SupportLinc provides confidential, professional referrals and up to 10 sessions (per plan year) of face-to-face counseling for a wide variety of concerns such as anxiety, depression, marriage and relationship problems, grief and loss, substance abuse, anger management, stress, financial assistance, legal assistance and family assistance.

Contact information for CapitalRx and SupportLinc EAP will be available soon on knowledgecafe.rice.edu/open-enrollment-2024-2025. Additional information regarding rates and plan details can be found in the 2024-25 Open Enrollment Guide.