USC benefits-eligible employees have a chance to re-enroll in benefits during this year’s open enrollment during the sign-up period, which began Nov. 2 and was extended through 11:59 p.m. Nov. 19.

By enrolling during the open period, employees have access to health assessment discounts, can open a Flexible Spending Account and can consider a new health plan option for out-of-area dependents.


What’s new for 2021

This year, in the absence of Benefits Fairs, USC is offering a variety of webinars on open enrollment topics. USC also is providing new insurance options through MetLife, which means all benefits-eligible employees must designate new beneficiaries in Workday for the no-cost employee life insurance/accidental death and dismemberment insurance. Employees also can purchase additional coverage options such as extra life insurance protection, accident, critical illness, hospitalization and legal insurance.

Navitus is the new pharmacy benefits manager for the PPO, EPO and EPO Plus plans, which brings a new drug formulary, mail order service provider and addition of an exclusive specialty pharmacy network. However, it also means Walgreens will be excluded from the PPO pharmacy network.

The EPO Plus plan is a new option for affordable coverage with access to physicians outside Southern California for covered dependents who live in Northern California or out of state. And speaking of dependents, the university will undertake a dependent eligibility audit to ensure that only eligible dependents are covered under USC insurance plans, so employees are encouraged to use Open Enrollment to remove dependents who may have become ineligible.

Other changes include a new vendor for health assessment screening; the elimination of the tobacco-free incentive; changes in premium rates; and changes to deductibles and office visit copays for the PPO plan.


Helpful links


For those who do not complete open enrollment in Workday

  • The beneficiary for USC-provided life insurance will not be designated. (See the What’s new for 2021 page.)
  • Benefits-eligible employees will be automatically re-enrolled based on 2020 medical plan elections, covering the same dependents currently covered. Those who waived medical coverage in 2020 will not receive benefits in 2021.
  • For those who cover a spouse or registered domestic partner, the working spouse surcharge of $100 per month will be applied with no verification otherwise.
  • The health care Flexible Spending Account or a dependent care Flexible Spending Account will not continue from 2020 elections.
  • Employees will miss the one-time opportunity for supplemental life insurance with no health questions.
  • Any other benefits from 2020, not mentioned above, will remain the same.

Announcements will arrive via email throughout the open enrollment period. Direct questions to the HR Service Center at (213) 821-8100 or

All new plans and rates take effect Jan. 1, 2021, and all benefit information will be available on appropriate benefit pages of the Employee Gateway at that point. The 2020 benefits and rates are effective through Dec. 31, 2020.


For employees represented by Local 11 or USC Verdugo Hills Hospital employees

For USC Verdugo Hills Hospital employees or those represented by Local 11, there is different benefits and open enrollment information, so some of the information above does not apply. Details include: