Information On The Coronavirus

Recent Updates: The New School has released its academic plan for 2020-21 and a phased reopening plan for its New York campus. Please check the Parsons Paris website for information about our Paris campus. Learn more.

  • Full-Time Faculty and Administrative Staff

    The Open Enrollment period begins on Monday, 10/19/20 and ends on Friday, 11/13/20.

    The New School has designed a benefits plan to meet the needs of our diverse employees. Please review this important information regarding your elections. A thorough understanding of your benefits options can help you ensure that you have the appropriate level of coverage for you and your family, and that you have chosen the most cost effective plan for your needs. Below is a snapshot of the benefits available to you as a full-time employee. Please review all sections listed below for more information.

    • Health Insurance: Choice POS Plan, EPO Plan, and Value Plan (formerly known as HDHP) with an HSA.
    • Dental Insurance: Aetna DHMO and Aetna PPO
    • Flexible Spending Accounts: Health Care and Dependent Care
    • Short Term Disability Insurance
    • Long Term Disability Insurance
    • Basic and Supplemental Life Insurance
    • Tuition Waivers at the New School
    • Employee Assistance Program
    • Qualified Transportation Expense (QTE)
    • The New School Voluntary 403(b) retirement plan (Employee Contributions)

    Important Reminder

    The benefits elections you make during the open enrollment period may not be changed until January 1, 2022, unless you experience a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, birth, adoption or gain or loss of coverage. Benefits that are governed by this rule include: all medical and dental elections and flexible spending. You must notify the benefits office within 31 days of a qualifying event for changes to become effective, otherwise you will not be able to make changes until the next open enrollment period. You must also submit documentation to support the qualifying event. For example, if you are adding a newborn you must submit the birth certificate within 31 days of the child's birth in order for the coverage to be effective on the child's date of birth.

    Here's What to Do

    1. Review all of the information on this webpage
    2. Review your current benefit elections and costs in MyDay. Type into your browser and log in with your regular username and password. Click on the Benefits worklet (circle). Under View, select Benefit Elections. Download this into excel or print a pdf for your records.
    3. Decide if you want to make any changes to medical, dental, life insurance and/or to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account for 2021
    4. Review this guide for assistance on how to navigate the MyDay Open Enrollment Benefit Event.

    Note: Qualified Transportation Expense (QTE) and Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) Retirement Plan changes can be made outside of the Open Enrollment Benefit Event. The 2021 limits are not known at this point but we will advise when limits have been set.

  • What's Changing in 2021

    Aetna will replace UnitedHealthcare and Delta Dental for medical, dental and vision plans. Express Scripts Inc. (ESI) will replace Optum for prescriptions. EBPA and TIAA will continue to administer New School benefit plans in 2021.

    Please click here to access the Aetna Presentation on our medical, dental, vision and Rx plans.

    Health Care Plan Contributions

    The university and enrolled employees share in the cost of the health care plan. Employee and university contributions will change effective January 1, 2021. See the 2021 Health Care and Dental Care Contributions section below for 2021 employee and university premiums, including the separate contribution charts if you choose to cover a domestic partner.

    Health Savings Account (HSA) Change

    Effective January 1, 2021, the IRS maximum allowable contributions into a health savings account for members enrolled in employee-only coverage will increase to $3,600 and will increase to $7,200 for members enrolled in family coverage (spouse and/or children). For those employees age 55 and over, an additional $1,000 may be contributed to the amounts noted above. These contribution limits are combined with the University contribution defined below.

    The university will contribute into employee's health savings accounts (when enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan) $500 for individuals and to $1,000 for employees with an enrolled spouse and/or children. In addition, the university will contribute two equal installments into employee's HSAs, first in January and then in July, instead of dividing the university contributions across your 26 paychecks. This allows you to have more HSA dollars available up front for medical, dental, prescription drug, and vision care expenses. 

    Please note with our change to Aetna for our Health Plans, those enrolled in the Health Savings Account (HSA) will need to open an account with Payflex, which will replace Optum bank. We will communicate instructions to those enrolled in the plan with how to open an account with Payflex.

    Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Change

    At this time the IRS has not announced new limits for 2021, so we will continue to use the 2020 limit of $2,750. If this is increased we will inform employees who elected the maximum of $2,750. There will be no change to the Dependent Care Flexible Spending account maximum, which is $5,000.

    Enrollment Process: What You Need To Do

    We've created this guide to you help navigate the MyDay system and manage your Open Enrollment elections.

    To access your Open Enrollment Benefit Event, log into MyDay and click on the Inbox worklet (circle). Locate the Open Enrollment Benefit Event and carefully follow the help text on each screen. The Benefits Open Enrollment period will end on Friday, November 13.

    You do not need to take any action if:

    • You (and your currently enrolled dependents, if any) want the same medical plan that you have in 2020, you will automatically be mapped to the same medical plan you had with United Healthcare to Aetna, and
    • You (and your currently enrolled dependents, if any) want the same dental plan that you have in 2020, you will automatically be mapped to the same dental plan you had with Delta Dental to Aetna, and
    • You do not want to make a 2021 Health Care or Dependent Care FSA election, and
    • You do not want to change your Supplemental Life Insurance Plan election(s), if any

    Health Care and Dental Care Plans

    EPO (Aetna Open Access- Aetna Select EPO) changes: 

    There will now be 10% co-insurance when using an in-network provider when the service isn’t for a routine office visit. For example, tests such as MRI’s, will require a deductible and 10% co-insurance. These changes are similar to plan designs at several local colleges and Universities and allow for the continuance of these types of plans, despite rising medical costs. 

     Value Plan with HSA (formerly known as the HDHP plan with HSA):

    The bank that is used for your HSA is changing from Optum Bank to Payflex.

    Click on the links below for the more detailed Summary of Benefits and Coverage for each plan. Paper copies are also available by contacting Human Resources.

      Finding Participating (In-Network) Providers

      Enrollees in the Aetna plans may obtain health care services from in-network providers. To find in-network providers go to

      Prescription Drug Coverage

      Beginning 1/1/2021 prescription drug (Rx) coverage will be administered by Express Scripts (ESI). Visit to determine the cost of the most common medications, Step Therapy Rules and to receive info for specialty medication (we will update info for ESI as it’s made available).

      The university’s prescription drug plan with OptumRx will remain active through the end of the 2020 calendar year (OptumRx info below).

      • View the 2020 Advantage Prescription Drug List to determine the cost of a the most common medications.
      • Under the Optum Rx Progression Rx program, some prescriptions require that you try a "Step 1" medication before a "Step 2" medication will be covered. Refer to Progression Rx – Step Therapy Program list to view the names of these medications and details about this plan feature.
      • The Specialty Pharmacy Program must be used by members with rare or complex medical conditions who require specialty medications (described in flyer). If you have an existing (active) specialty medication prescription with Optum Rx it will remain on file and you will not need to obtain a new one.

      Vision Plan Coverage

      As a reminder, Aetna enrollees will automatically be enrolled in the Vision Plan at no additional cost. (You must be enrolled in the health care plan to receive vision plan benefits; there is no option to enroll separately.) The plan allows you to receive routine vision services either from participating (in-network) vision providers or from providers who do not participate in the Aetna vision network (out-of-network). To search for in-network providers, go to You should also print your vision care member ID card once you're logged in; you will present the card at the time you receive routine vision services.

      The Vision Care Plan covers an examination and new lenses (contact and glasses) every 12 months and new frames every 24 months. Review the Plan Summary for coverage details. Call Aetna at 877-973-3238 for additional information. Click here to locate a provider.

      Dental Plan Coverage

      The University Dental Plan will now be administered through Aetna.  If you wish to newly enroll or make a change to your current dental elections, you must do so via the MyDay system. For additional information please go to the dental care page of the New School's benefits website.

      2021 Health Plan and Dental Plan Contributions

      Effective January 1, 2021 the cost of the New School Health Plan will increase and your contributions will shift. Dental care costs will remain the same. Refer to the 2021 Health Care and Dental Care Plan Contribution Chart if you will be covering yourself only, or yourself, a spouse and/or child(ren).  

       If you will be covering yourself, a domestic partner, and a child(ren), view the 2021 Domestic Partner and Child(ren) Imputed Income Chart to determine the taxation related to this coverage.

      Flexible Spending Account

      You can save money by utilizing the Health Care and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). This authorized benefit allows you to pay for health and/or dependent day care expenses with pre-tax dollars. By paying these expenses through your FSA you lower your taxable income, thus giving you more take-home pay and more money in your pocket.

      Note: If you have the HDHP, with HSA health plan you may not elect a health care FSA.

      Estimating Your Flexible Spending Needs

      Estimate the amount you will pay in out-of-pocket expenses for eligible health care and/or dependent care expenses from January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021. For health care this can include things such as doctor, dentist and prescription co-pays; cost of eyeglasses or lenses not covered by insurance; dental work such as orthodontia not covered by insurance. For Dependent care expenses estimate how much you spend in childcare for dependents age 13 and under. This can include after school care or summer camp.

      Have questions on what a flexible spending plan covers? View this helpful guide from EBPA, our flexible spending vendor for IRS covered expenses.

      Be conservative as you can only carryover $550 into the next plan year for the health care flexible spending account (the carryover does not apply to the dependent care account). The law requires that you forfeit amounts in excess of $550 remaining in your account after all eligible expenses have been reimbursed. You will have until March 31, 2021 to submit claims for expenses incurred during calendar year 2020.

      As an example, if a participant who carries over $550 from 2020 into 2021, they may still elect $2,750 (presumed maximum in 2021, limits have not been finalized by the IRS as of this date) in the Health Care FSA for 2021, the participant will have a total of $3,300 available for reimbursement in the 2021 calendar year.

      Note: should you terminate employment with The New School midyear, you will be eligible to submit FSA claims only for the dates of service incurred while you were actively employed.

      2020 Annual Limits

      At this time the IRS has not announced new limits for 2021, so we will continue to use the 2020 limit of $2,750. If this is increased we will inform employees who elected the maximum of $2,750. There will be no change to the Dependent Care Flexible Spending account maximum, which is $5,000.

      Life Insurance Plan

      Basic Life Insurance

      The New School provides you with a basic life insurance policy, at no cost to you, in the amount of 1 ½ times your basis salary (rounded up to the next multiple of $1,000) up to a maximum of $1,000,000 in coverage. Please note that while this benefit is provided at no cost any amounts over $50,000 is subject to imputed income.

      Supplemental Life Insurance

      In addition to the basic coverage noted above employees may elect, at their own cost, additional supplemental coverage for themselves, their spouse/domestic partner or children (through age 19, or 23 if full time student).

      Employee Supplemental Life Insurance

      Employees may select an additional 1X, 2X, 3X their annual salary (up to a maximum of $250,000, at their own cost, in additional to the basic coverage that the University provides. Please note that in order to be eligible for this coverage you must submit an evidence of insurability (medical questionnaire) to The Standard for underwriting. You will not be charged for this insurance until we receive approval from The Standard. Please note that the University does not see your evidence of insurability we are just notified if you are approved or not.

      Spouse/Domestic Partner Life Insurance

      Employees many select a $10,000 or $25,000 policy for their spouse or Domestic Partner, at the employee's own cost. As with the employee supplemental life insurance the spouse/domestic partner must submit an evidence of insurability to The Standard for underwriting as described above.

      Child(ren) Life Insurance

      Employees may select a $4,000 policy per child at the employee's own expense. Eligible children through age 19, or 23 if full-time student.

      Age Reductions

      Please note that under most life insurance policies there is an age reduction in terms of percentages one would receive from their coverage. They are as follows:

      Age 65-69: Policy reduces to 65% of value

      Age 70-74: Policy reduces to 55% of value

      Over age 75: Policy reduces to 35%

      Estimating Your Cost of Coverage

      Age of insured as or last January, monthly rate in multiples of $1,000:

      AgeCost Per Month
      75 and Over$2.060

      For example, a 36 year old is applying for $100,000 in supplemental life insurance their monthly rate would be $9 ($100,000/$1,000/$0.090).

      Enroll in or make a change to your supplemental life insurance elections via the Open Enrollment Benefit Event in MyDay. If you elect or increase supplemental life insurance coverage you must complete a health questionnaire (also known as an Evidence of Insurability or EOI) that is subject to approval by our carrier, The Standard, before coverage can become effective.

      Once you elect coverage you will be directed to complete this form and there will be instructions for mailing directly to The Standard. The Standard will notify you and The New School if you are approved. Upon approval your coverage will be effective and you will begin to be charged for the elected coverage.

      Qualified Transportation Expense Plan and Tax Deferred Annuity Retirement Plan

      Qualified Transportation Expense Plan

      As of this date we do not have the 2021 transit limits. The 2020 limit was $270 pre-tax per month. If you currently participate, your 2020 elections will continue into 2021. You may enroll or make changes at any time during the year by initiating a Benefit Event in MyDay. We've created this guide for Changing Your Transit and Parking Amounts to help you navigate MyDay. Use the event date of 01/01/2021 to increase your contributions for January.

      For additional information regarding these plans visit the Qualified Transportation Expense page on our website.

      Important: If you terminate employment with The New School you will only have access to the funds in your account through your termination date, and you may only withdraw up to the monthly limit ($270 in 2020) per month, therefore do not let large amounts accumulate in this account as you might forfeit them due to a termination. 

      Tax Deferred Annuity Retirement Plan

      You can choose to contribute a percentage of your base annual salary or a flat dollar amount per paycheck. The maximum annual contribution as set by the IRS is not known for 2021 however in 2020 it is $19,500. Employees age 50 and older (and those who will attain age 50 by December 31) are eligible to contribute an additional $6,500 annually, as set by the IRS (referred to as the "Age 50+ Catch-Up").

      Your current elections will continue in 2021 but if you'd like to increase or change your contributions, you can do so by initiating a Benefit Event in MyDay. We've created this guide for Changing Your Retirement Savings Amounts to help you navigate MyDay. Use the event date of 01/01/2021 to change your contributions for January.

      For additional information regarding these plans visit the Retirement Plan page on our website.

      Required Notices

      As required by law, The New School must provide certain notices to employees on an annual basis.