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Benefits and Compensation: The Value of Working at Rice


Rice University is committed to providing faculty and staff with a comprehensive and competitive benefits package. Employees and their families have access to benefits and resources, such as quality health care coverage, an employee wellness program, tuition assistance for continuing education, and help in establishing their financial future. The information below is a brief summary of benefits provided and is subject to the terms and conditions of the detailed plan document that governs each individual benefit plan.

Current employees can view more information at the KnOWLedge Café

Benefits at a Glance


Rice offers a variety of medical plan options for you to choose from which includes prescription drugs through Express Scripts (ESI). The Memorial Hermann ACO network is limited to the greater Houston metropolitan area zip codes. The Aetna Select HMO, Choice POS II, and CDHP plans are nationally based, meaning you may select and use doctors and facilities throughout the United States.

However, if you are enrolled in the Aetna Select HMO and your dependents reside outside of the network area they either may choose a PCP in the Aetna network in their area or may enroll in the out-of-area PPO plan if an in-network doctor is not available. For the Memorial Hermann ACO, dependents outside the service area must use the out-of-area plan to have coverage. You may initiate an HR service request in iO if you believe this applies to you. Eligible dependents may only enroll in the same plan as the Rice benefits-eligible employee.

For 2024-2025 Plan Year

For 2023-2024 Plan Year

Teledoc TeleHealth

Teladoc Telehealth (in addition to Teladoc Medical Expert, formerly Best Doctors) is available for Faculty and Staff enrolled in a Rice Aetna plan.


The Aetna Dental plan options include:


The vision plan is administered by Aetna and uses the Aetna Vision Preferred network. The plan provides coverage for employees and their covered family members to visit an in-network provider for a small copay or with an allowance for contact lenses or frames.

Flexible Spending Account & Health Savings Account

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow participants to set aside pre-tax dollars for qualifying medical and/or dependent care expenses.

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are pretax medical savings accounts available to taxpayers in the United States who are enrolled in a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP, a qualified high-deductible health plan). Funds can be used to pay for eligible health care expenses for the member, their spouse, and their tax dependents, or funds can be saved for the future.

Life Insurance

Rice offers several options for life insurance:

  • Basic life insurance
  • Optional employee supplemental life insurance
  • Optional child supplemental life insurance
  • Optional spouse/domestic supplemental life insurance
  • Optional accidental insurance
Long Term Care Insurance

Rice University has offered employees and their extended families an opportunity to purchase long-term care insurance. Coverage has been offered since 1996 to help protect against the financial risks associated with long-term care.

Group Legal Plan

UltimateAdvisor® legal insurance from ARAG offers our employees affordable, reliable counsel, when something in life turns into a legal issue, like a dispute with a contractor, a traffic ticket, or the need for estate planning, which includes access to a nationwide network of attorneys who can provide counsel, review documents, and represent you if needed.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

With the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Rice employees and their loved ones (living in the same household) can access free, convenient, and confidential services on a variety of different topics. Some of the services Rice’s EAP offers include counseling sessions with a licensed mental health professional, legal and financial resources, WorkLife referrals, and more. All EAP services are private and completely confidential, and are available to you, your family members, dependents, or anyone significant in your life. An experienced consultant is just a phone call away!

Effective July 1st, Rice University will be working alongside SupportLinc EAP to provide support to faculty and staff.

Stay Healthy - Wellness at Rice

Seasonal Flu Shots and Health Screenings

Rice provides on-campus seasonal flu shots and health screenings to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff annually. Look for an email announcing the dates and times each year.

Gibbs Recreational Center

Smoking Cessation

Rice has implemented a tobacco/nicotine user surcharge of $50/month/user. We will ask you questions during open enrollment that will allow us to determine if you, your spouse or both of you are tobacco/nicotine users. If you want help in quitting, we have a new tobacco cessation program called Quit Genius. More information will be available very soon about this program. If you are successful with the program, we will remove the surcharge. There is no cost to you for Pelagio.

Weight Watchers

Rice will subsidize half of the cost of in-person meetings for benefits-eligible faculty and staff for either the online Weight Watchers Program, or local community meetings (at this time, we no longer have enough participation to hold meetings on campus).

The cost of the program is $39.95 per month (or $19.97 per month with the 50% subsidy). You may enter the program at any time (at a prorated cost) — simply go to the portal above or one of the scheduled meetings for more information.

Bright Horizons

Rice is pleased to provide backup care for any member of your family that depends on you for care through the Back-up Care Advantage Program® All benefits-eligible faculty and staff are eligible for the program.

Lactation Rooms

Rice has rooms in place for nursing those lactating to pump breast milk or nurse a child in a private and comfortable setting, and there are several locations available for use on campus.

Paid Time Off and Flexible Work

Paid Time Off (including Holidays and Winter Recess)

Rice University grants staff members an amount of paid benefit time during which an employee may be absent for any reason, including vacation, personal business, illness, or religious holidays. Paid time off (PTO) must be scheduled in advance with supervisors, who approve requests according to departmental workload and staffing levels.

Flexible Work Options

Rice University provides flexible work arrangements for staff and organizational units to create a productive work environment, attract and retain talented employees, and provide increased flexibility in employees’ work lives.

Rice is a community built through in-person interactions and relationships and it is expected that most staff will work on campus. Some functions and organizations may be suitable for alternative work arrangements, and this policy provides for those alternatives, with appropriate approval.

Learning and Career Development

Developing World-Class Staff

Rice strives to develop and offer learning experiences and resources that meet the needs of a diverse range of positions, learning preferences, and the overall rapidly changing landscape of workplace learning.

Whether a classroom-based, online, social, etc. learning format development experiences should be relevant, applicable to one's work, and provide hands-on practice of skills. Additionally, transfer of learning on-the-job and intentional coaching should be encouraged in order to maximize retention, change behavior and achieve results.

  • Training Opportunities
  • Supervisor and Leadership Development
  • Career and Leadership Coaching
  • Glasscock School of Continuing Studies
  • Executive Education at Rice Business School
  • Seminars and Lectures

Tuition Benefits

OWL Perks

Working for Rice is a hoot! There’s so much to love about being a Rice employee: comprehensive benefits, exclusive discounts on campus, access to great services and facilities, and even connections to the Houston community. Our goal is to list as many as we can here to make sure everyone takes full advantage of the unconventional perks Rice has to offer.

Rice Events Calendar

On-Campus Dining

Faculty Club


Rice Athletic Events

Fondren Library and Digital Media Center

Visual and Performing Arts


Rice Bookstore Discounts - All Rice employees may stop by the bookstore and enjoy 10 percent off of everything except textbooks, computer software, and computer hardware.

Banking Perks - As a Rice University employee, you have access to membership and special discounts at several area banks, including Smart Financial Credit Union, Frost Bank, and Chase Bank.

Commuter Benefits - Train. Bus. Vanpool. Parking your car at the station or at a non-Rice facility. However you ride, the Commuter Benefits Program lets you pay for your eligible commuting costs through automatic, pre-tax payroll deductions. It works wherever you do: for any transit system, anywhere, plus any non-Rice parking provider or vanpool operator nationwide.

Rice has partnered with the MetroStar program to offer you the opportunity to participate in vanpooling with other people that live and work in the same area. To get started, you will want to click on one of the following links most applicable to you. You will complete a brief confidential profile regarding your commuting needs (work schedule, location, etc.). MetroStar will review and contact you regarding routes and availability for you.

Equipment Checkout Services - Need access to electronic equipment that you don’t have? No problem. Fondren Library and the Digital Media Commons (DMC) partner to allow employees to check out still cameras, video cameras, adapters, lighting, tripods, microphones, computers, and more with a Rice ID.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness - Rice University is a qualified employer under the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The federal PSLF is a program that allows certain federal student loans to be forgiven after 10 years of repayment. To benefit, borrowers need to have a qualifying loan and sign up for a qualifying repayment plan.

Retirement Benefits

Rice University encourages and supports employees to save for the future. We offer several options to help our employees accomplish their personal retirement goals.

In addition to a generous defined contribution plan, into which Rice puts money aside for retirement, we encourage our employees to save through payroll deductions as well. We provide opportunities for employees to speak one-on-one with financial representatives from our partners and also schedule sessions throughout the year to update and educate our employees about Rice's retirement benefits.


Rice University recognizes that competitive compensation is the cornerstone for recruiting, retaining, and motivating a diverse and qualified workforce. To this end, the university’s compensation philosophy is to pay all categories of employees at competitive levels established by external labor markets, considering both salary and benefits as a total compensation package.

Current employees can view more information at the KnOWLedge Café