Employee Benefits Information/Resources Related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this unprecedented and challenging time, we want to provide you with information  and resources to help you and your family. 
 
 

Vacation Carry-Over

Our senior leaders understand that many employees cancelled or postponed vacation plans due to COVID-19.  As a result, we are suspending our current policy that only allows one half of the year’s earned vacation to be carried over into the following year.  Therefore, any remaining vacation balances as of June 30, 2020 will automatically carry over to FY2021.   This change applies to both non-exempt and exempt employees. 

Please note: This is a one-time only change. 

Exempt staff and 12-month faculty need to enter all vacation time that has already been taken in Oracle Employee Self-Service.  Non-exempt staff should continue to record any vacation time taken in the Kronos timekeeping system.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the RIT Service Center (RSC).  

 

  • Visit the RIT Service Center portal at help.rit.edu where you can ask questions and find answers immediately.
  • If you cannot find what you are looking for
    • you can chat online with a representative through the RSC portal,
    • you can click on Report Issue / Ask Question to submit your question, or
    • you can call the RSC at 585-475-5000.

You can access the RSC online portal 24 hours a day.  The RSC staff is available for online chats and by phone Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

Sick/Personal Time (nonexempt employees)

Due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university is making a one-time change in our procedure for the sick/personal time cash-out for nonexempt employees.  If a nonexempt employee has any remaining sick/personal time as of June 30, 2020, the time will automatically carry over to next fiscal year instead of being cashed out.  (As you recall, nonexempt employees have had the option of receiving 50% of the value of unused sick/personal time as taxable pay or 75% of the value contributed to their account in the RIT Retirement Savings Plan [403(b)].  

Those who have remaining sick/personal time will have this time added to the amount that they normally receive at the start of the new fiscal year.  You do not need to take any action.  Any time carried over will show in your records after all the fiscal year end processes have been completed; we expect this to be by July 10, 2020.

It is important to note that this is a one-time change in the way remaining sick/personal time is administered. 

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the RIT Service Center (RSC).  

  • Visit the RIT Service Center portal at help.rit.edu where you can ask questions and find answers immediately.
  • If you cannot find what you are looking for
    • you can chat online with a representative through the RSC portal,
    • you can click on Report Issue / Ask Question to submit your question, or
    • you can call the RSC at 585-475-5000.

You can access the RSC online portal 24 hours a day.  The RSC staff is available for online chats and by phone Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

 
 

RIT Medical Coverage (Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Plan Changes

RIT health insurance will cover the following at no cost to plan participants; this means zero copays, coinsurance, and/or deductibles for the following:

  • Medically necessary diagnostic tests that are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance related to COVID-19.
  • In-network or out-of-network provider office visits (if an in-network provider is not available), including telehealth visits, in-network urgent care visits, and emergency room visits resulting in testing for COVID-19.  
  • Required prior authorizations will be waived for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • All telemedicine visits through MD Live will be covered in full, whether COVID-19 related or not.  Register for telemedicine now so you won't have to spend time doing that when you are feeling unwell.  There are four easy ways to register:
    • WEB - Register/Log in at ExcellusBCBS.com/Member
    • APP - Download the MDLIVE app
    • TEXT - Text EXCELLUS to 635483
    • VOICE - Call 1-866-692-5045

 

Please contact Excellus BlueCross BlueShield at 877-253-4797 or 585-454-2845 (TTY) for questions regarding specific health insurance benefits.

Update About Copays for Telehealth Visits With Your Provider

Prior to the pandemic, very few local providers were offering telehealth visits. With the pandemic, many providers began offering telehealth visits. The provider’s charge for a telehealth visit is the same as the charge for an in-person visit so there should have been a copay based on the terms of our plans.

Under Federal law, there is no copay for COVID-19 related telehealth visits, but only for those visits. The Excellus claims system was incorrectly coded to charge no copay for all telehealth visits, even if not COVID-19-related. When members and providers checked with Excellus they were given this information and people relied on it to make decisions on care.

From March 13 through June 27, all telehealth visits were processed with no copay required. In late June, Excellus corrected this error, reprocessed claims from this period, and notified impacted members. Providers began to bill patients for the copays.

We began hearing from people that they had had multiple telehealth visits with the expectation that there would be no copay. We then requested data from Excellus with the number of telehealth visits, number of members, and the amount of the waived copays. Please know that we did not receive any identifiable information, which is our standard practice.  We learned that a number of members had more visits than we had expected.

RIT requested that Excellus reprocess these same claims with a $0 copay, and Excellus has now agreed to do so at Excellus’ expense since it was strictly their error.  Excellus was scheduled to send a letter to impacted providers and members the week of September 28.

If the member already paid the copay, Excellus is asking the provider to refund the amount to the member. If a member does not receive the refund, we recommend they contact their provider directly to request a refund, rather than agreeing to allow the provider to carry a credit in their billing system.

If the copay(s) was paid using Beneflex dollars, the amount needs to be repaid to their Beneflex account.  The employee should contact Lifetime Benefit Solutions (LBS) at 800-327-7130 for help.

Telemedicine with MDLIVE

We understand that the pandemic has had a major impact on many people’s mental health.  For those who are seeking care, the good news is that RIT’s telemedicine vendor through Excellus, MDLIVE, now provides coverage for ongoing care for mental health needs; the individual can schedule recurring appointments to establish an ongoing relationship with one therapist from the privacy of their own home.  We announced this improvement in the Benefits Open Enrollment Newsletter we issued in October of 2019.   Here are some conditions people rely on behavioral health telemedicine for:

  • Addiction
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Depression
  • Panic Disorders
  • Stress
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Eating Disorders
  • Grief and Loss
  • LGBTQ Support

Usually, the copay for MDLIVE telemedicine visits it $10.  However, as we announced a few months ago, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all telemedicine visits with MDLIVE would be covered without a copay on a temporary basis, whether COVID-related or not COVID-related. 

If you are interested in checking out this benefit, you should register in one of four easy ways as follows:

  1. WEB - Register/Log in at www.ExcellusBCBS.com/Member
  2. APP - Download the MDLIVE app
  3. TEXT - Text EXCELLUS to 635483
  4. VOICE - Call 1-866-692-5045

 

RIT's EAP provider, GuidanceResources, is another great resource available to you and your family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you and your family with virtually any issue.  They have a number of helpful resources to help keep you informed about the coronavirus, as well as offer guidance on how to remain healthy and deal with the emotional impacts of the outbreak.

Click here to find out how to access their help.

 

RIT Prescription Drug Coverage (OptumRx)

The following temporary changes are in place for plan participants.

  • When an existing patient calls the Optum Specialty Pharmacy to refill an eligible specialty medication, OptumRx will make available a one-time 90-day supply of key specialty medications instead of the traditional 30-day supply.  This rule does not apply to patients newly initiating specialty therapy or for certain categories of drugs such as controlled substances.
  • Please remember that you can receive your ongoing (maintenance) medications by U.S. Mail from either the OptumRx mail order pharmacy or through Wegmans Free Home Shipping.  Contact Optum at 855-209-1300 or Wegmans at 800-934-6267 for assistance.
  • Please visit the OptumRx FAQS for Members on the HR website for more information.

Please contact OptumRx at 855-209-1300 for questions regarding specific prescription drug plan benefits.

 

Beneflex Health Care Spending Account and Dependent Day Care Spending Account (FSA)

Beneflex Grace Period Extended for 2020 Beneflex Account

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is allowing employers to provide more flexibility for participants in health care flexible spending account plans, like RIT’s Beneflex plan, again this year. 

RIT is extending the Grace Period from March 15, 2021 to December 31, 2021 for 2020 Beneflex participants.  This means that you can use the remaining unspent funds from your 2020 account for 2021 claims.  Note: The Grace Period will end on the termination date for those who leave employment prior to December 31, 2021.

Important Information:

  1. You cannot be reimbursed from your 2021 account for 2020 expenses.  In other words, you cannot be reimbursed for 2020 claims from your 2021 account.
  2. When you use your LBS card during 2021, claims will be paid using any remaining funds in your 2020 account first. 
  3. If you have any 2020 claims to submit manually to your 2020 account, you should submit them before using the LBS card for 2021 expenses; otherwise, you may inadvertently use up your 2020 account with 2021 expenses.  If you make a mistake and use the LBS card for 2021 expenses, LBS can reverse the transaction, but you will be responsible for paying the LBS administrative fee.
  4. There are two ways to submit a manual claim for reimbursement from your 2020 account.
  5. If you have not logged in to your account before, follow these steps.
  • Go to the secure LBS website.
  • Your initial username will be the first letter of your first name, your last name, followed by the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
  • Your initial password will be the first letter of your first name (lower case) followed by your 5-digit zip code.
  • After your first time logging in, you can change your username and you will be required to change your password.

 

If you have any questions about your account, please contact LBS directly at 800-327-7130.

If you have any questions for RIT, please contact the RIT Service Center (RSC) as follows:

  • Visit the RIT Service Center portal at help.rit.edu where you can ask questions and find answers immediately.
  • If you cannot find what you are looking for
    • you can chat online with a representative through the RSC portal,
    • you can click on Report Issue / Ask Question to submit your question, or
    • you can call the RSC at 585-475-5000.

 

You can access the RSC online portal 24 hours a day.  The RSC staff is available for online chats and by phone Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

2021 Beneflex Election Changes-Health Care Spending Account

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is again allowing employers to provide more flexibility for participants in health care flexible spending account plans, like RIT’s Beneflex plan.  As a result, RIT is providing added flexibility for 2021 Beneflex participants.

You can make changes to reduce your 2021 contribution amount on a prospective basis without a qualifying event; please refer to the information below for more details.  You can only increase your 2021 contribution amount if you have an IRS qualifying reason (e.g., marriage).  

Important Information:

  1. If you elect to make a change, the amount of the new annual election cannot be
    • lower than the amount you have already contributed, or
    • lower than the amount you have already been reimbursed. 
  1. If you stop contributing altogether (reducing your pay period election to $0), you would only be able to be reimbursed for eligible expenses from your participation date (generally January 1) through your cancellation date, and not for expenses you incur after the cancellation date.  In order to avoid this potential issue, you may want to reduce your annual contribution to an amount that is slightly higher than the amount on your most recent paystub as of the effective date for the change, but not to $0.
  1. There is no deadline for making changes, but the effective date cannot be back dated.  The change would be effective for the next payroll date that is administratively practicable after HR receives your form.
  1. Please remember that the IRS expanded the list of allowable expenses effective January 1, 2020 to include all over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and drugs (e.g., ibuprofen, cold medicines) as well as certain menstrual care products (e.g., pads and tampons).  You will find details on the HR website here.
  1. There is not a limit on the number of changes you can make for your 2021 account. 

 

To reduce your election amount please:

  • Complete the Service Request found here
    • Complete the top section of the form.
    • In the Reason for Completing This Form section, check the “Mid Year Change” box and on the “Other” line write “Future Beneflex Change.”
    • Complete only the Beneflex section by writing in the new annual amount you would like to elect.
    • Sign and date the form; an electronic signature is acceptable.
    • Attach your completed form to the Service Request.

 

If you have any questions about your account, please contact LBS directly at 800-327-7130.

If you have any questions for RIT, please contact the RIT Service Center (RSC) as follows:

  • Visit the RIT Service Center portal at help.rit.edu where you can ask questions and find answers immediately.
  • If you cannot find what you are looking for
    • you can chat online with a representative through the RSC portal,
    • you can click on Report Issue / Ask Question to submit your question, or
    • you can call the RSC at 585-475-5000.

 

You can access the RSC online portal 24 hours a day.  The RSC staff is available for online chats and by phone Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

2021 Beneflex Election Changes-Dependent Day Care Spending Account

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS is again allowing employers to provide more flexibility for participants in dependent day care flexible spending account plans, like RIT’s Beneflex plan.  As a result, RIT is providing added flexibility for 2021 Beneflex participants.

You can make changes to reduce your 2021 contribution amount on a prospective basis without a qualifying event; please refer to the information below for more details.  You can only increase your 2021 contribution amount if you have an IRS qualifying reason (e.g., child begins attending day care).  

Important Information:

  1. If you elect to make a change, the amount of the new annual election cannot be
    • lower than the amount you have already contributed, or
    • lower than the amount you have already been reimbursed. 
  1. If you stop contributing altogether (reducing your pay period election to $0), you would only be able to be reimbursed for eligible expenses from your participation date (generally January 1) through your cancellation date, and not for expenses you incur after the cancellation date.  In order to avoid this potential issue, you may want to reduce your annual contribution to an amount that is slightly higher than the amount on your most recent paystub as of the effective date for the change, but not to $0.
  1. There is no deadline for making changes, but the effective date cannot be back dated.  The change would be effective for the next payroll date that is administratively practicable after HR receives your form.
  1. If the summer camp or day care re-opens or if your child begins attending daycare, you would be able to increase your contribution, provided HR receives your new form with proof of the event within 60 days of the event.
  1. There is not a limit on the number of changes you can make for your 2021 account. 

 

To reduce your election amount please:

  • Complete the Service Request found here
    • Complete the top section of the form.
    • In the Reason for Completing This Form section, check the “Mid Year Change” box and on the “Other” line write “Future Beneflex Change.”
    • Complete only the Beneflex section by writing in the new annual amount you would like to elect.
    • Sign and date the form; an electronic signature is acceptable.
    • Attach your completed form to the Service Request.

 

If you have any questions about your account, please contact LBS directly at 800-327-7130.

If you have any questions for RIT, please contact the RIT Service Center (RSC) as follows:

  • Visit the RIT Service Center portal at help.rit.edu where you can ask questions and find answers immediately.
  • If you cannot find what you are looking for
    • you can chat online with a representative through the RSC portal,
    • you can click on Report Issue / Ask Question to submit your question, or
    • you can call the RSC at 585-475-5000.

 

You can access the RSC online portal 24 hours a day.  The RSC staff is available for online chats and by phone Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

Health Care Account-Newly Eligible Items Beginning January 1, 2020

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), RIT's Beneflex plan is updated as follows:
 
Effective January 1, 2020, all over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and drugs (e.g., ibuprofen, cold medicines) are considered eligible expenses without a prescription.  In addition, under the CARES Act certain menstrual care products (e.g., pads and tampons) are considered eligible expenses.
 
If you purchased any newly-eligible items on and after January 1, 2020, you can submit a manual claim with proof of purchase to Lifetime Benefit Solutions (LBS).  Refer to #15 in the updated Beneflex Reminders for 2020 on the HR website for information on how to submit a manual claim. 
 
If you have a question that you cannot find the answer to in the Beneflex Reminders for 2020 on the HR website, please contact Lifetime Benefit Solutions at 800-327-7130.
 

 

Enrolling in Benefits and Adding Family Members to Your Benefits

If you or a family member are losing coverage due to an employment status change (includes layoff, furlough, termination, etc.), you are eligible to enroll in coverage you are losing and/or add family members to your existing coverage if they are losing coverage.  Please take action within 31 days of the event and provide the following:
  • Benefits Enrollment Change Form
  • Proof of the event such as the letter the other employer sent, indicating the layoff/furlough/termination date and the date the coverage will end.  
 
Email your completed form and proof to benefits@rit.edu.  The coverage will be effective the day after the coverage ends so there will be no gap in coverage.
 
If you have any questions, please send an email to benefits@rit.edu.

 

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

RIT's EAP provider, GuidanceResources, is available to you and your family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you and your family with virtually any issue.  They have a number of helpful resources to help keep you informed about the coronavirus, as well as offer guidance on how to remain healthy and deal with the emotional impacts of the outbreak.
 
EAP Toll-Free Phone: 844-572-9730/V and 800-697-0353/TTY
Website: To access the EAP’s website:
  1. Go to www.guidanceresources.com
  2. Click on I am a First Time user
  3. Enter the Web ID: RITEAP
  4. Complete the registration
  5. You can choose your own User Name and Password; they should be different than any RIT User Name and Password

 

RIT Retirement Savings Plan [403(b) Plan]

RIT has adopted a retirement plan-related provision under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) as outlined below:
 
CARES Act Withdrawals
Under this new provision, eligible participants may request a penalty-free distribution up to $100,000 (but no more than the account balance) for qualifying coronavirus-related reasons.  These include adverse financial consequences due to 
  • being quarantined, furloughed, laid off or having work hours reduced
  • being unable to work due to a lack of childcare.
 
The CARES Act distributions are more favorable than hardship withdrawals
  • There is no 10% federal early withdrawal penalty
  • $100,000 limit (but no more than the account balance)
  • Option to have income taxed over three years
  • Participants may repay the amount withdrawn to an eligible retirement plan within three years.
  • Participants self-certify that they are impacted.
 
Temporarily Stop Loan Repayments
RIT has adopted a provision under the CARES Act that allows a plan participant who has a loan from their Retirement Savings Plan account to stop their loan repayment for the remainder of 2020.  Interest on the outstanding loan will continue to accrue and the loan will be re-amortized on January 1, 2021 and payroll deductions would re-start.
 
If you have a loan and want to learn more about this new provision, please contact Fidelity at the number below.
 

If you have questions about your retirement plan account, please contact Fidelity and/or TIAA directly as follows.  

     Fidelity: (800) 343-0860/V and (800) 259-9734/TTY    Fidelity Website
     TIAA: (800) 842-2776/V and (800) 842-2755/TTY   TIAA Website

 

RIT's Better Me Wellness Program

For fitness tips and exercises you can do at home, please join the Better Me Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.
 
Office ergonomics is an extremely important aspect of workplace safety and efficiency.  Numerous aspects, such as the tools and equipment used, the places people work, and the psychosocial aspects of a workplace environment are all taken into consideration.  Although some repetitive strain is inevitable with many jobs, employees can reduce the effects by taking breaks, ensuring good posture, and implementing task rotation.  Please refer to this diagram to help ensure your workspace is set up in an optimal fashion. 

 

How to Find Your Focus While Working From Home