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Faculty and Staff Information

The University’s Incident Management Team and the President’s Cabinet are carefully monitoring the worldwide spread of COVID-19. Information for Faculty and Staff will be updated regularly.

During the campus closure, the Office of Human Resources will operate remotely.  Human Resources staff are available to assist faculty, staff and student employees with any HR related matters. They can be contacted at (570) 941-7767 or hr@scranton.edu or via  individual direct emails of HR staff members.

Benefits Information

Benefit Information is available on the Office of Human Resources website. The following information is offered in addition to these resources and addresses items specific to COVID-19.  Please feel free to contact Human Resources with questions about these and any other University benefit at (570) 941-7767 or via email to: hr@scranton.edu.
If you are a Highmark health plan member, cost-sharing associated with physician-ordered diagnostic testing for novel coronavirus will be waived for all members.

When you receive care from an out-of-network provider, coverage is almost always paid at the lower level - unless it is an emergency or you are referred by Highmark to an out-of-network provider because the non-emergency service is not available from a network provider. That’s why it is critical - in all cases - that you check to see that your provider is in the network before you receive care.

For questions about coverage, or to ensure that your treating physician is a network participating provider for your health plan, call toll free:
• Highmark PPO Blue and Classic Blue members 1-800-5704
• Highmark HMO Plus members 1-800-822-8753

SwiftMD is a telemedicine service for University of Scranton Health plan subscribers that delivers quality health care directly to patients in need. You can seek some medical support electronically to avoid an in-person office visit. Visits are unlimited and are offered without co-pay.

SwiftMD members can engage consults with doctors via phone or videoconference. The doctor is able to make a diagnosis and may recommend treatment. SwiftMD doctors can call in prescription when appropriate. As a SwiftMD member, you can talk to a doctor 24/7!

 

  • Call toll free 1-877-WWW-SWIFT (1-877-999-7943).
  • Go online at mySwiftMD.com
NexGen EAP is your confidential EAP, Work/Life, Wellness, and Health Advocacy benefit provided at no cost to you.

Part time and full time staff and your eligible family members can trust the NexGen EAP services to address your total wellbeing from accessing counseling services to maximizing work/life balance to providing personalized wellness resources.

With the recent surge in media coverage and articles, it can be difficult to keep up with important, relevant information about the Coronavirus. With NexGen EAP, you have a reliable source of
concise information available to you 24/7, 365 days a year.

To access NexGen EAP:
• Enter your Highmark member id, located on your health plan card, or your social security number
• Company ID: 1549

 Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA):A dependent care FSA enables you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified dependent care expenses. Funds can be used to pay for day care, preschool, elderly care or other dependent care. To qualify for a DCRA, the IRS requires that the dependent care is necessary for you or your spouse to work, look for work or attend school full-time.

 With so many schools and day care centers closing as a result of Coronavirus, participants may want to re-evaluate their need for a DCA, or re-consider the amount they have elected for 2020.

 Closure of day care or school as a result of Coronavirus triggers a “qualifying event”, which allows a FSA participant to make a change, or reduce, the amount they have elected for their Dependent Care Spending Account (DCA) for 2020. A participant may also increase (or even open a new) DCA if a school closure creates a new need for day care coverage.

Please keep in mind that the IRS has not issued an extension for the use of DCA funds, so the same timelines for service dates and filing of claims apply.

Medical Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA): A healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) is a smart and easy way for employees to save money while protecting themselves from the out of pocket cost of medical services. Because FSAs are set up as a tax-advantaged account, participants can save up to 40% on thousands of eligible everyday expenses. 

In March, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) into law. The law, which has a retroactive start date of January 1, 2020, allows healthcare FSA funds to be used for over-the-counter drugs and medicines and includes menstrual care products as eligible items.

Once merchants have updated their lists of eligible products, you should be able to use your MyAmeriflex Debit Mastercard to purchase over-the-counter items without issue. This may take several weeks or months, however, and your patience is needed until the updates have been completed.

To review a few list of eligible expenses, log in to MyAmeriflex and visit the “Resources” tab.

To purchase FSA-eligible items online, visit the FSA Store.

Retirement Plans:

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, (The CARES Act) was signed into law as an additional piece of legislation crafted to help Americans during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The CARES Act includes several retirement plan provisions that offer relief for participants. Please see provisions below that may provide relief for you and your family.

Highlights of the CARES Act

· The provisions of the legislation apply to participants who have been affected by COVID-19 as specified in the CARES Act.***

For those who qualify

o you may receive Coronavirus-Related Distributions up to $100,000.

o Early plan withdrawals (taken under age 59 ½) will not be subject to the 10 percent tax penalty on early plan withdrawals for Coronavirus-Related Distributions (up to $100,000).

o Coronavirus-Related Distributions may be re-contributed to a retirement plan over three years. You will also be permitted to pay taxes on these distributions over three years.

o Retirement plan loan flexibility is available for plans that offer loans, including Mandatory and Voluntary 403b plans, allowing for a pause (and related extension) in repayment for payments due through December 31, 2020.

o The amount available as a plan loan for plans that offer loans, including Mandatory and Voluntary 403b plans for qualified Coronavirus relief is basically doubled so that the limit is increased to the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of your vested account balance in the plan.

· If you are subject to Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) rules, they have been waived for retirement plans for 2020. Generally, RMDs are paid to participants who attained age 70½ in years 2019 or earlier (or attained age 72 in years 2020 or later).

***Contact your Retirement Plan Customer Service Center for more information. You may also want to talk with your tax advisor to see how these changes may affect you.

Transamerica Retirement Solutions

1.800.755.5801

www.trsretire.com

Teachers Insurance Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA)

1.800.842.2776

www.tiaa.org

Guidance for Face Coverings in Public

The University, following recommendations from the CDC and Governor Wolf, is requiring the University Community to use face coverings while on campus or anytime outside of the home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. You may use your own mask as long as it was obtained or made in accordance with PA Department of Health Guidelines. The University will provide masks to essential employees. Employees or supervisors with questions or concerns about the face covering requirement should contact the Office of Human Resources atHR@scranton.edu or (570) 941-7767.

Please note, the use of face coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE) is beneficial in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but does not replace other safe practices, such as respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene and social distancing.

Learn more about Guidelines for Face Coverings in Public.

COVID-19 Guidance for Employees

Tips for prevention, information for what to do if you experience symptoms similar to COVID-19, and what to do if you have a confirmation of COVID-19 can be found here.

Jesuit Center Programs for Faculty and Staff

The Jesuit Center is continuing to run existing programs via Zoom meetings. The Center is also introducing several new programs for faculty and staff to provide some support and enrichment while we are away from campus. Learn more here.

Employee Wellness Resources

The Center for Health Education & Wellness (CHEW)- Employee Wellness program has compiled a number of virtual wellness resources for staff and faculty, which can be found on the Wellness @ Home Webpage and feature topics such as physical and emotional wellness, ergonomics, work-life balance and tips for transitioning to telecommuting.  CHEW Weekly Wellness Classes, including meditation, yoga and circut training are now offered virtually! Check out the Virtual Weekly Wellness Class Schedule for Zoom classes and Youtube options.