Caring For You During COVID-19

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Our GW benefit partners want to support you and your family during the pandemic.

To learn more about benefit enhancements during COVID-19, select a category to learn more:

 

Retirement 

TIAA and Fidelity hold monthly retirement counseling appointments via phone.

To arrange a future appointment, please call to schedule:

Fidelity Investments

Make an appointment on Fidelity's website or call 800-642-7131  

TIAA

Make an appointment on TIAA's website or call 866-843-5640 

Call the Wellbeing Hotline to speak with a financial consultant.

Have a free 30-minute consultation for each issue you’d like to ask about.

  • Create a budget 
  • Set long-term goals
  • Understand bankruptcy options and requirements
  • Avoid foreclosure and handling creditors
  • Prepare for a home purchase and saving for your down payment 

1-866-522-8509/ TTY 711 www.resourcesforliving.com Username: GW-Wellbeing

Password: Yourlife

Paid Time Off Enhancements:

Annual Time Carryover Policy Enhancement FAQs

As we begin another spring season with many of us away from campus, we recognize that the pandemic has had a tremendous impact on well-being, with staff members juggling multiple responsibilities at home and work.Taking some time away may look different in our current time, but it’s still crucial to recharge and refresh so that we can continue to do our best work. In response to feedback from our community members, we will again be temporarily enhancing our Annual Time Carryover policy

The enhancements to the carryover policy are as follows:

  • Full-time benefits-eligible staff will be able to carry over up to 80 hours of accrued but unused annual time (up to 40 hours of accrued but unused annual time for part-time benefits eligible staff).
  • The deadline to use these carryover hours is October 31, 2021. 
  • There will be no change made to the number of hours eligible for payout upon departing the university. The maximum number of accrued but unused carryover hours eligible for payout remains at 40 hours for full-time benefit eligible staff (20 hours for part-time benefits-eligible staff).
  • Please note: We plan to return to the standard annual time carryover policy in fiscal year 2022.

We know that you continue to support and uplift each other, and we encourage you to work with your manager to take some time away to care for yourself. 

 

Pandemic Time FAQs (PDF)

The university’s Time-Off and Leave Policy (PDF) was enhanced specifically for the COVID-19 situation. 

To support our staff, a temporary paid time off option, Pandemic Time (PND), became available effective March 16, 2020* which can be submitted in the Time Reporting System (PDF).

*This one time balance was provided to employees who were active on March 16, 2020.

Please note that the university reserves the right to recoup this time off from the final paycheck of staff who terminate shortly after using Pandemic Time.


The following eligible situations qualify for the use of pandemic time:

  • Self-isolating or quarantining, even if they are not sick, when it is required or recommended by a public health authority or health care provider due to possible COVID exposure
  • Obtaining a personal diagnosis or caring for one’s own COVID-19 exposure or symptoms
  • Assisting a family member* who is self-quarantined because of a COVID-19 diagnosis or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and needs to obtain medical diagnosis or care
  • Caring for a child dependent who is not sick but needs care due to COVID-19 related closures of schools or daycare. This includes support for virtual learning while schools are remote.
  • Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, including travel to and from the appointment
  • Recovering from side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine

 

* A family member is defined in accordance with the Time Off and Leave policy:

  • A person related by blood, legal custody or marriage;
  • A foster child or child who lives with the employee and for whom the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility;
  • A person with whom the employee shares or has shared, within the last year, a mutual residence and with whom the employee maintains a committed relationship.

The enhancement provides additional paid time-off hours (PND) for staff as follows:

  • Full time benefits-eligible staff - 80 hours
  • Part time benefits-eligible staff - 40 hours
  • Hourly wage/temp workers - 20 hours
    • GW temp agency employees who are in an active status may request PND for days they are scheduled to work but unable to do so as a result of the COVID-19 situations noted above
  • PND time does not apply to student workers.

Medical Plan Enhancements 

GW HSP or PPO medical plan participants will have applicable copayments, coinsurance and deductibles  waived for approved and authorized testing of COVID-19 through April 20, 2021.  

Testing must be provided at approved locations in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Other costs beyond the test will be covered based on medical plan benefits and applicable federal mandates. Therefore, deductibles, copayments and coinsurance would apply to care, services or supplies beyond the test itself.

Due to recent Internal Revenue Service guidance in response to COVID-19, the university is adding flexibility to 2020 and 2021 Flexible Spending Accounts to allow more time for you to incur eligible expenses and use the funds.

  • The grace period to use your 2020 HCFSA and DCFSA funds is being extended from March 15, 2021 to December 31, 2021. The deadline to submit reimbursements to PayFlex is also extended from April 30, 2021 to April 30, 2022.
  • The grace period to use your 2021 HCFSA and DCFSA funds is being extended from March 15, 2022 to December 31, 2022. The deadline to submit reimbursements to PayFlex is also extended from April 30, 2022 to April 30, 2023.
  • To submit claims to PayFlex, please follow these instructions.

For a general summary of the FSAs, please review GW's Flexible Accounts Summary Plan Description (PDF).

 

UnitedHealthcare COVID-19 Website

UHC is regularly updating their COVID-19 website with information about related to COVID-19 testing, resources for people with Medicare, and other healthcare resources.

Behavioral Health

Optum via UHC (PDF) is also offering a free emotional support help line for all people impacted. This help line will provide those affected access to specially trained mental health specialists. The company’s public toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as necessary. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Additional UHC Resources:

 

  • Use the Search function on Castlight's website to find local COVID-19 testing sites.
  • Users will be shown helpful coronavirus tips, including highlighting appropriate providers.
  • Users can navigate to a Coronavirus Test Location Finder via the top banner on the Castlight app or on Castlight's website. The search will help you find the closest Coronavirus testing site to your home. The list is compiled of 1000+ testing sites in the U.S.

The IRS released Announcement 2021-7 confirming personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, for the use of prevening COVID-19 are qualified medical expenses and can be reimbursed with Health Care Flexible Spending Account funds. 

Expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020 can be reimbursed by through your PayFlex Health Care FSA account.

Using the PayFlex Card® for PPE

When eligible purchases are made with the PayFlex Card, they’re typically auto adjudicated at the point of sale.

If the PayFlex Card doesn’t work:

  • HCFSA participants can pay out of pocket and submit a request for reimbursement through the Payflex website.
  • HSA members can pay out of pocket and pay themselves back from their HSA.

Wellbeing Resources

Resources for Living (RFL) is a GW-sponsored EAP program that provides you with daily life support.

During the COVID-19 outbreak (PDF), RFL has developed specific resources to help employees manage their emotional health and daily needs during this national crisis.

Single-sign on from GW-owned computer

  1. Visit myGW
  2. Click “Sign In” in the upper left-hand corner beneath the "myGW" logo 
  3. Under the Working tab, click “Wellbeing Hotline

From a Non-GW Computer

  1. Visit Resources for Living
  2. Enter username GW-Wellbeing
  3. Password: Yourlife 

You may also call Resources for Living at (866) 522-8509


SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Helpline(800) 662-4357 

This organization provides information, education and access to substance abuse and mental illness programs nationwide. The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a search tool to locate behavioral health and substance abuse/addiction services. After completing the search criteria you can view a list of treatment providers, their contact information and other pertinent details. You may also call the number above to receive free and confidential information about treatment services in your area.

Fidelity Financial Resources:

Navigating Market Volatility 

Webinars: 

Find a live or recorded webinar on Market Volatility on-demand in NetBenefits

The Fidelity Learning Center has more educational resources that are both timely and relevant. 

Watch Fidelity's Video on Understanding Market Turbulance:


TIAA Resources

 

At-Home Learning Programs and Resources

Scholastic Learn At Home Program: An activity portal of free daily courses for kids

Mystery Science: Free Science lessons for students in kindergarten to 5th grade

Hippocampus.org: 7,000 free videos across 13 subject area


Emotional Education Resources

Mindfulness Resources for Teens: Techniques for developing the skills to be present and aware every day

15 Mindfulness and Relaxation Apps for Kids with Anxiety: Technological solutions that support addressing and overcoming stress and anxiety

Emotional ABCs: Social-emotional learning resources and programs

GoNoodle: Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts

30 Emotional Health Activities: A month-long calendar of daily activities that's free to download and use


Culture and World Exploration

TED Talks: Educational discussions organized by topic of interest

Free Art Lessons: Youtube-based art classes starting 3/16

Virtual Field Trips: Free videos and cams of animal habitats, famous locations, and unique areas