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COVID-19 Resources for Drexel Faculty & Professional Staff

 Dragons Taking Care of Dragons: Vaccinate, Mask, Distance, Wash, Test

This page provides updates on benefits changes and other offerings available to Drexel faculty and staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For complete and up-to-date information about Drexel's public health guidelines and requirements, please visit the Response to Coronavirus website.

Benefits — Resources and Updates

Click each subheading below for information about new, existing and expanded benefits available during the COVID-19 crisis.

COVID-19 Diagnostic No-Cost Testing Options

COVID-19 testing plays a vital role in keeping you and others safe. Drexel University Human Resources team would like to remind you that there are a variety of ways for you to access free COVID-19 testing.

Please Remember: Any positive COVID-19 test must be recorded on Drexel's Health Checker so that confidential case investigation and contact tracing can be conducted appropriately.

Please be sure to download the Drexel Health Checker app in advance, where you can schedule tests, report results, and access any important information privately.

On-Site Campus Testing

Drexel offers free tests for all employees and students. On Drexel's Response to Coronavirus webpage, you will find information on testing locations, scheduling, and contact tracing. There are locations on every campus, with hours available throughout the day. Visit the website for important details.

USPS Free At-Home COVID Tests

To further support access to free tests, U.S. Postal Services is sending out free COVID-19 test kits. You can visit to order free kits mailed to your home. Each kit carries four tests, limit of one order per residential address.

Over-the-counter (OTC) COVID FDA-Authorized Tests Through OptumRx

If you are enrolled in one of the Drexel sponsored health plans, you and your enrolled dependents can purchase, order and be reimbursed [PDF] — at no charge to you — OTC COVID tests. Members are eligible for eight OTC test kits, each 30-day period.

Here’s how it works:

  • Visit a Preferred Pharmacy:
    Go to the pharmacy counter at Kinney Drugs, Rite-Aid (includes Bartell Drugs), Sam's Club, Walgreens, or Walmart Pharmacy. Present your member ID card and ask to have your OTC at-home COVID-19 test(s) submitted to your plan for coverage. You will pay a $0 copay for up to 8 tests per month per covered member.
  • Shop at OptumRx Store:
    Order at-home COVID-19 tests online with $0 copay through Optum Store Get free shipping on orders of $45+. Requires sign-in to and click the 'Order Now' link.
    Smartphone users will need to scroll down to find the link.
  • Be Reimbursed:
    If you purchased FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests at a retail store or online retailer on or after Jan. 15, 2022, you can be reimbursed for up to 8 tests per covered member per month. You will need copies of your purchase receipt(s). Complete one form per covered family member. To receive the quickest possible reimbursement of up to $12 per test, submit an electronic claim form.
  • You can also print a reimbursement form [PDF] and mail it to OptumRx.

Medical and Prescription

To help participants access care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the following temporary changes have been made to the medical and prescription coverage offered by Drexel.

Keystone Point of Service, Personal Choice Basic, Personal Choice High, Consumer Directed Health Plan

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment:
Costs are waived for diagnostic testing and in-network, inpatient acute treatment associated with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Cost-sharing will be applied to post-acute care (e.g., skilled nursing, rehabilitation and long-term acute care facilities), outpatient treatment, ambulance transportation to a post-acute setting, and out-of-network care.

Telemedicine services are available through MDLive that allow you to see a board-certified doctor by secure video, phone or mobile app. Through Feb. 28, 2022, costs for virtual visits through MDLive, your primary care doctor and specialists will be waived for COVID-19 diagnosis only. Virtual visits for a non-COVID-19 diagnosis will follow the normal cost share under your medical plan.

Early Prescription Refills and Out-of-Network Exceptions:
Early prescription refills may be available upon request through your pharmacy. A one-time out-of-network pharmacy exception may be available in the event a drug is unavailable through a network pharmacy or if the out-of-network pharmacy is geographically closer to the member or offers delivery not provided by a network pharmacy.

Healthcare and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Recently, the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act was passed, allowing employers to make temporary changes to the rules governing health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSA). These changes offer greater flexibility at a time when the pandemic continues to disrupt access to medical and daycare services. Effective immediately, Drexel adopted the following enhancements to provide the maximum amount of relief permitted by law.

  1. Extended deadline for submitting 2020 FSA expenses to March 31, 2022.
  2. All unused healthcare FSA balances will automatically rollover from 2020 into 2021 and from 2021 into 2022. There is no limit to the rollover amount.

For detailed descriptions, visit the Health Care Flexible Spending and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account sections on the Drexel Voluntary Benefits Website.

Employee Assistance Program, Health Advocacy and Wellness

Counseling/Employee Assistance Program

Employees and family members can access free, confidential counseling sessions though Drexel's Employee Assistance Program by calling 1.888.881.5462. Each individual is entitled to up to six sessions per issue, per year. In addition, employees can obtain guidance with financial matters, including budgeting, as well as legal information and referrals on matters such as family law and estate planning.

Health Advocacy Service

The health-care industry can sometimes be difficult to navigate. In an effort to assist employees, Drexel University partners with Health Advocate, a company trained to understand the nuances within the health-care system. Whether you need help mitigating concerns related to COVID-19, understanding your benefits, or finding a doctor, Health Advocate is available to you and your dependents by phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

When it comes to COVID-19, there are many ways Health Advocate can help with your concerns. Health Advocates' experienced clinical team of medical doctors, registered nurses and other health care professionals will guide you through the health-care process, so you can make even the most difficult health decisions with confidence and focus on getting better, sooner. They will work with you and your family to:

  • Help understand diagnoses and evaluate treatment options;
  • Research and identify the most advanced approaches to care;
  • Locate and evaluate "best-in-class" physicians and medical centers;
  • Coordinate the transfer of medical records, lab results and X-rays;
  • Communicate with physicians to ensure needs (and the needs of families) are being met;
  • Help coordinate care and services before, during and after a hospital stay; and
  • Provide end-to-end, personalized support during all phases of care.

Specifically for the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Advocate's clinical team will:

  • Obtain a detailed history and current status and guide you to contact your Primary Care Physician or other health care provider, if necessary;
  • Direct you to the current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relevant to your situation;
  • Direct you to the current recommendations from your local department of health;
  • Provide educational materials based on the CDC recommendations regarding prevention of coronavirus; and
  • Guide you to additional resources as needed (EAP, community support, etc.).

Health Advocate is available to the whole family. Employees, their spouses or domestic partners, dependents, parents and parents-in-law can all take advantage of Health Advocate's personalized services. Please note your medical and personal information will be kept completely confidential.

For questions or assistance, call Health Advocate at 1.866.695.8622 or visit their website, Users will need to register/create a new account in order to log in.

Ten at 10

Incorporating just 10 minutes of healthy activity into your day can add up to a significant difference in your health, wellbeing and quality of life. And during this era of social distancing, it's more important than ever that we find ways to maintain meaningful connections to our colleagues. This program addresses these needs and encourages life-sustaining activities that will promote physical and emotional wellbeing. Implement A Healthier U's Ten at 10 program with your team!

Learn more 

Health Savings Accounts

Over-the-Counter Drugs and Menstrual Products

Health Savings Account (HSA) funds can now be used to purchase menstrual products as well as over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Employees can use their HSA debit cards or obtain reimbursement for out-of-pocket purchases by submitting receipts to the HSA administrator, Optum Bank. As always, remember to retain a copy of your receipts for tax purposes. Please contact Optum Bank at 866.234.89 with any questions.

Commuter Accounts

Adjusting Pre-Tax Commuter Deductions

Mass Transit and Non-Drexel Parking Facilities
Employees who are working remotely may wish to adjust or cancel their commuter benefit elections. Changes must be made by the first of the month prior to the month in which the changes apply. For example, changes to June's contributions must be made by May 1. Note: As long as an employee remains eligible to participate in the commuter program, unused commuter funds will not expire and can be used at a later date.

Change or cancel your commuter election by calling 844.690.3992 or online through the benefits portal as follows:

  • Log in to DrexelOne.
  • Go to the Employee tab and under My Benefits, select My Drexel Benefits.
  • Once in the benefits portal, locate the Commuter Benefits section on the right-hand side of the screen and select the Change button.
  • Update the monthly amount for Transit and/or Parking. Enter $0 to eliminate that month's contribution.

Paid COVID-19 Leave Time

Effective now through Dec. 31, 2023, Drexel University will comply with the City of Philadelphia’s Paid COVID-19 Leave Ordinance.

All full-time and part-time benefit-eligible employees will be provided up to 40 hours (or one work week) of COVID paid leave that will now be reflected in DrexelOne as a separate leave code, C19. Employees will be able to use the COVID paid leave when they are unable to work for any of the following reasons:

  • Care for self or family member showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Care for self or family member exposed to COVID-19, in order to self-isolate.
  • Childcare or school closure.
  • Need to receive a COVID-19 test, vaccine, or recover from injury, disability or illness related to vaccination.

There is no waiting period to use the leave time. Professional staff will now see a self-certified statement via web time entry in DrexelOne when submitting their timesheet or leave report. If applicable, employees will certify that they are reporting the leave time based on one of the qualifying reasons. Faculty using paid COVID leave should send their statement to If the absence will span more than the COVID leave hours provided, the employee must use available paid time off per Drexel’s time-off policies. Please email with any questions.

Guiding Our Return With Flexibility

Drexel University is committed to providing a flexible work environment that prioritizes well-being for our faculty and professional staff. Please consult Drexel's Flexible Work Arrangement Policy and its associated resource page for information and processes regarding flexible work arrangements for professional staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Human Resources Information

How will I be paid if I am showing symptoms or am diagnosed with COVID-19?

If the professional staff member is able and approved to work remotely, they will not be required to use their leave time. Members of a collective bargaining unit should refer to their union contract.

If the professional staff member is unable to work remotely, is expected to work on campus, or is experiencing symptoms and are unable to work as a result, they are required to use their sick leave. If they do not have enough sick leave accrued, the professional staff member will be permitted to utilize future sick leave accruals to ensure that there is no disruption in pay. Members of a collective bargaining unit should refer to their union contract.

Absences that span more than three days may be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Non-FMLA Medical Leave of Absence. Faculty and professional staff members are encouraged to contact our Leave of Absence Administrator, Lincoln Financial Group. You may file for a leave of absence by phone at 1.888.992.0549 or online by logging in to DrexelOne and selecting “Leave of Absence” in the Benefits Administration section under the “Employee” tab.

What if my family member is showing symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Vaccinated people are not required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19 unless they show symptoms. Faculty and professional staff members who are off work to care for a family member should use available sick time during their absence. Qualifying family members are outlined in the Sick Leave Policy.

Absences that span more than three days may be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Non-FMLA Medical Leave of Absence. Faculty and professional staff members are encouraged to contact our Leave of Absence Administrator, Lincoln Financial Group. You may file for a leave of absence by phone at 1.888.992.0549 or online by logging in to DrexelOne and selecting “Leave of Absence” in the Benefits Administration section under the “Employee” tab.

Can I ask my faculty/professional staff member if they have COVID-19?

You are permitted to ask faculty/professional staff members how they are feeling in general, but you are not permitted to ask about a specific illness.

Can I ask a coworker if they have COVID, or communicate with faculty/professional staff members that a co-worker or student has tested positive for COVID-19?

No. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restricts employers from sharing personal health information of an employee. Any faculty/professional staff members who have been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are required to email and provide their name and a phone number to be contacted by a Drexel representative. A physician will review and evaluate the responses to and communicate with the impacted department accordingly.

You are permitted to ask faculty/professional staff members how they are feeling in general, but you are not permitted to ask about a specific illness.

If you learn that you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you learn about a case on campus, please follow the protocols in this Dos and Don'ts document [PDF].

How do I resume commonly used services, such as water delivery and document management and shredding, which were previously suspended?

Please contact the appropriate supplier representative to restore any services that were suspended following departure from campus. Please see Procurement Services' COVID-19 Resources page for contact information for the most commonly used suppliers and other pertinent information. Contact information for many Drexel suppliers can also be found on the Supplier Information Dashboard in Smart Source.