COVID-19 Resources for Drexel Faculty & Professional Staff
Drexel University has implemented a phased return to campus. As part of this process, all faculty and professional staff must complete a mandatory online health and safety training, which is located in Career Pathway under "Your Transcript." In order to complete the training, you must sign the online "Dragon Pledge [PDF]."
Drexel University is committed to preserving and maintaining the health and safety of all members of its community. Details on all University-wide measures being taken can be found on Drexel's Response to Coronavirus website.
Faculty & Staff Returning to Campus
For essential personnel who must report to campus, Drexel's Department of Environmental Health and Safety has issued the following protocols related to social distancing, personal protective equipment and proper cleaning/sanitizing: COVID-19 Prevention – Social Distancing and Controls for Essential Personnel [PDF].
Drexel Human Resources, in partnership with the College of Medicine, has developed additional guidelines for essential personnel, including how to use the Drexel Health Tracker app and what to do if you have a possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection: COVID-19 Protocols for Essential Personnel [PDF].
Benefits — Resources and Updates
Click each subheading below for information about new, existing and expanded benefits available during the COVID-19 crisis.
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 for COVID -19 as well as in-network, inpatient acute treatment associated with a COVID-19 diagnosis through March 31, 2021.
Waiver of Certain Prior Authorization Requirements:
If your plan requires prior authorizations, such requirements are temporarily suspended for acute inpatient admissions from the emergency department at in-network facilities for individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis through March 31, 2021.
In addition, prior authorization requirements are temporarily suspended for transfers from acute in-network inpatient facilities to in-network, post-acute facilities (long-term acute care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing facilities) for individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis through March 31, 2021.
Telemedicine services are available through MDLive that allow you to see a board-certified doctor by secure video, phone or mobile app. Starting January 1, 2021, costs for virtual visits through MDLIve, your primary care doctor and specialists will be waived for COVID-19 diagnosis only. Virtual visits for non-COVID 19 diagnosis will be covered, however, and the normal cost share under your medical plan will apply.
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.
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.
- Adjust your FSA election any time in 2021, no qualified life event needed.
- Extended deadline for submitting 2020 FSA expenses to March 31, 2022.
- Dependent care contribution limit increased in 2021 only.
- Dependent care age limit increase for children who turned 14 years old in 2020.
- Unused healthcare and dependent care funds from 2020 and 2021 will carry over.
For detailed descriptions, visit the Health Care Flexible Spending and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account sections on the Drexel Voluntary Benefits Website.
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, members.healthadvocate.com. 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!
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. This applies to purchases made on or after January 1, 2020. 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.
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.
Pass/No Pass Grading and Tuition Remission
Eligible employees using tuition remission for Spring 2020 who choose to declare Pass/No Pass grading procedures will be governed by the same rules of the Undergraduate and Graduate Grading Policy. But please note that any "No Pass" grades received in the Spring 2020 term will be subject to the same provisions as a grade "F" under Drexel's Tuition Remission Policy for Professional Staff and Faculty Members.
Grades of C or better will be counted as a Pass for graduate classes, and grades of D or better for undergraduate classes will be counted as a Pass. Please visit the Pass/No Pass Grading policy, FAQs, and Tuition Remission policy for further details.
For fiscal year 2021, the maximum accrual allowed for vacation leave time has been increased from 280 to 320 hours through June 30, 2021. Drexel will also temporarily allow any unused personal leave time to roll over to the next fiscal year on July 1, 2020, and the personal time that rolls over will need to be used by June 30, 2021.
Drexel will offer the same temporary change for fiscal year 2022, increasing the maximum accrual from 280 to 320 hours through June 30, 2022. As before, Drexel will also temporarily allow any unused personal leave time to roll over to the next fiscal year on July 1, 2021. The personal time that rolls over will need to be used by June 30, 2022.
These leave-time policy changes are temporary while we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please review HR-31.
The University is temporarily suspending its match and basic contributions to the 403(b) retirement plan from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, for every faculty and professional staff member, including those at the Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel University Online. You are not required to take any action as part of this change. For more information, please download the FAQ [PDF].
The wages of faculty and professional staff who are working remotely outside of the City of Philadelphia are not applicable to City Wage Tax during this period of remote work. Effective April 1, 2020, the Philadelphia Non-Resident Wage Tax will be turned off for the applicable employee population. For New Jersey residents who currently elect to waive the New Jersey State Tax, the NJ tax will be deducted during this time period. Once Drexel returns to normal operations, the Philadelphia Non-Resident Wage Tax and the New Jersey State Tax will be restored to their current status.
Once you are scheduled to return to work within the City of Philadelphia, regardless of the frequency, City Wage Tax will be reinstated. The Payroll Office is working to create a process that will allow individuals to record the time worked outside of the city on a per pay basis, instead of waiting until year end to file a petition for the credit.
HR News & Announcements
Resources for Remote Work
Remote Work Equipment and Other Expenses
The University will not pay for electricity, internet or phone services, office supplies, or most other items associated with remote work. Should you need a laptop, please work with your supervisor and/or financial administrator to borrow one from IT that can be returned once we are back to normal operations. You may also work with your supervisor if you would like to temporarily take certain equipment from your office to your home to utilize during this time. Please understand that you are responsible for returning the equipment upon your return to work. Please note that Comcast is offering special internet services during this crisis: internetessentials.com.
If your job does not accommodate remote work:
Benefit-eligible professional staff: Use sick time to record unworked hours. Professional staff members are permitted to borrow against future sick leave accruals. All hours worked must be submitted and approved in accordance with the applicable Payroll Schedules.
Non-benefit eligible faculty and professional staff (casual faculty, co-ops, temporary, per diem, causal and student employees): Will not be paid unless they are able to work remotely and are submitting hours. All hours worked must be submitted and approved in accordance with the applicable Payroll Schedules. Temporary, Per Diem and Casual employees may be eligible to receive up to 40 hours of sick leave in accordance with the Philadelphia Sick Leave Ordinance. Any additional time off will be unpaid.
Pennsylvania workers affected by COVID-19 closures or reduced hours may be eligible for Unemployment Benefits. Please review the Pennsylvania Pressroom site for more information. If you have questions related to specific circumstances in your work environment and/or the resources available to you, contact your HR Business Partner.