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Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff
Message From:Message from Human Resources
Date Sent:Monday, April 13, 2020 09:35 AM CDT

CARES Act and Your Employee Benefits

Dear Benefit-Eligible Employee,

The Human Resources Division of Loyola University Chicago would like to acknowledge the resilience of our faculty and staff through unprecedented times of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. While we could not have predicted the impact COVID-19 would have on our community, we appreciate the adaptive nature of our employees. While many aspects of our day-to-day life have changed, we thank you for continuing to fulfill our mission as best we can while adhering to recommended social distancing guidelines.

We are writing you today to acknowledge some of the recently expanded benefits available to you as a Loyola employee, and as a result of the national Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

  1. The CARES Act clarifies that all testing for COVID-19 is covered with no cost to medical plan participants. Coverage extends to any services or items provided during a medical visit—including an in-person or telehealth visit to a doctor’s office, an urgent care center, or an emergency room—that results in COVID-19 testing or screening. This coverage requirement began on March 18, 2020 (when the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was enacted) and remains in effect only while there is a declared public health emergency (as defined under federal law).

  2. The CARES Act temporarily allows medical plans with a Health Savings Account (HSA)—i.e., Loyola's PPO 3 HSA—to cover any telemedicine or remote care expenses, even if the participant has not reached their deductible. This means that all Loyola Medical Plan members (PPO 1, PPO 2, and PPO 3 HSA) have this benefit. The change is expected to stay in effect through December 21, 2021.

  3. The CARES Act also includes coverage of telehealth services for dental services during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Delta Dental participants will be able to use telehealth services for dental evaluations. This allows for dentists to triage their patients for emergencies, prescribe medications, refer for emergency care as needed, and provide reassurance regarding any potential dental issues.

  4. The CARES Act permanently reinstated over-the-counter drugs and medicines as eligible expenses for Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) funds without a prescription. (Under the Affordable Care Act, only drugs and medicines that required a prescription were eligible for reimbursement.) This permanent change covers over-the-counter drugs and medicines purchased dating back to January 1, 2020.

  5. The CARES Act also includes feminine hygiene and care products to be considered eligible expenses for HSA, FSA, and HRA funds. This permanent change covers these products purchased dating back to January 1, 2020.

  6. Lastly, the CARES Act temporarily allows relief provisions directly applicable to the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (DCRP), including coronavirus-related distributions and increased loan limits. The DCRP Plan, administered through Transamerica only, will allow Coronavirus-related distributions and increased loan limits to eligible participants, up to a total of $100,000. This temporary relief provision is expected to be in effect no later than December 30, 2020 and available to any participant who meets one of the coronavirus-related criteria defined by the CARES Act. For more information on this provision and process, please contact the Retirement Center administered by Transamerica at 773.508.2770 or visit trsretire.com.

We encourage you to take advantage of the resources available as a result of the CARES Act, especially if you are feeling ill. As a Loyola Medical Plan participant, telemedicine resources as mentioned above are available through Teladoc. Wait times may be longer than usual; you may also wish to reach out to Aetna’s 24-Hour Nurse Line for assistance. If you require additional help, please remember that the Perspectives Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to you. This program may help you find positive solutions to issues and difficulties of daily life.

If you have any questions or would like more information on any of the topics in this message, please contact Human Resources at benefits@luc.edu and a benefits specialist will follow up with additional guidance. You may also visit our COVID-19 Health Resources website and the University’s coronavirus website for the most up-to-date information. We wish our entire Loyola community health and wellness through this trying time.

Sincerely,

Human Resources