Cardinal unavailable from September 22 through October 2 

Cardinal will be unavailable to users from 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, October 2. VCU employees will not be able to enter state employee health coverage or flexible spending elections or to review their enrollment records during this period.  VCU Human Resources will also not be able to process health coverage or flexible spending elections during this period. Cardinal will become available again on Monday, October 3. Information regarding the outage is available at .

Optional Life Insurance Special Enrollment October 1 through November 30

Faculty, University and Academic Professionals, and classified employees have a special enrollment opportunity for optional life insurance during October and November. During this period, employees who do not currently participate can enroll without medical underwriting and those who participate can increase coverage without medical underwriting.  Both Virginia Retirement System (VRS) and Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) participants are eligible.  Read more in the VRS Member Update at To enroll, click on the “Visit Securian” button in your myVRS portal at For questions, contact Securian at 1-800-441-2258 or request VCU HR support from

Long-term care insurance premium rate increase 

Genworth, the insurer and third-party administrator for the Commonwealth of Virginia Voluntary Long Term Care Insurance Program offered by the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), has announced a premium rate increase recently approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The increase affects participants who enrolled in the program between 2010 and 2016 (Group Policy Form Series 7046), for whom the 10-year premium rate guarantee expired in 2020. Participants should consult their letters from Genworth for details about options.  Participants with questions may consult Genworth's informational web site or contact Genworth at 855-706-9543.  

VRS Hybrid Plan members: Auto-escalation of your member contribution is coming soon

If you are a member of the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan who is not making the maximum 4% voluntary contribution to your Hybrid 457 account, VRS will automatically increase your voluntary member contribution by half a percent effective in January 2023 and your paycheck deduction will increase accordingly.  To opt out of auto-escalation or choose a different voluntary contribution amount effective in January 2023, make an election with the plan no later than December 15, 2022. For more details, see “Voluntary contribution auto-escalation” on page 26 of your VRS Hybrid Plan Member Handbook

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver Opportunity

On October 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a change to Public Service Loan Forgiveness program rules. For a limited time, borrowers may receive credit for past payments made on loans that would otherwise not qualify. Read more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program rules.

Grace period for 2021-2022 dependent care flexible spending accounts (DCFSA) 

In an effort to meet the needs of employees during these extraordinary times, the Commonwealth is adding a grace period to the 2021-2022 DCFSA plan year (7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022), which will extend the period to incur claims under the DCFSA until September 15, 2022. The grace period is a predetermined timeframe after the plan year ends that enables participants to spend down any funds remaining from the previous plan year.  Employees enrolled in the DCFSA on June 30, 2022 who have a balance remaining may continue using the funds to file for claims incurred from July 1, 2022 through September 15, 2022.  All claims must be received by PayFlex no later than October 30, 2022 in order to be eligible for reimbursement under the grace period. See more information and Q&A on the state program's web site.  There will be no grace period for health care flexible spending accounts.  

IRS 1095 forms for health plan participants

The Office of Health Benefits (OHB) at the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management mailed 1095-C forms for 2021 to state employee health plan participants during the weeks of January 24 and January 31, 2022.  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance states that the forms are not required in order to file a tax return and should not be filed with a tax return.  See "Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals" on the IRS web site for more details.

VCU Human Resources does not receive copies of these forms. If you did not receive your 1095 form and would like to request a duplicate, send a request to OHB at including your health plan member ID number and a current mailing address.  Replacement forms are issued within 7-10 days. 

Health Plan Reimbursement of COVID-19 At-Home Tests 

Faculty and staff who participate in the state health benefits program are eligible for reimbursement of costs for eligible over-the-counter diagnostic COVID-19 tests purchased January 15, 2022 or later during the declared federal Coronavirus Public Health Emergency. Each individual covered on an employee's health plan can receive up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each month. If you purchase a test kit that includes two rapid tests, those will count as two of the eight covered tests. For reimbursement information, see:

For questions, contact your health plan company directly using the contact information on your member ID card.

Campus operations are currently altered in response to COVID-19. 

Refer to Enroll in Benefits and Changing Your Benefits for details about enrolling in, or making changes to, benefits. For elections that require forms or documents, materials can be returned using any of the methods provided on the Enroll in Benefits page. 

Signing up for benefits? Making changes? ALEX is here to help!

ALEX for VCU is the new interactive benefits counselor for faculty members and University and Academic Professionals.  Have chat with ALEX about health coverage, flexible spending, retirement benefits, life insurance, and disability coverage by visiting from your computer, smartphone, or mobile device.

VCU benefits announcements will come only from VCU email addresses or social media accounts

VCU Human Resources is aware that some employees have received email solicitations or social media contacts that attempt to represent themselves as official communications from VCU about employee benefits. VCU announcements about employee benefits will come only from VCU email addresses or through official VCU social media channels. VCU's approved retirement plan service providers are Virginia Retirement System, TIAA, and Fidelity Investments. Communications from these approved retirement plan service providers will include their logos and references to specific programs in which VCU employees participate. Communications from other parties are not authorized by VCU.