Benefits Announcements

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. Chat with ALEX about health coverage, flexible spending, retirement benefits, life insurance, and disability coverage by visiting:


The Open Enrollment period for health coverage and flexible spending accounts ended May 15, 2024.

Elections made during open enrollment take effect July 1, 2024 and any associated payroll deduction changes will first appear on the July 16, 2024 paycheck. For more information, view the 2024 Open Enrollment page. 

New Catapult Health Virtual Checkup® Home Kit - for Eligible Members

The health plan administrators for COVA Care, COVA HealthAware and COVA HDHP are working to identify members who have not received their annual preventive exam so they can be offered access to a virtual checkup.

Catapult Health is a participating network provider with Anthem and Aetna. They offer a Virtual Checkup® Home Kit to bring members a convenient, simple, and comprehensive health checkup that can be done right at home. This virtual checkup is entirely FREE as part of the member's health plan benefits.

In the coming days, the identified members will be receiving an email from Catapult Health with information on how to enroll in the Virtual Checkup® Home Kit. The email will be sent from VirtualCheckup.

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 2023 to state employee health plan participants on January 31, 2024.  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 website 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.

Optional Life Insurance Premium Update 2024 

Premiums for Optional Life Insurance are based on age and salary.  Updated premiums apply to employees who experienced salary changes, and to employees and covered family members whose age category changed, since the 2023 premium update.  Updated premiums are automatically applied to paychecks based on billing from the insurance provider, Securian.

The monthly premium rates by age range for each thousand dollars of coverage can be found in the program brochure.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Administrator PayFlex Rebranded

The current Flexible Spending Account Administrator, PayFlex, which administers the Commonwealth’s Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) for state employees will be rebranded as “Inspira Financial” as of 2024. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Transitional messages added to the login page for PayFlex.
  • The same username and password can be used for the new Inspira Financial website as of January 2024.
  • The payflex website will automatically redirect to the new Inspira Financial website.

In addition, FSA Cards for new, lost or stolen cards will be issued with the new Inspira Financial logo. Current cards will continue to be used through June 30, 2024. Employees who elect a Health Flexible Spending Account will be issued new cards as of July 1, 2024. 

New Health Assessment for COVA Care Members

Anthem has transitioned to a new Health Assessment called My Health Check-in as of January 1, 2024. Unlike the former WebMD Health Assessment, My Health Check-in is 85% shorter and only takes about five minutes to complete. COVA Care Members will no longer be required to input biometric data when taking the assessment. Instead, the new assessment collects information on a broader range of topics focused on understanding demographics, diversity, and any existing physical, emotional, and social barriers to good health. As before, the My Health Check-in is 100% confidential.

My Health Check-in will be available via the SydneySM Health mobile app or Anthem beginning January 1, 2024. Employees who have already taken a Health Assessment for their 2023-2024 Premium Reward do not need to take the My Health Check-in to continue their incentive.

For full instructions on how to complete the health assessment, see Premium Rewards 2023-2024 (PDF).

Annual Medicare Creditable Coverage Notice 

VCU Human Resources will mail a notice during October to all employees who are:

  • enrolled in the state health benefits program and eligible for or entitled to Medicare
  • enrolled in the state health benefits program and covering a family member who is eligible for or entitled to Medicare

The notice verifies that the state employee health plans are, on average for all plan participants, expected to pay out as much as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage pays, and are therefore considered creditable coverage. Because the state employee coverage is creditable coverage, Medicare-eligible employees can keep the coverage and not pay a higher premium (penalty) when enrolling in Medicare drug coverage later.

Please keep the notice when you receive it by mail at your home address, as you may be required to produce it when and if you decide to enroll in a Medicare drug program in the future.

For more information about Medicare and state health coverage through VCU, see the FAQ at

TIAA third-party vendor security incident 

PBI, a third-party vendor used by TIAA to assist with death claim and beneficiary processes, was affected by the recent widespread security vulnerability in MOVEit file transfer software. TIAA participants whose information was involved in the security incident will be contacted by PBI directly to offer two years of free credit monitoring at no cost. TIAA confirmed that its own systems were not affected. TIAA encourages all participants to follow these Cyber Tips. Participants with questions may contact TIAA directly at 1-800-842-2252.

TimelyCare for mental and emotional health support

TimelyCare is available to all employees and offers 24/7 resources for mental/emotional health, including on-call virtual mental health support and self care tools.    


VCU benefits announcements will come only from VCU emails 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.