Open enrollment for the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
February 1-28, 2019 is this year's ORP open enrollment period, which means you can change your account provider for future ORP contributions between VCU's approved ORP providers – TIAA and Fidelity – by completing and returning to VCU Human Resources the ORP account provider change form.

Important: If you do not already have a VCU ORP account with the account provider you are selecting, follow the enrollment instructions on the ORP page on how to set up an account. Changes made during ORP open enrollment become effective March 1, 2019 and will be reflected in your pay stub documentation (in eServices/VCU Self Service) beginning March 15, 2019.

Note to current participants: If you take no action during this year's open enrollment, your current account provider will stay the same for 2019. Your next opportunity to change your ORP account provider will be during next year's annual open enrollment. Of course, you can always change asset allocations account provider at any time.

IRS Form 1095-C for Affordable Healthcare Act compliance
For tax year 2018, IRS form 1095-C is provided to employees as proof of coverage under an employer-based health plan. Forms for University and Academic professionals,  faculty, and classified staff in the state employee health benefits program (COVA Care, COVA HealthAware, COVA High Deductible Health Plan or Kaiser Permanente) were mailed out as of January 31, by the Office of Health Benefits at the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management. VCU employees covered by the Postdoctoral health plan may obtain 1095-C forms through the VCU Office of Postdoctoral Services.

The forms are not required for filing tax returns, and the IRS has published guidance that individual taxpayers do not need to wait for form 1095-C in order to file tax returns. For further information, please see and share the Internal Revenue Service's "Questions and Answers about Health Care Information Forms for Individuals" at

2019 Deferral Limits for Voluntary Retirement Savings
The annual deferral limit for 403(b) and 457(b) retirement savings plans have increased to $19,000 in 2019. These limits apply to pre-tax and after-tax (Roth) contributions combined in the following plans:

Note to Hybrid Plan participants: Voluntary contributions to the VRS Hybrid Plan are made to the VRS Hybrid 457.  These contributions count toward the same 457(b) limit as contributions to the Commonwealth of Virginia 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (“DCP”).  Combined contributions to both plans may not exceed the 457(b) limit.

Employees eligible for the age 50+ catch-up may defer an additional $6,000 to 403(b) and/or 457(b) plans in 2019.

Employees who wish maximize the new limits in VCU plans may make contribution election changes as follows:

  • Contribution changes for the VCU 403(b) Tax Deferred Annuity Plan (“TDA”) are made using the . Return the completed form to VCU Payroll as instructed on the form. For changes to be effective with the first January paycheck, the form must be received by VCU Payroll no later than Monday, January 7, 2019.
  • Contribution changes for the Commonwealth of Virginia 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan (“DCP”) are made online at or by phone to (877) 327-5261. For changes to be effective with the first January paycheck, changes must be completed by December 31, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Voluntary contribution changes for the VRS Hybrid Plan are made online at or by phone to (877) 327-5261. For changes to be effective with the first January paycheck, changes needed to be completed by December 17, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

These limits apply to all 403(b) and 457(b) plans in which a person participates during 2019.  If you participate in plans outside of VCU that fall under the same limits, it is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that your combined contributions to VCU plans and all like plans outside of VCU do not exceed the limits.

Questions? Email or call (804) 827-1723.

VCU benefits announcements on social media will come only from VCU social media accounts

VCU Human Resources has become aware that some social media users who have identified themselves as VCU employees may be receiving offers from “Virginia Insurance Review” on Facebook and other platforms.  VCU Human Resources does not endorse or recommend this service.  For information about insurance provided to salaried employees at VCU, please see life insurance and disability insurance.

Health benefits elections and changes
The state's Employee Direct system is currently unable to process health benefits elections and changes. Please use the health benefits enrollment form to submit changes or make elections to the state health plan. 

Premium rewards
Premium rewards for the current plan year end in June. To earn a premium reward for the next plan year (July 2018-June 2019), employees must complete or update a health assessment in the Active Health portal. Employees who participate in a COVA Care or COVA HealthAware health plan can earn a $17 per month ($8.50 per paycheck) discount on health plan premiums beginning in July if their health assessment is completed by May 15th. Spouses enrolled on a plan can earn an additional $17 monthly discount by completing the assessment, making the total monthly discount $34 ($17 per paycheck). The single COVA HealthAware premium for basic coverage is $17 per month, making this health plan free for employees who earn the premium reward.

For full instructions on how to complete the health assessment, see:

For COVA Care participants, your Employee ID for Active Health is 00+ the seven numbers in your COVA Care Member ID. For COVA HealthAware participants, your Employee ID for Active Health is your Member ID starting with 00. If your enrolled spouse is completing the assessment, a separate Active Health account must be set up by your spouse using your Active Health Employee ID number.

If you and/or your enrolled spouse do not complete the health assessment by May 15, it can still be completed later but the premium reward(s) will also start later in the plan year. Completing the health assessment is voluntary. If you decide not to participate, you will pay the regular premium for your plan with no discount.