Temporary Changes to Select Benefits at NYU New York

Below are official updates from the Benefits Office related to temporary changes to some NYU New York benefits due to the COVID-19 virus. Plan and program changes are emerging and subject to change. You may not be eligible for all benefits below; please consult your Benefits Guide or NYU PeopleLink if you have questions regarding your benefits or eligibility.

Agencies Provide COVID-19-Related Extensions for Certain Benefit Plan Deadlines

Posted June 3, 2020.

On April 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance that extends numerous deadlines that apply to group health plans and participants in those plans (“Extension Guidance”). Highlights of the Extension Guidance:

All benefit plan deadlines that are identified in the Extension Guidance are effectively tolled during the “Outbreak Period” defined in the guidance. The Outbreak Period starts March 1, 2020, and ends 60 days after the announced end of the COVID-19 National Emergency, or such other date announced by the agencies. For example, if the National Emergency ends on May 25, 2020, the Outbreak Period will end on July 24, 2020. The deadline extensions vary based on the actions taken. Benefit Plan deadlines for the following plan actions are impacted by the Extension Guidance:

Special Enrollment Rights
Employees have until 30 days following the end of the Outbreak Period to request special enrollment in the NYU group health plan for themselves or their eligible dependents if:

  • Employee or the employee’s dependent loses eligibility under another group health plan or health insurance coverage (including Medicaid or CHIP)
  • Employee or the employee’s dependent was covered under COBRA and the COBRA period is exhausted, or
  • Employee obtains a dependent through marriage/domestic partnership, birth, adoption or placement for adoption

You will receive information from the Plan’s COBRA administrator or its health plan or disability plan administrator, as applicable, about deadline extensions for the following events:


  • Electing COBRA coverage
  • Making COBRA payments
  • Notifying the plan of a COBRA-qualifying event or a determination of Social Security disability for COBRA purposes

Claims Procedures

  • Filing a benefit claim or an appeal of an adverse benefit determination under the plan’s claims and appeals procedures

External Reviews

  • Requesting an external review of an adverse benefit determination or final internal adverse benefit determination under a medical plan
  • Filing information to perfect a request for external review

Medical Plan Co-Pays for COVID-19 Testing and Virtual Visits

Posted March 18, 2020 for participants in Aetna, UnitedHealthcare (UHC), and Oxford medical plans. Updated April 2, 2020 for participants in the UHC High Deductible Health Plan. Updated April 6, 2020 to reflect the deadline extension for UHC and Oxford participants from June 4, 2020 to June 18, 2020. Updated May 6, 2020 to reflect updated antibody testing information. Updated July 24, 2020 to reflect the testing waiver deadline extension for UHC and Oxford participants.

Aetna Participants

Co-Pays for COVID-19 Testing Waived: If you meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for COVID-19 testing and you have a prescription from a doctor, your co-pay for the testing will be waived.

Co-Pays for COVID-19 Serological Antibody Testing Waived: The co-pay for COVID-19 antibody testing that is FDA-approved is waived. There is no referral needed from your provider to have your test performed at a participating lab. However, you must secure a prescription from your provider.

Co-Pays for Virtual Visits Waived Through June 4: Co-pays will be waived for virtual visits through network providers who deliver virtual care, such as live video conferencing, through June 4, 2020. You also have access to NYU Langone virtual urgent care (PDF), which will also have no co-pay through June 4, 2020.

UHC and Oxford Participants

Co-Pays for COVID-19 Testing Waived: If you meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for testing and you have a prescription from a doctor, your co-pay for the cost of testing will be waived until December 31, 2020. The IRS has issued relief that allows High Deductible Health Plans to cover COVID-19 testing without member cost sharing, without jeopardizing eligibility for a Health Savings Account. Therefore, this cost share waiver applies to all NYU UHC and Oxford medical plans.

Co-Pays for COVID-19 Serological Antibody Testing Waived: If you have a prescription from a physician for an FDA-approved antibody test, your cost share for the testing will be waived until December 31, 2020.

Co-Pays for Virtual Visits Waived Through June 18: NYU will waive co-pays for virtual visits available through Amwell, Doctors on Demand, Teladoc (PDF), and NYU Langone virtual urgent care (PDF) through June 18, 2020 for participants in the Oxford HMO Plan and the UHC Value, Advantage, and Choice Plus Plans. UHC anticipates that their claims systems will be updated by April 1, 2020 to reflect the co-pay waiver. Any NYU UHC or Oxford plan member who utilizes a virtual visit between the period of March 6 through April 1 and pays a co-pay will have their claim automatically reprocessed by UHC/Oxford and their co-pay reimbursed.

Participants in the UHC High Deductible Health Plan will receive a waiver of co-insurance for a virtual visit through June 18, 2020.

Aetna International Virtual Visits, Resources

Posted March 24, 2020 for faculty and employees on international assignment with Aetna International coverage. Added summary of resources and FAQs on June 29, 2020.

Aetna International Virtual Visits

Effective March 18, 2020, vHealth service is available to Aetna International participants for free for a 90-day period. vHealth allows members to speak to an experienced doctor by phone or video. Whether you want to talk about COVID-19 or any other medical concern, you can use the service at any time and from any country. Consultations are completely confidential, unlimited, and available in multiple languages. There are three ways to book a vHealth consultation:

  • vHealth by Aetna app: Download from the App Store or Google Play using access code VHEALTH90.
  • By telephone: Call 202-888-3462 or +44 203 6956363 to book an appointment.
  • By email: Send appointment requests to vHealth90@teladochealth.com along with full name, telephone number, preferred language, and reason for the consultation. A response will be returned within four hours.

COVID-19 Employee Assistance Resources

View Aetna International's summary of COVID-19 resources and FAQs (PDF).

Outside of the U.S., members have access to Aetna International's Employee Assistance Program by calling the number on the back of your member ID card. You can also connect via iConnectYou (PDF), which provides access to clinical counselors at any time for personalized, telephonic counseling support for stress and anxiety. Download the app, enter your country code, and you will be able to connect via toll-free local phone numbers, video, online chat, or SMS. Review the member guide (PDF) to learn your country code information.

Aetna International is providing free access to myStrength, our highly interactive, personalized tool that helps address depression, anxiety, stress, and more:

  • Personalized daily activities to support your mental health
  • Inspiration and encouragement from our community of users
  • Progress check-ins and wellness assessments to see how you’re doing
  • Advice from leading clinicians to help improve your emotional health

Article: Coping with anxiety around COVID-19 (PDF)

Temporary Waiver of CVS Pharmacy 30-Day Early Refill Limits and Home Delivery Ends June 14, 2020

Emailed March 17, 2020 to eligible faculty and employees participating in the CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit. Updated May 27, 2020 to reflect end date of June 14, 2020.

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we understand you may have concerns about accessing prescription medications for yourself or loved ones – especially those with a chronic or complex condition.

CVS Caremark has informed the University about the steps it is taking to protect member access to medication. We are pleased to share this information below. You are encouraged to refill maintenance medications with a 90-day supply (or up to the plan maximum).

Relaxed Refill Restrictions: CVS Pharmacy is temporarily waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications at any in-network pharmacy. You can now fill maintenance medication prescriptions ahead of schedule.

Free Home Delivery: CVS Pharmacy has waived charges for home delivery of all prescription medications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, so this convenient option can help you avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new maintenance prescriptions. As always, there is no charge for delivery of prescriptions filled by CVS Caremark Mail Service pharmacy, when you choose mail.

If you have any questions, please call CVS Health Customer Care at 800-421-5501.

WageWorks Commuter Benefits

On or about March 19, 2020, WageWorks will email participants in the commuter benefits program with information related to the following. Updated March 30, 2020 with a reminder email from the NYU Benefits Office for participants to review their May 2020 commuter benefit order by April 4, 2020. Updated April 6, 2020 with a reminder about the ongoing fourth of the month deadline.

WageWorks is working to ensure continuity for NYU commuter benefits, assembling a response team and partnering with transit and parking providers. Regular established pass return and refund policies remain in effect. If and when transit and parking providers make changes to their policies in response to COVID-19, updates will be provided to participants by WageWorks.

Upcoming Orders: You may have questions about your current and pending commuter election options. At this time, the fulfillment of your upcoming commuter order for April 2020 will go forward as usual. The fourth of the month is the deadline for the following benefit month in order to give time for passes, electronic funds loading to cards, and orders delivered through the United States Postal Service to arrive by the first of the month. We suggest plan participants modify future or recurring orders accordingly if working from home. To make order changes for the May 2020 benefit month, you have until April 4, 2020 to login to http://www.wageworks.com and change your order or call WageWorks at 877-WAGEWORKS (877-924-3967) to cancel your order for you.

WageWorks Commuter Card Plan Participants: Balances on the WageWorks Commuter Card will remain until depleted so plan participants can still access them at a later time. Plan participants working remotely can modify their elections on http://www.wageworks.com in order to avoid building up a high balance on the card while not in use.

Transit Pass Elections: The various transit agencies WageWorks partners with have differing refund policies and requirements which WageWorks can help you navigate or you may contact your transit agency directly. Plan participants are advised to modify future orders accordingly on http://www.wageworks.com while they are working remotely so that any recurring orders are cancelled as needed.

If you have any questions, please contact WageWorks at 877-WAGEWORKS (877-924-3967).

March 30, 2020 Reminder: Review Your May 2020 Commuter Benefit Order Soon

As a reminder, the deadline to modify your commuter benefit order for the May 2020 benefit month is Saturday, April 4, 2020. To change or cancel your order, login to wageworks.com or call 877-WAGEWORKS (877-924-3967). No action is required if you do not wish to make changes.

For the most up-to-date information on specific transit and parking providers' responses to the Coronavirus, please visit wageworks.com/commuter-COVID or call 877-WAGEWORKS (877-924-3967). If you have any questions, please contact PeopleLink, NYU’s benefits and payroll service center, at askpeoplelink@nyu.edu or 212-992-LINK (5465).

The fourth of each month is the deadline to make changes for the following benefit month. For example, Monday, May 4, 2020 is the deadline to modify your commuter benefit order for the June 2020 benefit month.

CARES Act Provisions for FSAs and HSAs

This communication is being emailed on or about April 20, 2020 to Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) participants. Also see CARES Act provisions for NYU retirement plans participants communicated April 16, 2020. Added reminder to Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account participants on May 4, 2020 regarding updating elections due to qualifying events.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently signed into law provides for the expansion of eligible expenses for reimbursement from FSAs and HSAs to include:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medicines without a doctor’s prescription purchased on or after January 1, 2020
  • Menstrual care products purchased on or after January 1, 2020

Debit Card Purchases

  • WageWorks FSA: Menstrual care items will be programed in the WageWorks system for debit card purchases by May 15, 2020. In the interim, plan participants may need to submit manual claims with receipts to WageWorks for reimbursement.
  • Optum HSA: You may use your HSA debit card as you normally would for the purchase of OTC or menstrual products as no claim reimbursement process is required. Please retain copies of your receipts for tax purposes.
As a reminder, you can update your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account election in the Benefits Resource Center if there is a qualifying event such as a change in childcare provider or cost of coverage. The updated election must be consistent with the change.

Vision Service Plan

Posted May 4, 2020 for participants in the Vision Service Plan (VSP). Updated July 6, 2020 with deadline extension through August 31, 2020. Updated July 15, 2020 with revised flyer. Updated August 14, 2020 with deadline extension through December 31, 2020 and revised flyer.

Effective through December 31, 2020, VSP has expanded access (PDF) to medical eye care services for members and their covered dependents, who have access to supplemental medical eye care for the detection, treatment, and management of ocular and visual conditions including conjunctivitis, eye trauma, or sudden changes in vision.

Carebridge Employee Assistance Program, UnitedHealthcare and MetLife Helplines

Posted March 18, 2020 for eligible faculty and employees. Updated March 25, 2020 with April webinars. Updated March 26, 2020 with new UnitedHealthcare (UHC) mental health support for all faculty and employees. Updated June 15, 2020 with new MetLife emotional support for U.S. faculty and employees. Updated August 17, 2020 with additional support in the tri-state area.

Carebridge, the free, confidential, professional link to guidance and counseling, remains available and at your service as NYU's employee assistance program benefit. Call 800-437-0911 to consult with a board-certified counselor at any time. In addition, related resources provided by Carebridge include:


In order to provide support during this challenging time, eligibility for Carebridge will be extended to include adjunct faculty through August 31, 2020.
Additional Support from UHC:
Additionally, UHC now offers supplemental support services for those who have been affected by Coronavirus. Regardless of your current medical plan provider, UHC is extending a free emotional support helpline (866-342-6892) so that all impacted faculty and employees may speak with trained mental health specialists at any time. The specialists can help you manage stress and anxiety so you may continue to address everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to address specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.
Additional Support from MetLife:
MetLife has extended the LifeWorks crisis support helpline (877-757-7587) to U.S. faculty and employees and their families. Available 24 hours a day, you can receive professional emotional support and referrals to community resources.
Additional Support in the Tri-State Area:

TIAA One-on-One Financial Consultations by Phone or Online, Webinars on the Market

Posted March 18, 2020 for eligible faculty and employees. Resources flyers added June 16, 2020.

Although all in-person sessions of the one-on-one financial planning consultations with the financial experts of TIAA are cancelled, personalized consultations by phone or virtually continue at this time. Arrange a telephone meeting as you normally would schedule an in-person meeting by visiting https://tiaa.org/schedulenow; the confirmed meeting will then be converted to a phone meeting. Or, learn how to schedule a video conference session (PDF). Additional resources provided by TIAA include:

Bright Horizons Crisis Care Assist

Posted March 18, 2020 for eligible full-time faculty, administrators, and professional research staff. Updated March 23, 2020 with program information. Updated April 3, 2020 with April webinars.

As of March 23, 2020, Bright Horizons has deactivated this program. Bright Horizons is continuing to add to their in-home back-up care network of providers and arrange quality care options. In the event that eligible participants are unable to secure usual back-up care through Bright Horizons (username: NYU / password: Benefits4You) because of school closures or lack of caregiver, Bright Horizons will offer Crisis Care Assist. Crisis Care Assist allows use of your own personal network – a relative, neighbor, friend, or sitter – and a reimbursement of $100.00 per day. Please note that any use of Crisis Care Assist will count toward your ten available days of subsidized back-up care visits.

LiveSmart Health Screenings and Programs

Posted March 13, 2020 on Health Screenings for eligible faculty, employees, and retirees. Updated April 6, 2020 with revised spring programming and opportunities.

All on-campus health screenings scheduled for April 2020 – skin cancer and bone density – are cancelled.

Revised programming and opportunities are available and underway. Participate in virtual LiveSmart events for healthy habits and fiscal fitness, including:

Health Matters

  • Mindful Mondays 30-minute mindfulness
  • Smart Stress Management
  • Free 21-day meditation experience
  • Skin cancer information session
  • Ergonomically-safe home office tips
  • Stretch breaks guided videos
  • LiveSmart Discounts online alternatives

Money Matters

  • One-on-one TIAA consultations by phone or video
  • Market volatility webinar presented by TIAA
  • TIAA quarterly economic and market update
  • Life insurance session presented by Prudential
  • Tomorrow in Focus: Saving for Your Ideal Retirement

Community Matters

  • Free confidential Carebridge guidance and counseling
  • Self Care for Key Personnel in Critical Functions
  • Caring for Your Elders During a Pandemic
  • Relaxation Exercises at Work
  • Establishing Healthy Lifestyles
  • Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
  • LinkedIn Learning resources for anxiety, resilience, and more

Learn more and access LiveSmart's virtual programming.