COVID-19 (coronavirus) Resources

The Office of Human Resources is updating this website regularly as more resources become available. You can find below pages related to helping our faculty and staff during these difficult times. We have multiple resource ranging from telehealth medicine to adjusting to the sudden change in work environment.

For important updates and communication for all UTRGV COVID -19 questions and resources please visit https://www.utrgv.edu/coronavirus/.

Requesting Appointments

Guidelines for Scheduling an Appointment with the Benefits Office

Send an email to benefits@utrgv.edu, subject line “Request for an Appointment”. In the body of your email please include preferred method of communication zoom/skype/email, and briefly state why you are requesting an appointment (i.e. notary services, turning in retirement or benefits paperwork, etc.)

A Benefits Representative will respond to your email to schedule a virtual appointment that best suits your schedules.

Here are the links on how to download zoom and skype.

You can also contact our front office at 956-665-2451 or 956-882-8205, to be transferred to an available Benefits Representative

Health, Insurance and Retirement

  • The Office of Human Resources is closely monitoring activity around the pandemic. We are committed to helping our employees stay informed about benefits related to COVID-19.  Please visit webpage related to COVID-19, for further assistance regarding your benefits.  
    • Effective immediately, the UT SELECT, and UT CONNECT plan will not require prior authorization and will waive member copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles associated with testing for COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance.
    • With regard to treatment for COVID-19, UT SELECT and UT CONNECT will cover medically necessary services consistent with the terms of each plan, including physician services, hospitalization, and emergency services.
    • A primary care physician copayment will apply for medically necessary treatment delivered to a patient who may be quarantined under CDC guidelines in a setting other than inpatient.
    • For specific questions about your UT SELECT coverage, members should call a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Advocate at 866-882-2034.  For UT CONNECT please contact the CONNECT customer service team at 888-399-8889.
  • MDLIVE - Virtual doctor visits through MDLIVE continue to be available with no out-of-pocket costs and can be used when appropriate.
    • Any person experiencing illness should contact their doctor or MDLIVE. 
  • Should employees need to access an early refill of prescription medication, they may do so through their UT SELECT and UT CONNECT prescription benefits. Express Scripts, our pharmacy benefit manager, has lifted the “refill too soon” limitations to accommodate early refills for prescription medications up to a 90-day supply.
  • All other UT Benefits programs will continue to operate according to the plan specifications outlined here. This includes dental, vision, short term disability, long term disability and life insurance. For disability and life insurance purposes, COVID-19 will be considered just as any other illness.
  • Submit Short Term Disability claim
  • Submit Long Term Disability claim with Dearborn or The Standard Plan and click “File a Claim” in the middle of the page. Click here for additional help.
  • Emergency Retirement Provider Contact and Signing Procedures - For the duration of the COVID-19 crises, the approved providers of the UT Retirement Program have agreed to temporarily make allowances for the various benefit offices to submit Vesting/Termination and in some cases Transfer Verification Forms. The effective date of this information is through April 30, 2020 or until advised otherwise. Please be advised this information only pertains to ORP members and employees with Voluntary Retirement Programs.
  • Fidelity Investments:
    • For the Duration of the COVID-19 crises, Vesting/Termination Letters can be emailed to 8778005761@fidelityfaxmail.com. This is, in Fidelity’s words, a “fax email”.  This is for V/T forms only.  TVF forms must be sent by regular fax or mail.
    • DocuSign Accepted: YES
  • TIAA:
    • For the Duration of the COVID-19 crises, Vesting/Termination Letters can be emailed to 8778005761@fidelityfaxmail.com. This is, in Fidelity’s words, a “fax email”.  This is for V/T forms only.  TVF forms must be sent by regular fax or mail.
    • DocuSign Accepted: YES
  • Voya Financial:
    • Email Jennifer Costello directly at Costello@voya.com to set up a VOYA secure email sign in.
    • DocuSign Accepted? YES
  • AIG Retirement (VALIC):
    • Vesting/Termination Forms to FAmailbox@Valic.com  with form or letter attached and approval in the body of the email. Please copy Kelly Wesson at kelly.wesson@aig.com when doing so. Note this is not a secure inbox, so do not provide a full SSN.
    • DocuSign Accepted? NO. However, Kelly has indicated that if you confirm the information in the body of your email, they will accept that.
  • Lincoln Financial:
    • Emailed forms can be sent to AlliancetoKofax@lfg.com. This is not a secure inbox so do not provide a full SSN.
    • DocuSign Accepted? Temporarily. Lincoln has committed to accept digital signatures through April 30, 2020 and will extend that date if necessary.

Student Assistance Program

The Office of Human Resources is happy to announce a new benefit for UTRGV Students.  We have worked with our Employee Assistance Program provider to establish a new program that is readily available to our students. The UTRGV Student Assistance Program promotes the emotional well-being of UTRGV students providing counseling services and referral to other resources with issues that we are seeing and experiencing, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This service certainly does not replace our Student Counseling Center and its services.  This new program is intended to complement our existing services for students.

UTRGV is committed to our students being able to successfully work toward completion of their educational goals while facing other challenges that many of us are experiencing currently.  The UTRGV Student Assistance Program is an extension of UTRGV’s  Employee Assistance Program (EAP), the program that offers the same services and resources to all benefits eligible employees.

 For more information about the UTRGV Student Assistance Program, please visit https://www.uth.edu/uteap/utrgv or call toll free at (800) 346-3549

Employee Assistance Program

Welcome to your Employee Assistance Program! Through the Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, you and your family members can access convenient and confidential services at no cost to you. The EAP offers a variety of services including counseling consultation services with a licensed mental health professional, legal and financial resources, and work life referrals.

To contact EAP or to obtain a referral for legal/financial/work life services, please call 713-500-3327 or 800-346-3549.

Wellness

Focusing on your overall wellbeing is essential to help cope with sudden changes and uncertainty. The following resources will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue working towards your goals.

For additional resources and initiatives, visit the UTRGV Employee Wellness webpage at www.utrgv.edu/wellness

Stay active at home with the Virtual Sessions offered by UTRGV University Recreation available to everyone at no charge. Link to join:  https://utrgv.zoom.us/j/211760632.

Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. The 12 weeks can be either continuous or intermittent.

Upon return from FMLA leave, employees must be restored to their original or an equivalent position with equivalent pay and benefits.

When foreseeable, employees shall give at least thirty (30) calendar days advance notice. When the need for FMLA leave is not foreseeable, an employee should give UTRGV notice that leave is needed as soon as practicable, preferably the same day or next business day of when the employee learns of the need for leave.

Click here for assistance completing your leave process. 

  • Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave
    • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions are effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. For further details click here.
    • EPSL is paid per click here, yet for reasons #4-6 it is not supplemented with any other leave types.
    • EFML for reason #5 runs concurrent after the first 10 days with personal leave: comp time and a half, state comp time and vacation, until exhaustion. Once personal leave has exhausted, 2/3 pay with mandated cap and subject to the 12-week maximum in a 12-month rolling-back period will be applied.

Suddenly Remote Training

We understand that making the transition from an office environment into a remote location working from home may not be easy for everyone. We want to ensure you are educated and provided with the correct tools to make your work at home experience stress free. We have a variety of online trainings to walk you through many programs and we currently have opening for registration on our training portal. Below you will also find many useful tools to enhance your zoom meetings.

Other available training resources: