Coronavirus: Payroll and Benefits Resources & FAQs

TWU is actively monitoring the coronavirus situation, and currently there have not been any cases of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) within the TWU community.  However, in an effort to be prepared, the following is a collection of resources that may be helpful if TWU employees become affected by the coronavirus, or TWU decides to modify operations in light of guidance from health officials. Also included below are a list of frequently asked questions that may be applicable to this situation. Please contact the HR staff listed below if you have any additional questions.

Payroll Staff:

Amanda Noday, ANoday@twu.edu, 940-898-3562

Jane Sewald, JSewald@twu.edu, 940-898-3561

Carla Fortenberry, cfortenberry@twu.edu, 940-898-3551

Benefits Staff:

Angela Cagle, ACagle@twu.edu, 940-898-3552

Holly Harris, hharris1@twu.edu, 940-898-3542

Lisa Taylor, LTaylor16@twu.edu, 940-898-3759

EMERGENCY LEAVE

Upon a declaration by the Chancellor and President granting emergency leave, all regular benefits eligible employees* required to complete timecards may report “Emergency Other”.  Emergency leave is paid leave.

*Per Texas Government Code Sec. 661.901, benefits eligible employees are:

(1) employed to work at least 20 hours per week for a period of at least four and one-half months; and

(2) not employed in a position for which the employee is required to be a student as a condition of the employment.

We encourage you to confirm your essential duties with your supervisor to determine the need to be on campus or telecommute if emergency leave is in effect.

TIMECARDS & PAYCHECKS

We realize regular benefits eligible employees may not be able to complete or submit timecards in Oracle until returning to campus.  However, this will not affect your paycheck.  Upon returning to campus, please record “Emergency Other” for days not worked in accordance with declaration of coronavirus emergency.  This leave type will not be deducted from leave balances.

DIRECT DEPOSIT

For those who have not signed up for direct deposit, to elect direct deposit as your payment method:  log into Oracle from any campus computer and choose TWU Employee Self-Service, Direct Deposit Information.  Add your banking information and choose the submit button which automatically updates your payment method with Payroll.  If you are unable to access Oracle, you may access the paper form on the HR Forms page and submit the form to the Payroll Office for processing.

TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD SERVICE & VOLUNTEER TIME

A state employee who is called to active duty or authorized training is entitled to a leave of absence of 15 days in each federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) without loss of pay or benefits. The 15 workdays need not be consecutive. In addition, these days are “working” days, not “calendar” days. After exhausting the 15 workdays of paid military leave, the employee may use accrued vacation or be placed in a leave without pay status (or combination of the two) for the remainder of the active duty period. For complete details, refer to URP:  V.14.h, Military Leave.

Texas Woman’s University provides paid emergency leave to an employee who is a volunteer firefighter, emergency medical services volunteer, certified American Red Cross disaster service volunteer, or certified American Red Cross disaster service volunteer trainee in accordance with state law.  Leave for emergency fire situations or emergency medical services situations may be paid with administrative approval.  For complete details, refer to URP:  V.14.i, Volunteer Emergency Responder Leave.

EMPLOYEE EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FUND

The Employee Emergency Assistance Fund (EEAF) provides limited financial assistance of up to $500 to meet immediate and essential needs of Texas Woman’s University employees experiencing a temporary hardship due to an emergency life situation.  To apply for assistance from this fund, visit Employee Emergency Assistance Fund (EEAF).

EAP (EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PLAN)

1-800-343-3822

EAP Website: https://www.awpnow.com/main/

If you have never utilized the EAP, the following steps for the first time login:

  1. Go to https://www.awpnow.com
  2. Select “Access Your Benefits”
  3. Complete the required registration fields
  4. Enter the registration code: AWP-TWU-1412
  5. Make note of the email address and password you created for the next time you log in to your EAP website.

MEDICAL BENEFITS

Contact information for those enrolled in medical plans:

HealthSelect and Consumer Directed HealthSelect (BlueCrossBlueShield): 1-800-252-8039

Group Number: 238000

BCBS Website: https://www.bcbstx.com/hs/search-results.html?keywords=virtual+visits 

MEDICAL ID CARDS

It is advisable that you log into blueaccess for members to obtain a temporary card or call BCBS at 1-800-252-8039 to request a card be mailed to your home.  You can print a card, take a screenshot to save to your phone, or upload the card to a personal shared drive such as google. 

PRESCRIPTION BENEFITS

Current and post 09/01/2017:

HealthSelect OptumRX:  1-855-828-9834

HealthSelect OptumRX Website:  https://www.optumrx.com/oe_ers/landing

WORKERS COMPENSATION

The TWU benefits staff will be available to assist with the filing of a claim if an injury or work related illness occurs. Employees who have a current/active claim can contact SORM directly at 1-877-445-0006.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What services are available through EAP (Employee Assistance Plan)?

Answer: All benefits eligible staff and faculty have access to EAP services at no cost to the employee, employee’s spouse, and dependent children.  Licensed clinicians are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help with any type of situation.  All guidance counseling is confidential. 

Question: How do I access medical Benefits if I am not able to see my Primary Care Physician?

Answer: A 24-hour nurse line is available through all medical plans plus virtual visits through HealthSelect and Consumer Directed HealthSelect.  1-800-252-8039

Question:  What care is available if I am away from home with an urgent medical situation that may not require an emergency room?

Answer: Contact the customer service number on your medical card or the number of your plan listed above to locate urgent care facilities.  Network providers can also be located by logging on to BCBS of Texas webpage.  Network Urgent care facilities located anywhere in Texas can treat you at a $50 copay for HealthSelect and 20% after meeting your deductible through Consumer Directed HealthSelect.

Question: If an emergency occurs, how are medical services accessed if I am away from home?

Answer:  Emergency Health Services received at a non-network hospital are covered at the network level, until your physician determines that it is medically appropriate to transfer you to a network hospital.

Question: If I lost my medical and/or prescription card what do I provide to my provider/pharmacy or how do I obtain a new card?

Answer: If you have access to the internet go to your plan web page and print a temporary card or call the customer service number.  If you are at a provider’s office or pharmacy and need coverage verified you can provide your plan customer service number, group number, and social security number to your provider or pharmacy.  The provider can contact the plan administrator for coverage details. 

Question:  How do I fill a prescription if I am away from home or unable to reach my PCP?

Answer:  If you are able to reach your PCP he/she can call a prescription into any network pharmacy.  If you are unable to reach your physician and need a new prescription you may need to see a physician using one of the methods listed above. 

Question: What happens if I am injured or contract an illness while performing work activities?

Answer:  First, if emergency care is necessary go directly to the ER or summon assistance by calling 9-1-1. For non-emergency care, seek treatment from an approved State Office of Risk Management (SORM) network provider.  Contact the TWU Office of Human Resources at 940-898-3542 or SORM at 877-445-0006 to locate a network provider. You can also look up providers online at https://www.sorm.state.tx.us/claims-operations/health-care-network. The Workers Compensation Coordinator will work with the employee and the supervisor to file the claim the next business day.  If an employee feels that an injury or illness is work-related, then it must be reported.  The determination of compensability is made by SORM.  In most cases, if the claim is not approved, most injuries and/or illnesses may be covered under our medical plans. 

Question: If an emergency is declared, can employees work from home?

Answer: If an emergency is declared by the university, the approval procedures in the telecommuting policy will be waived during the emergency period and immediate approval to telecommute will be granted from the vice president or equivalent of the division.  Supervisors should use the telecommuting policy as a template and identify the actions and tasks that can be accomplished while telecommuting.

We encourage you to confirm with your supervisor as to whether your essential duties would require you telecommute if emergency leave is in effect. If it is determined you will need to telecommute, you are encouraged to make necessary preparations to do so by:

  • Determining the equipment, software and supplies needed to work remotely. Employees must seek approval from their supervisor prior to taking any equipment and supplies from their office to their telecommuting work-site
  • Understanding how to connect to TWU’s remote desktop, verifying connecting and logging in capabilities, and ensuring that all protective software and other firewall technology are installed and used on all equipment at the remote location.
  • Discussing with your supervisor call-in procedures and your work schedule.
  • Establishing with your supervisor expected communication and collaboration procedures using TWU email, phone calls, and virtual tools. 
  • Determining if any alternate work assignments or tasks are necessary.

Refer to the Telecommuting Policy for additional items to consider regarding telecommuting.

 

Question: If I have a child enrolled in a childcare facility or ISD that has been closed due to COVID-19, am I eligible for a telecommuting arrangement if I am unable to make alternative childcare arrangements?

Yes. Department heads may approve temporary telecommuting arrangements on a case by case basis to the extent you are able to perform your functions remotely. Please submit an email request to your supervisor for department head approval as appropriate.

Supervisors are responsible to ensure employees working in a temporary telecommuting arrangement are effectively performing the functions of their position. Duties may be modified as determined by your supervisor based on the current operational needs of the department. Daily reports of work duties/tasks performed are expected to be submitted by employees to their supervisors.

Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be modified or discontinued at any time at the department head’s discretion. Telecommuting approvals are to be maintained at the department level.

Telecommuting Task Log (MSWord)

Approved Telecommuting Employee List (MSExcel)

Page last updated 10:28 AM, March 20, 2020