IU Benefits Updates Related to COVID-19

Below is a summary of the changes and enhancements to IU benefit plans related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For questions, contact IU Human Resources at or 812-856-1234.

Visit IUHR’s COVID-19 response site for guidance and frequently asked questions on all other HR-related topics including pay and time off, telecommuting, hiring, returning to campus, and more.

Full IUHR COVID-19 Response Site

Healthcare Plans

COVID-19 Testing

IU-sponsored medical plans will not require prior authorization and will waive member copays, coinsurance, and deductibles associated with testing for COVID-19 when medically necessary and consistent with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance. Testing for COVID-19 is covered at 100% under the medical plans.

  • Medical personnel, in consultation with the state health department, will determine if an individual should be tested for COVID-19. This test requires a doctor’s order. You can call a medical professional or your primary care physician for assistance.
  • If a medical professional orders a COVID-19 Test for you, it will be covered at no cost under all IU-sponsored healthcare plans. This means that all copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs are waived for the focused test used to diagnose COVID-19. In addition, this will be extended to include waiver of copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for visits associated with in-network COVID-19 testing, whether the care is received in a physician’s office, an urgent care center or an emergency department.
  • For specific questions about Anthem medical plans, members should call Anthem at 844-736-0920. For questions about the IU Health HDHP, please contact IU Health at 866-895-5975.
  • If you do not have medical coverage, all Hoosiers, regardless of age, can access free COVID-19 testing. Visit the Indiana State Department of Health COVID-19 Testing website to find a testing location near you.

COVID-19 Treatment

Effective April 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021, testing or treatment of a diagnosed case of COVID-19 will be covered at 100% for IU medical plan members.

  • All IU-sponsored medical plans will cover in-network medically necessary services for the treatment of a COVID-19 diagnosis, including physician services, hospitalization, and emergency services, at 100%. This means that members receiving medical care for COVID-19 from network providers and facilities should have no out-of-pocket costs.
  • For specific questions about Anthem medical plans, members should call Anthem at 844-736-0920. For questions about the IU Health HDHP, please contact IU Health at 866-895-5975.

Telehealth for Medical Services

Telehealth visits through your personal in-network physician or your IU-sponsored medical plan are covered at no cost, for any reason, for all members of IU-sponsored medical plans from March 17, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Beginning October 1, 2020, telehealth visits will still be covered, but will be subject to the standard coinsurance/copay and deductible amounts.

  • All members of IU-sponsored medical plans have 24/7 virtual access to board-certified doctors. Anthem plan members can access LiveHealth Online, and IU Health HDHP members can access IU Health Virtual Visits. These visits can address common medical issues and generally cost $59 or less per visit. LiveHealth Online also offers online psychology and psychiatry services and specialized pediatric medical practitioners for Anthem medical plan members. Psychology and psychiatry services may have a different charge per visit.
  • Telehealth does not replace the need to coordinate your care with a primary care provider, and is not designed to address emergencies. If you have an emergency, call 911.

Telehealth for 24/7 Dental Emergency Questions

IU Dental Plan members now have 24/7/365 access to virtual dental consultations for urgent dental concerns.

  • IU Dental Plan participants can see a dentist virtually through Cigna Dental Virtual Care, powered by The TeleDentists. Through this service, patients meet with a licensed dentist over video to address urgent dental concerns such as pain, infection, swelling, and more. The dentist can also prescribe medications, such as antibiotics and non-narcotic pain relievers, as appropriate. Beginning August 1, consultations through this service cost $45 and will be processed as in-network. This service does not replace routine care, such as an annual preventive exam.
  • To request a virtual consultation with a dentist:
    1. Log in to MyCigna.com (you must connect to the portal via your MyCigna account in order to use the service without having to enter a payment method)
    2. Under “Latest Updates” at the bottom of the page, select the link to See details (there will be a blue heart/plus sign icon near to the link)
    3. Click Get Started in the popup box
    4. Click Sign up to get started or click Log in now if you already have a TeleDentists account
    5. Follow the prompts to request a consultation

Retirement Plans

IU Tax Deferred Account (TDA) and IU 457(b) Supplemental Retirement Plans

Indiana University has chosen to adopt the following provisions of the CARES Act for the IU TDA and 457(b) supplemental retirement plans. All provisions are voluntary and must be initiated by the participant.

  • Expanded Loan Options: Borrow up to 100% of your account balance, not to exceed $100,000, across both plans (available through September 23, 2020)
  • Loan Payment Deferment: Defer any existing loan payments through December 31, 2020
  • Optional suspension of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) in 2020
  • Coronavirus-related Distribution (CRD): Take a distribution of up to $100,000 of your available account balance across both plans (available through December 31, 2020)
How to Initiate a CARES Act Request for the TDA and 457(b) Supplemental Plans

Any CARES Act questions and requests must be initiated directly with Fidelity by calling 800-343-0860 or by logging in to your Fidelity NetBenefits account and scrolling to the bottom of the page to find “Options available to you.” Certain requirements and limits may apply for each of these provisions. Fidelity can help answer any specific questions about your accounts.

Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS)

INPRS has implemented certain CARES Act provisions for all public employees in the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF) retirement plan. Any CARES Act questions or requests must be initiated directly with PERF by calling 844-GO-INPRS (have your PIN number available before calling) or by visiting www.in.gov/inprs.

Tax Saver Benefit (TSB) & Health Savings Account (HSA)

Tax Saver Benefit (TSB) Healthcare Spending Account Carryover Increase

The IRS issued Notice 2020-33 on May 12, 2020, which increases the maximum carryover for the TSB Healthcare Account from $500 to $550 for the 2020 plan year.

  • No action is needed to take advantage of this change.

OTC Items & Medicine and Menstrual Care Products

Retroactively effective to January 1, 2020, certain over-the-counter (OTC) items and medicines and menstrual care products, are eligible for reimbursement through your HSA and TSB Healthcare Spending Account.

  • The CARES Act broadened regulations around the use of HSA and TSB Healthcare funds, adding the following items as qualified healthcare expenses beginning with the 2020 calendar year:
    • Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, such as cold & flu medicine, without a prescription
    • Menstrual care products
  • It may take time for vendors to update their systems to recognize these items as eligible expenses. Until then, these items can be purchased out-of-pocket then submitted for reimbursement by logging in to iu.nyhart.com and transferring money from your HSA to a personal bank account, or by submitting a claim to your TSB Healthcare Spending Account. Once the data systems used by retail merchants have been updated, these items may be purchased using your IU Benefit Card.
  • IMPORTANT: These new expenses do not change the rules for those enrolled in both the HSA and the TSB Healthcare Account. When enrolled in both accounts, you must still meet your annual HDHP deductible before you can submit these or any medical expenses for reimbursement from your TSB account. See the HSA Frequently Asked Questions for details.

Benefit Deadline Extensions

On May 4, 2020, the IRS and Department of Labor issued a Joint Notice that extends a number of deadlines that may allow you or your dependents extra time to enroll in an IU-sponsored medical plan and submit claims or appeals for health care benefits.

The extensions apply to deadlines that would otherwise occur during the “Outbreak Period”—the period beginning March 1, 2020, and ending 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency. The end date of the National Emergency is not yet known, so the duration of the Outbreak Period is also unknown. The university will provide additional information on these dates as soon as they are known.

HIPAA Special Enrollment Events

A HIPAA special enrollment event gives you the opportunity to enroll yourself and your eligible dependents in medical plan coverage mid-year due to the following events:

  • Loss of other coverage
  • Addition of a new dependent due to marriage, birth, or adoption
  • Loss or gain of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP

Typically, you have 30 days from the date of the event to enroll in medical plan coverage (or 60 days for events related to Medicaid or CHIP). Under this extension, the calendar days falling within the Outbreak Period do not count in determining this 30-day (or 60-day) enrollment period. If you and/or your dependent(s) experienced a HIPAA special enrollment event on or after January 31, 2020 (or January 1, 2020 if the event was related to Medicaid or CHIP), and you did not enroll yourself and/or your dependents in an IU medical plan within the standard 30-day (or 60-day) timeframe, you now have additional time to do so. Changes can be made to MEDICAL coverage only.


Assume the national emergency ended May 31, 2020. This means that the “Outbreak Period” would end July 30, 2020 (60 days thereafter). Sue gave birth on February 4, 2020, but did not enroll her baby (or herself and her baby) in medical plan coverage within the standard 30-day timeframe (or by March 5, 2020). This extension permits Sue to enroll her baby (or herself and her baby) in an IU medical plan as long as she submits her enrollment by August 5, 2020.

  • (Birth Date) to (Start of the National Emergency) = (February 4) to (February 29) = 25 days
  • (End of Outbreak Period) plus (Standard # of Days to Enroll After a Birth) = (July 31) plus (30 days) = August 30
  • (August 30) minus (25 days) = August 5, 2020

Except in the case of HIPAA Special Enrollment Events related to birth or adoption, coverage is applied on a prospective basis, meaning it is based on the date your request is received by IU Human Resources. To request enrollment under this provision:

  1. Complete the Special COVID-19 Benefit Election Change Form.
  2. Make digital or paper copies of any required supporting documentation.
  3. Submit the completed form and documentation to IU Human Resources at or by mail to the address listed on the form.

Medical Claim, Appeal, and External Review Timeframes

IU-sponsored medical plans outline specific timeframes for you to file benefit claims, appeal an adverse benefit determination, or, if applicable, request an external review. Under this extension, the calendar days falling within the Outbreak Period do not count in determining the applicable time period to file a benefit claim, the appeal of an adverse benefit determination, or a request for external review.


Assume that the National Emergency ends May 31, 2020. This means that the Outbreak Period would end July 30, 2020 (60 days thereafter). Sharon received an adverse benefit determination related to a claim under her IU medical plan on February 15, 2020. She would normally have 180 days, or until August 13, 2020, to appeal this determination. This extension disregards the Outbreak Period in determining her 180-day appeal period, therefore her appeal will be treated as timely as long as she files it by January 13, 2021.

  • (Adverse Benefit Determination Date) to (Start of the National Emergency) = (February 15) to (February 29) = 14 days
  • (End of Outbreak Period) plus (Standard # of Days to Appeal) = (July 31) plus (180 days) = January 27, 2021
  • (January 27, 2021) minus (14 days) = January 13, 2021

For questions about a medical claim, appeal, or external review, Anthem medical plan members can call Anthem at 844-736-0920, and IU Health HDHP medical plan members can call IU Health at 866-895-5975.

Benefit Election Mid-Year Changes

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the IRS is permitting employers to allow their employees the opportunity to make certain changes to their 2021 benefit elections on a prospective basis (i.e. from the date the employee submits the benefit change request form forward).

Normally, benefit elections must stay in place for the entire plan year, and cannot be changed unless the employee experiences an IRS-qualifying Life Event. In light of the unanticipated changes in the need for, and availability of, medical and dependent care, the IRS has significantly relaxed these rules for the 2021 calendar year.

Medical Plan Coverage Election Changes

Eligible employees are permitted to make the following election changes with respect to their medical plan, without providing documentation of an IRS-qualifying Life Event:

  • If medical plan enrollment is currently waived, elect to enroll employee and eligible dependents (i.e. spouse and/or child(ren) up to age 26) in any IU-sponsored medical plan on a prospective basis.
  • Add eligible dependents (i.e. spouse and/or child(ren) up to age 26) to existing IU-sponsored medical plan coverage.
  • Terminate IU-sponsored medical plan coverage for employee and/or dependents upon written attestation that the employee and/or dependent(s) is enrolled, or will immediately enroll, in other medical coverage not sponsored by IU.

Tax Saver Benefit (TSB) Plan Election Changes

Eligible employees are permitted to make the following election changes to the TSB Healthcare and/or TSB Dependent Care Spending Accounts, without providing documentation of an IRS-qualifying Life Event:

  • Begin, increase, or decrease contributions to your TSB Healthcare Reimbursement and/or Dependent Care Spending Account.

    Note: If you choose to decrease your contributions, you may only decrease your annual election to the value of YTD payroll deductions up to the date your change request is received by IU Human Resources. No refunds for contributions already taken will be given.


    Eric made an annual election of $2,400 to his TSB Healthcare Account beginning January 1, 2021. As of June 30, 2021, Eric has contributed $1,500 through payroll deductions. Eric may choose to decrease his TSB Healthcare Account contributions from $2,400 to $1,500.

How to Make Special COVID-19 Benefit Election Changes

Remember, changes under this provision will be effective on a prospective basis, meaning they will be effective based on the date your request is received by IU Human Resources. Any changes to your premiums and/or TSB contributions will be reflected on your first paycheck following the effective date of coverage.

  • Complete the Special COVID-19 Election Change Form.
  • Make digital or paper copies of any required supporting documentation.
  • Submit the completed form and documentation to IU Human Resources at or by mail to the address listed on the form.