Employees are eligible for coverage if they are full-time or part-time salaried staff; or full-time or part-time salaried faculty. Eligible dependents may also be covered. Retirees, long term disability participants, and survivors may also be eligible for coverage.
All regular and restricted part-time salaried faculty and staff (20-29 hours) are eligible to participate in the health insurance plans with no state contribution toward the premium.
Employees may choose the type of membership:
- Employee single – covers only the employee
- Employee plus one – covers the employee and one eligible dependent
- Family – covers the employee and and two or more eligible dependents
More information about eligibility is available.
Employees must complete the State Benefits Enrollment Form to enroll or make changes to their health insurance and submit it to Human Resources within the eligible enrollment period.
- The initial enrollment period for new employees is 30 days from the hire date. The effective date is the first day of the first full month of employment.
- The Open Enrollment period is typically the first two weeks in May for a July 1 effective date.
Certain qualifying events allow employees to make changes outside of the annual open enrollment period. These election changes must be made within 60 days of the event, and the change must be consistent with the event. The effective date varies based on the event. Documentation is required to add dependents to a plan.
Information regarding deadlines to enroll or make health care changes for qualifying mid-year events can be found here.
Health Plans Offered
The 2022-23 Spotlight on Benefits document produced by the state Department of Human Resource Management provides a snapshot of key features of the different health plans listed below.
- COVA Care is available state-wide and is administered by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. The COVA Care plan offers buy-up options to enhance the coverage provided under the basic plan. COVA Care is also available to Virginia Tech employees who live outside of the state of Virginia and outside of the United States.
- COVA High Deductible Health Plan is available state-wide and is administered by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. This plan is eligible for a Health Savings Account (HSA) through a financial institution of your choosing.
- COVA HealthAware is available state-wide and is administered by Aetna. The COVA HealthAware basic plan offers buy-up options to enhance the coverage provided under the basic plan. A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is provided to participants and enrolled spouses by the Department of Human Resources Management to assist with a portion of the high deductible of this plan. Contributions are prorated based on enrollment date.
- Tricare Supplement Plan is administered by Association and Society Insurance. The Tricare Supplement Plan is available only to Tricare eligible employees.
- Optima Health Vantage HMO is available to eligible employees living and/ or working in the Greater Hampton Roads region.
- Kaiser Permanente is available to eligible employees living and/or working in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and parts of Maryland.
Each of these plans have employee assistance programs which include up to four sessions for mental health, grief counseling, and legal or financial services (per plan member) at no charge.
COVA Care/COVA HealthAware and Kaiser Permanente
Employees have the option to reduce their monthly health insurance premiums by participating in the Premium Rewards Program. Enrollment and participation in an eligible health insurance plan is required to qualify. Visit the Premium Rewards FAQs for more information.
Pre-existing conditions are covered under an employee’s health plan. Employees do not have to satisfy a waiting period before services for pre-existing conditions are covered.
Coordination of Benefits
Coordination of benefits (COB) rules apply when employees or members of their family have additional health care coverage. The employee will receive and be required to complete an annual Coordination of Benefits questionnaire. Claim payments will be withheld until the completed questionnaire is received.
Under a federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), employees and eligible covered dependents may continue group health benefits when coverage is lost due to a qualifying event. Qualifying events include:
- The termination of an employee (not considered gross misconduct), or the reduction of hours of a covered employee's employment
- The divorce of a covered employee from the employee's spouse
- A dependent child losing eligibility
Employees must notify Human Resources through a submitted State Benefits Enrollment Form within 60 days of a divorce.
NEED ASSISTANCE EVALUATING YOUR INSURANCE OPTIONS? – Ask ALEX! ALEX is an online interactive assistance tool that helps employees decide which plan may be the most cost-effective.