Information about COVID-19
The State of Connecticut has established a website listing the most up-to-date information on the Governor’s executive orders as well as COVID-19 FAQs. The 2-1-1 statewide hotline is available around the clock for all residents.
Ledge Light Health District
Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) is the local health department for East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, Lyme, New London, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Stonington, and Waterford. Visit their website or call 860-448-4882 for updated information
Resources and Assistance for Employees
Connecticut College’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Visit https://www.theeap.com/higher-education-eap for a multitude of resources including:
- COVID-19 pandemic resources
- Departments of Health links by state
- Resources supporting at-home children, older adults and caregivers
- Help for financial stress and achieving financial stability
- Resources to address your emotional wellbeing and develop resilience
- Tools for employees and managers working remotely
- Webinars and trainings
- Resources in Spanish
Additionally, College employees and their immediate family members can call the EAP any time at 800-252-4555 for help logging in or to speak with a counselor
2-1-1 Resource Guide of Community-Based Programs
For help identifying and connecting with basic needs programs for food, utilities, healthcare, diapers, emotional and family support, and more visit 211 of Connecticut or dial 2-1-1 or 800-203-1224 any time, seven days a week. Press option “5” to talk to someone who can help.
Resources for Parents with School Age Children
Information Services colleagues have compiled a range of resources to help parents of school age children as they respond to their children's remote education and need for child care. This list includes library and museum activities, child care resources and guides, and education/learning resources.
Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank
If you or someone you know is facing food insecurity, please visit this link for the emergency food program and a schedule for Emergency Food Pantry Locations.
If you want to help a colleague, please consider making a donation online or mail contributions to P.O. Box 375, Gales Ferry, CT 06335.
Connecticut College Health Insurance Information
COVID-19 Health Insurance Coverage
The College-sponsored medical plans administered by Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield have been amended to provide additional coverage related to COVID-19. This means all participant costs, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles are waived if members and their covered dependents receive treatment for COVID-19 from in-network doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals between April 1 and December 31, 2020.
COVID-19 Leave for Benefits Eligible Staff
Benefits-eligible staff who are unable to perform their job responsibilities due to certain conditions related to COVID-19, may use up to 10 days of additional paid leave through May 20, 2020. Details about those conditions and how eligible staff may draw on this new leave bank can be found in the COVID-19 Leave policy located in CamelWeb. After logging in, you can find this policy under the HR/Finance tab (Employee Handbook/Leave Benefits).
Enroll in or Add/Drop a Dependent from College Sponsored Health Insurance
If you are a benefits-eligible employee, you can enroll yourself and your eligible dependents (spouse and under age 26 children) in a College-sponsored medical, dental or voluntary vision plan if you or your eligible dependent(s) experienced one of the following qualifying events and you complete your enrollment in CamelBenefits (including the submission of supporting documentation) within 31 calendar days of the qualifying event:
- During the COVID-19 National Emergency, there may be flexibility in the timeframe to enroll following your qualifying event. If you have questions please contact Human Resources.
- when there is a change in employment status for you, your spouse or your covered dependent
- a change from full-time to part-time employment or vice versa for you or your spouse;
- loss of other coverage because you or your dependent lost eligibility for another plan, no longer receive employer contributions under another plan; or have exhausted COBRA coverage under another group plan
- an employed family member changes a medical and/or dental election in a plan sponsored by her/his employer. For example: You and your spouse both have individual coverage through your respective employers. Your spouse’s open enrollment period has a coverage effective date of July 1, and s/he elects a two-person plan to cover you both. You can drop your Conn College coverage, effective June 30, to join your spouse’s plan;
- marriage or divorce of employee
- birth, adoption or death, or acquiring new dependent.
In most cases, you may increase, decrease or cancel certain of your Connecticut College benefits. In all cases, the election change you make must be made on account of, and consistent with, the status change resulting from your qualifying event and with proper supporting documentation. If you have questions, please contact Human Resources at HumanResources@conncoll.edu or 860-439-2085.
Connecticut College Retirement Plan Participant Information
Change your voluntary contribution:
You can change or stop your voluntary contributions to your retirement plan(s) once every three months. To do so, login to CamelWeb, select CamelBenefits on the HR/Finance Tab, and click on “Make Changes to your 403b” on the lower right corner of the webpage.
403(b) Retirement Plan Changes
Connecticut College has adopted several changes to the College’s 403(b) Retirement Plan in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These changes provide more financial options to plan participants who experience any of the following conditions: The plan participant:
- has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a test approved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- has a spouse or dependent who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
- suffers financial consequences as a result of quarantine, placed on reserve, layoffs, reduced work hours or cannot work due to lack of child care as a result of coronavirus
- experiences a financial loss to an individually owned or operated business that is caused by a closing or reduction of hours due to coronavirus
- Experiences other factors as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate
Below are the newly adopted changes that will help plan participants who meet the criteria above:
- Penalties and withholding are waived for qualified distributions from retirement plan accounts: The 10 percent early withdrawal penalty is waived and the 20 percent withholding is eliminated for coronavirus-related distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement plans.
- Retirement plan loan limits have been increased: Maximum retirement plan loan limits have been increased from $50,000 or 50 percent of vested account balances to $100,000 or 100 percent of the vested account balance for loans made within 180 days of enactment of the CARES Act on March 27.
- Optional suspension of required minimum distribution (RMD) for 2020: If you already have a RMD scheduled for this year, you may cancel it. If you already started receiving a RMD you have the option to repay it as a rollover. If you have not set up your RMD this year, that RMD cannot be set up, but you can take a withdrawal if you were counting on those funds.
For more information on the new retirement plan provisions and other changes to consider, please visit TIAA.org. We recommend reviewing all of your options prior to making a decision. If you meet the eligibility criteria detailed above, would like to speak to a financial consultant, or would like to request loans or distributions, you can do so by logging in to your online account at TIAA.org or calling TIAA at 855-400-4294.
Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
The Cares Act expanded the list of eligible expenses for Heal Care FSAa retroactive to January 1, 2020. For a full list, visit Sentinel's (the College's FSA Administrator) website.
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
If you have a Dependent Care FSA and your dependent’s care provider is temporarily closed, you may change the amount you are contributing to your Dependent Care FSA. To make a change, log into CamelWeb, go to the HR/Finance page, select CamelBenefits and click on the “Life Event” box along the right side of the page. If you have questions, please contact Human Resources at 860-439-2085 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CT State Unemployment
If you have had your hours reduced or have been placed on reserve, you may file for partial unemployment benefits and the College will not contest your application. Because the State of Connecticut administers the unemployment benefit, not Connecticut College, your eligibility for benefits will be determined by the State of Connecticut. More information about unemployment can be found on the CT Department of Labor website including a YouTube video explaining the application process and Frequently Asked Questions. The College’s employer registration number is 00-009-61.
Please note that the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Labor issued a fraud alert. Fraudsters are perpetrating numerous schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In one scheme, scammers have offered to help individuals file claims for unemployment benefits. The scammers then ask for personal information including social security numbers and dates of birth. The scammers may ask you to provide payment, or your credit card information, in assisting you in filing or qualifying for your unemployment benefits. Unemployment applicants do not need to pay anyone to file or qualify for their benefits. Victims of these scams face potential harm. The personal information the scammers collect may be used to commit identity theft to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. Unsolicited calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits are several ways that individuals have been targeted. If you would like to report an allegation of fraud involving unemployment insurance or other U.S. Department of Labor activities or programs, please contact the OIG Hotline at: https://www.oig.dol.gov/
Ways you can help
One prevalent attribute of the Connecticut College community is the way we each care for one another. Many faculty and staff have asked how they can best help their Camel colleagues. Staff Council, Human Resources and the Holleran Center for Community Action staff have together researched and considered this question and unanimously recommend financial contributions to the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank as the best way to help. The Gemma Moran Food Bank supplies meals, snacks and food to more than 75 sites including emergency food pantries throughout our region from East Lyme/Old Lyme to Pawcatuck and New London to Lebanon.
Click HERE to donate online. You will be able to direct your gift to the “Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank” and you can enter “Connecticut College” in the Company/Organization Name field. Checks can also be mailed to P.O. Box 375, Gales Ferry, CT 06335.
You may also consider volunteering your time to providers such as food banks, deliveries to the elderly, shelters and more. Many and varied skill sets are required to ensure that every community in Connecticut has the resources they need to combat this pandemic. Volunteers from the general public will be matched with a community provider in need. Here is some basic information provided by the state:
- Volunteers must be 18 or older and should not volunteer if at risk or compromised. Those who are immunocompromised, over age 60, showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who live with or care for someone in any of those categories should avoid being in public, including for volunteer efforts.
- Every effort is being made to keep volunteers safe. The state and all of the organizations involved are working hard to make sure that everyone helping out can do so as safely as possible. If any volunteers have concerns, they are strongly urged to ask about the safety protocols of the organization they are volunteering.
- Volunteers will be sent where they are most needed and feel most comfortable. The volunteer process is centralized so that the state and participating organizations have a clear picture of everyone who can help, and everything that is needed. That way, volunteers can be matched with an opportunity that is most in need of that person’s skill set.
Individuals who are interested can sign up here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Information-For/Volunteers