COVID-19 Benefits Updates

Duquesne University is pleased to provide high quality, comprehensive benefits programs to its faculty and staff. The following benefits are available to help Duquesne employees stay healthy physically, mentally and financially throughout the coronavirus pandemic emergency. Since information can change quickly, please continue to monitor your Duquesne University email and this webpage for COVID-19 benefits updates. For any specific requests please contact the benefits office team by phone at 412.396.5106 or email at

Refer to Faculty and Staff FAQs for other COVID-19 questions.

Duquesne University 403(b) Retirement Plan

New legislation was recently passed by Congress to help ease some of the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

If you are experiencing financial challenges due to COVID-19, there are withdrawal options that may be available to you as part of this legislation. We strongly recommend you take the time to understand the impact of withdrawal before taking money out of your retirement account.

Visit the Fidelity and TIAA websites to obtain an overview of key provisions and withdrawal options that may be available to you.

Virtual appointments can be scheduled with a retirement representative:



Register Online



Register Online


The University has arranged for the following interim changes for employees enrolled in our medical plans:

  • Diagnostic testing and any provider visits associated with COVID-19 testing are covered at 100%.

Both Cigna and UPMC have teams of experts monitoring COVID-19 to support members' needs. For information and resources, go to their websites or call Cigna at 1.800.244.6224 or UPMC at 1.888.876.2756.

CVSCaremark Prescriptions

Please contact CVS Caremark at 877-347-7444, visit their website or download the CVS Caremark mobile app from the App Store or Google Play for assistance with your prescription needs.

Many retail pharmacies are offering home delivery options - check with your pharmacy to find out if they offer home delivery and whether there are service fees.

For questions about medications during COVID-19 pandemic, CVSCaremark has prepared these Frequently Asked Questions.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts

If participants' childcare needs have changed due to COVID-19 related closures, this is considered a Qualified Life Event that permits changes to Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account deductions. Examples of situations that allow participants to make mid-year changes:

  • If a childcare provider is closed or care is longer needed due to working from home, participants may reduce or suspend contributions.
  • When childcare providers reopen and become available again, participants may increase or restart contributions.
  • If a qualified dependent previously in school is now in need of qualified child care due to school closures, employees may enroll in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account and current participants may increase their contributions. Participants may also reduce or suspend contributions when the child care is no longer necessary due to the reopening of schools.

Requests to enroll in, increase, reduce, or suspend future Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account elections must be sent using your Duquesne University email account to

If you do not elect Dependent Care Flexible Account during the Open Enrollment process, and send a request to enroll later in the year due to re-enrollment in qualified child care, the $500 Duquesne University contribution will be deposited with the first Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account payroll deduction.

Medical Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts

The following provisions are included in the CARES Act and are for expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020:

  • Over-the counter (OTC) drugs and medicines can be paid for or reimbursed through the Medical Flexible Account and Health Savings Account without a doctor's prescription.
  • Feminine care products are now considered a qualified medical expense and are eligible for payment or reimbursement through the Medical Flexible Account and Health Savings Account.

Important information for participants using their debit card for newly eligible OTC and/or feminine care items:
It will take time for the debit card system to update. If the debit card does not work at time of purchase, members can pay out of pocket and request reimbursement by submitting a claim to Discovery Benefits.

Personal Wellbeing

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Everyone faces challenges from time to time, with our EAP you don't have to face these things alone. You can call EAP services anytime - 24 hours a day, every day at 1.800.EAP.7272 (1.800.327.7272), or visit them online.

Visit the EAP website and use the password duquesne (all lower case) for additional resources, including the ability to chat with a professional.

The EAP provides employees and family members with free and confidential help in dealing with any kind of problem that affects their personal well-being and their ability to perform their job.

Wellbeing: Recreation Services

The Power Recreation Center is committed to enhancing faculty and staff wellbeing. This Fall, group fitness classes will be livestreamed and offered in person, free of charge. To facilitate mental and physical wellbeing, the recreation center will offer yoga and meditation, as well as classes promoting cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Many courses will be recorded, allowing faculty and staff to access these classes at their convenience. All of the safety measures will be in place per University, CDC, and Pennsylvania guidelines to ensure patron safety. The full course schedule is available at Direct questions to Power Center Director, Dan McCarthy.

Inter-Divisional Wellbeing Committee

The inter-divisional wellbeing team offers many services and programs to address faculty and staff needs. The following services will be available, free of charge, in Fall 2020:

  • Faculty and Staff Support Group, facilitated by Wellbeing Counseling Services. Contact: Ian Edwards, Assistant Vice President for Student Wellbeing.
  • Weekly Wellbeing Check-In (Individual Sessions) with Campus Ministry. Director: Fr. Bill Christy, C.S.Sp., Director of Campus Ministry and University Chaplain.
  • Weekly Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Student Meditation with Dr. Will Adams, Associate Professor of Psychology.
  • Duquesne Employee Emergency Program (DEEP), housed in the Division of Mission and Identity, offers limited financial assistance to staff for short-term financial needs. Contact: Melanie Eberhardt.
  • Libermann Luncheons are open to faculty, staff, and administration. These virtual gatherings take place monthly, at noon, for prayer and "food for the soul." Dates TBA.
  • Counseling Services created a series of wellness videos highlighting the topic of resilience. These videos, part of "Wellbeing Wednesdays," have been posted to the Counseling Services Facebook and Twitter page. Contact: Dr. Ian Edwards, Assistant Vice President for Student Wellbeing & Director of Counseling Services.