UNT World Employees:
As departments begin to resume on-campus operations and prepare for the return of employees to the workplace, we expect that some individuals will have requests for leave or other needs related to COVID-19, particularly those who are considered high risk as defined by the CDC.
All requests for temporary work environment or job modifications for employees in a high risk category as defined by the CDC must be facilitated through Human Resources.
Upon receipt of the required forms, Human Resources will facilitate the request with the employee and supervisor to determine appropriate temporary modifications to enable the employee to complete the essential functions of the job while also minimizing the direct threat of contracting the COVID-19 virus in the workplace.
Please note, this process excludes those employees who are seeking reasonable accommodations due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All disability accommodation requests will continue to follow the normal procedures.
Please contact your Campus HR office with any questions related to employee leave, the high-risk temporary modification request or disability accommodation processes.
UNT System Human Resources
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We hear a lot about stress these days, and how it is linked to chronic disease. There is definitely a link between stress and health. However, our minds are powerful, and some researchers suggest that how we perceive stress can make all the difference. View more...
It’s a great time to remind those enrolled in a HealthSelectSM health plan about the mental health benefits available to them. HealthSelect mental health benefits include coverage for inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and office visits. Your employees don’t need a referral for any mental health services, so they can see a mental health provider at any time. However, some services, such as inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient hospital treatment, need a prior authorization before the plan will cover them. A Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) Personal Health Assistant can help participants understand what services require prior authorization and also work with a participant’s doctor’s office to help coordinate. View more...
The Employees Retirement System of Texas and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) are committed to giving you the help and resources you need related to coronavirus and COVID-19.
We are pleased to announce a new resource for coronavirus-related health concerns for HealthSelectSM participants. In addition to virtual visits, you now have the option to speak with a trained Catapult Nurse Practitioner about COVID-19.
How it works
Participants must be 18 or older to request a consultation. All HealthSelect participants can request to speak, by phone, with a Catapult Nurse Practitioner at no cost.
Depending on your situation at time of the consultation, you may be directed to follow-up with your primary care provider, or seek care at an urgent care center or hospital. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, stop and call 911.
Visit www.ERSassist.com for more information (don’t forget to type “support” in the password field for access).
If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 resources or your HealthSelect benefits, call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039, Monday - Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. CT.
Just weeks ago, phrases like ‘social distancing’ were unheard of. Now, it’s a regular part of our vocabulary and for many, our daily routines. While social distancing is incredibly important for keeping people healthy during this time, it can be difficult to adjust to. Socializing with peers, friends, and family is important for one’s mental health and wellbeing. But remember, just because many can’t be physically near their friends or family, there are other ways to remain connected! Here are four great ways to do so.
1. Do Something Together
One of the best ways to reach out to and connect with your friends and family is an easy video call! Hopping on FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, or your other favorite video conferencing method, and giving your loved ones a call will help keep you updated with one another. Kick your next video call up a notch and plan an activity to go along with it. For example, you can cook the same meal and chat as you eat. Not into cooking? Read a new book and plan to discuss your thoughts, pick a movie or album that’s just come out and watch or listen together, or get your bodies moving and take a virtual workout class together! Whatever gets you on the phone and connecting face-to-face is a great start for getting a much-needed dose of socialization.
2. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
During normal, day-to-day life, you probably grew used to talking to, or at least seeing, your friends, family, and peers. Maybe it was a quick call during your commute or a chat at the watercooler. But when you’re relegated to your own home for most hours of the day, it can be hard to remember those regular check-ins. That’s why we suggest giving yourself reminders to regularly call or text your loved ones.
Set an alert on your phone, pencil it into your calendar, or leave notes around the house that will prompt you to reach out! A simple text saying you’re thinking of someone can get the conversation going and help make you feel a bit more connected to others. Make a special note to check in on those who you think could especially use it, like seniors or those who live alone, as they may be struggling a bit more and will appreciate the effort.
3. Start a Group Chat
It might be hard to find a time when all of your friends or family members can get together for a video call, so a great way to keep lines of communication open and flowing is a group chat! Whether it’s for important updates, funny photos, or just a quick hello now and then, group chats are helpful in allowing you to connect with large groups of people at once. Plus, they work well for those with very different schedules and work situations, as there is no specific time anyone needs to be on their phone to stay connected.
4. Use Social Media
These days, constantly checking social media for news updates can make many feel overwhelmed and even more stressed than they already are. However, at its core, social media’s purpose is to help others feel connected, and it’s possible to still get that benefit as you use social media! Not only can you see updates from loved ones, and post your own, but you can keep up with neighbors, peers, and even those who simply share in your hobbies via social media groups on Facebook and other similar sites. For example, many neighborhoods have Facebook groups to post updates, important news, and other goings-on. Similarly, a quick search can reveal hundreds of groups dedicated to specific hobbies and interests you might be able to relate to! Finding that connectedness with strangers who are in the same situation can help you feel less alone and offer the community aspect you may be looking for.
Feeling connected to friends, family, and communities as a whole is something we need in our everyday lives. As we deal with the difficulties of social distancing, make things a little easier by continuing to keep your relationships with loved ones stronger than ever with these tips!
During these trying times, we want to remind you of a free resource available to you now. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is offered to all UNT System employees from all institutions, their household members and dependents.
The program offers free, confidential problem assessments, counseling (up to six sessions per personal situation, per year) and referrals. In addition, the EAP website offers a wide array of services in order to assist employees with creating a work/personal life balance.
To register and take advantage of all the FREE benefits available to you at no cost, please visit awpnow.com and enter our registration code: AWP-UNT-384 to get started. The plan overview is included in this video and additional resources in this blog.
All benefits can be accessed by calling:
Toll free: 1-800-343-3822
TDD: 1 -800-448-1823
Teen line: 1 -800-334-TEEN (8336)
*Phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Pharmacy Benefits: If you get your flu shot (or any covered vaccine) at the pharmacy, please use your prescription card OptumRx®. Regular flu vaccines are covered at 100% when employees use in-network retail pharmacies.
For a list of network pharmacies, go to:
For more information about flu and the flu vaccine, click Education information at HealthSelectRx.com, and see Flu Awareness & Prevention under Current topics. For additional questions call OptumRx toll free at (855) 828-9834 (TTY: 711).
Network Doctor’s Office or a health clinic: If you get your flu shot (or any covered vaccine) at your doctor’s office or health clinic, use your health plan ID card. This includes a retail health clinic within the pharmacy, such as MinuteClinic at CVS, RediClinic at HEB or one of the health clinics at Walmart.
Please note that October 14, 2019 is the final date that our benefits team can make retroactive corrections to any errors in the Employee Retirement System of Texas database. Errors discovered after October 14 can only be corrected moving forward, so please review your September pay check to make sure it reflects the choices you made during open enrollment. If you discover any errors, please call the benefits team toll free at 1-855-878-7650 and select option 2 to be connected.
As of Sept. 1, 2019, Delta Dental became the new dental provider for employees enrolled in the State of Texas Dental Choice or the Dental HMO plan. Please note the following details in order to take advantage of your dental benefits:
As a reminder, if you are enrolled in the employee health and/or dental insurance plans, deductibles, coinsurance maximums and out-of-pocket maximums reset annually. In the HealthSelectSM plans, they start over on January 1. That means, for example, you might pay more for a prescription in January than you paid in December, until you reach the $50 prescription drug deductible. In addition, if you had previously met your coinsurance maximum of $2,000 this will reset to $0.00 again on January 1.
To make the most of your benefits, consider getting prescriptions filled and/or medical services completed before Dec. 31, 2019. Visit https://healthselect.bcbstx.com/ to learn more about your health plan.
If you were not a member of TRS prior to the start of the 2017–2018 school year, and TRS did not receive any contributions for you prior to Sept. 1, 2017, you cannot register for a MyTRS account at this time. TRS is upgrading its member portal and the site is not expected to be available until January 2020.