Employee COVID-19 Resources

Bates is committed to maintaining a workplace that promotes the health and safety of all employees. In response to COVID-19 Bates has developed the below set of policies designed to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. Visit the CDC website for up-to-date information on COVID-19.

Human Resources encourages all employees to stay CALM during the COVID-19 situation.

C: – use coping skills; give yourself positive messages like, “I can…,” Distract yourself with things you enjoy.

A: – Be aware (but not obsessed); Stay informed but limit how much news you watch.

L: – Learn from reliable sources, go to the World Health Organization, National CDC, Maine CDC or the city of Lewiston for dependable data.

M: – Monitor yourself; eat well, be sure to get enough sleep and exercise regularly to help control stress.

Please find some helpful links below for your health:

 • Exercise online with B-Well – choose a live class from the B-Well Calendar or view one on demand.

TelaDoc general medical visits are a free service under the PPO and Aetna Whole Health (ACO) medical plans (Aetna Consumer Choice (HSA) plan members will be charges no more than $47 for the visit).

  • Aetna members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices.

• Have your insurance information handy through the Aetna Mobile App

• COVID-19 response is bringing a lot of changes to our lives, including stress and anxiety.  Access resources to help you with stress through the Resources for Living – Employee Assistance Program.

*** The CARES ACT (COVID-3 Stimulus Bill) permanently reinstates coverage of OTC (Over the Counter) drugs and medicines as eligible for reimbursement from Medical FSAs without need for a prescription. It further includes menstrual care products. This change is effective for expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020. ***

Here is an updated list of eligible expenses.

The IRS has announced new rules for the calendar year 2020 Healthcare Reimbursement Account (HCRA) and Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account (LFSA*). Information on the reimbursement accounts can be found on the Human Resources Website.

The new rules are described below:

Enrollment in a HCRA or LFSA or increase in contribution: You may enroll in or increase your contribution in the HCRA or LFSA beginning now until the end of the year (still requires a minimum $100 enrollment). Anything you elect to contribute, can be used for reimbursement of any eligible expenses incurred since January 1, 2020.

Decrease in Contribution to a HCRA or LFSA: The new rules also allow you to decrease or end your HCRA or LFSA for any future contributions. However, you may not decrease it beyond what you may have already received in reimbursements during the year.

Example: An employee elected to contribute $2,400 during annual enrollment ($200 a month) and they have already received $1,600 in reimbursements for eligible expenses. However they do not expect to have any more eligible expenses. As of May 31st they have contributed $200 x 5 = $1,000. This employee can reduce their contribution from $2,400 to $1,600 (the amount they have already received).

*Note: If you or your spouse contribute to a Health Savings Account (including employer contributions) you may only enroll in a LFSA. An LFSA can only be used for dental and vision expenses or medical expenses you have paid above the mandatory deductible under your high deductible health plan.

The COVID-19 situation has also added financial stress:

The following is a link to view information concerning stock market volatility in the present environment.

 • Best Practices and Ideas for Managing through this Turbulent Market when Saving for Retirement. – original date March 25, 2020 40 minutes (presented by SageView which serves as our Retirement Plans Investment Adviser)

Bi-Weekly Time Sheet Guidelines:

 Human Resources and Payroll have developed the below guidelines for completing your bi-weekly timesheet or your monthly leave report.  We are trying to capture and be able to report on all paid-time off that is related to COVID-19 in the event there would be any financial assistance available to the college through Federal or State Agencies.  Please follow the below instructions when reporting time off related to COVID-19.

Instructions for completing your bi-weekly timesheet for COVID-19 related hours

Instructions for reporting your Monthly Leave Report for COVID-19 related hours.
For more HR information related to the COVID-19 situation please see the Information for Staff page.