Benefits Spotlight

The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency will end May 11, 2023. 

How This Change Will Impact Your Brown Medical Coverage:

After this date, you will see changes to your share of costs for vaccines, over-the-counter tests, and treatments covered through our medical benefits.

  • Vaccines: Because COVID-19 vaccines are considered preventive care, you will continue to be covered 100% by our medical coverage, as long as you receive the vaccine through an in-network provider or facility.
  • Testing: Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests will no longer be covered at no cost by the federal government. If you would like to purchase tests, you will need to do so out of pocket.
  • Treatments: While you will still have access to COVID-19 treatments (such as Paxlovid), your share of the cost—and therefore your out-of-pocket expenses—may increase.

For general information about COVID-19 and the end of the Public Health Emergency, you can visit the Department of Health and Human Services website.

President Biden recently signed a resolution ending the COVID-19 National Emergency effective April 10, 2023. The end of the National Emergency triggers some changes to COVID relief measures that were put in place at the beginning of the pandemic. One relief measure impacted by this change relates to an extended claim filing period for Healthcare FSA plans. During the National Emergency claim filing deadlines for Healthcare FSA plans were paused and extended up to one year from the original deadline. If you have participated in a Healthcare FSA in 2021 or 2022 it is important to understand how these changes impact your ability to file additional claims for any remaining balance in those accounts.

2021 Healthcare FSA Plan
If you participated in the Healthcare FSA plan in 2021 you will have until 6/30/2023 to file additional claims. The period for incurring expenses against your 2021 balance was previously extended as well. Any expense incurred between 1/1/2021 and 12/31/2022 is eligible for reimbursement from your 2021 account balance.

2022 Healthcare FSA Plan
If you participated in the Healthcare FSA plan in 2022 you will have until 12/7/2023 to file additional claims. The period for incurring expenses against your 2022 balance was not extended. Any expense incurred between 1/1/2022 and 3/15/2023 is eligible for reimbursement from your 2022 account balance.

On April 19, 2023, both the Deferred Vesting and Legacy 403(b) plans have been amended to reinstate the prior formulas for Basic and Matching Contributions.  The newly updated versions can be found here:

Effective March 2023, changes to the Deferred Vesting and Legacy retirement plans will lower the fees paid by Brown’s plan participants, increase transparency related to those fees and change some investment options. Learn more about these changes here.

On December 29th, President Biden signed the Secure 2.0 Act of 2022.  There are many provisions in the act that have to be reviewed and considered before the University can implement.  Some changes would require plan amendments and/or system updates, which would take time to complete.  Each provision will be taken under consideration and any decisions to implement would be announced to all participants at that time.