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Welcome to the Benefits homepage! Please refer to the links on the left side or the tabs above to discover more about all of the benefits provided to employees at George Mason University.

If you have any questions, would like more specific information about employee benefits, or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your benefits in greater detail, please call (703) 993-2600 and ask to speak to a member of our Benefits Team.

University Hall, 4th floor, 4441 George Mason Boulevard.


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Posted April 21 2014

Open Enrollment for Health Benefits and Flexible Spending Accounts

Open enrollment for health benefits and flexible spending accounts (FSA) runs from May 1- May 23, 2014. During this time you can enroll in a health plan and/or FSA, change your health plan, add or remove family members or waive state health coverage. Any changes made during the open enrollment period are effective on July 1, 2014. To assist you in this process, there are a number of resources available including:

1. eDirect - You can make your open enrollment choices online using eDirect. If you haven’t used eDirect before, or if you need a refresher, please visit eDirect information. When creating an eDirect log-in, you will be asked for your state ID number. If you have COVA Care or COVA HDHP, your state ID number is on your health insurance card minus the letters. If you have COVA HealthAware, take off the first two zeroes. If you have Kaiser Permanente, please contact the Benefits team at for assistance.

2. Spotlight on Your Benefits - The Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) will mail a paper version of this helpful publication to your home as well as email you a copy, however you can also access it online at Spotlight on Your Benefits. Important Note: Premiums and plan benefits may change subject to final state budget approval.

3. Premium Rewards Information – DHRM sent information to your home regarding premium rewards for the new plan year. It’s also available online at Letter 1 and Letter 2. If you enroll in COVA Care or COVA HealthAware between April 1, 2014 and July 1, 2014, please see Letter 3 for details on how to participate in Premium Rewards.

4. ALEX - This interactive tool from DHRM is back again this year to help you understand your choices as you’re deciding which health plan is right for you. Look for ALEX soon at ALEX.

5. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – Your FSA does not automatically continue; you must re-enroll each year. For COVA Health Aware participants, please remember that your Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) pays first and then your FSA.

6. DHRM Open Enrollment website - Coming later this month.

The Benefits Team will be holding drop-in sessions on all three campuses. No need to register, please stop by anytime during the sessions to get your questions answered. You can also email the Benefits team with your questions at

Drop In Sessions

Coming soon!

Wednesday, May 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in University Hall, Room 4102
Friday, May 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in University Hall, Room 4102
Thursday, May 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in University Hall, Room 4102

Prince William
Coming soon!

Please check back; we will continue to update our online Open Enrollment information as new details are available.

Posted January 16 2014

New Recordkeeper for the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan

On January 1, 2014, VRS changed recordkeepers for the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan from ING to ICMA-RC. While the fund options did not change, the process for enrolling and making changes has changed. VRS is now requiring employees to call ICMA-RC directly at 877.327.5261 or go online to make changes to their 457 plans.

Any change made in one month will be effective on the 1st day of the following month (e.g. a change made in January will go into effect on February 1 and will show on the February 16th pay check). Please note that any time employees wish to change, stop or start deductions, they will need to call ICMA-RC prior to the month in which the change goes into effect.

Please contact Benefits at or 703.993.2600 with any questions.

Posted December 11 2013

VRS Hybrid Plan Information Session Available Online

The VRS Hybrid Plan information session is now available online (once on the site, please click on the "Silverlight" tab in the upper right corner of the site). 

In-person sessions have also been scheduled. For dates, times, and locations, please visit and click on the "Course Calendar" tab.  The next in-person session is scheduled for Thursday, January 9 to be held in Fairfax and videoconferenced to Arlington and Prince William.

Posted December 5 2013

VRS Changes Record Keepers for the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Defined Compensation Plan

In January 2014, VRS will change record keepers from ING to ICMA-RC for the Commonwealth of Virginia 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. For current faculty and staff who have supplemental 457 accounts, your investment options will not change, only the vendor who manages the account. During the blackout period from December 31, 2013 to on or around January 10, 2014, participants may review their accounts by going online or by calling ING at 1-VRS-DC-PLAN1 (1-877-327-5261). However, they will not be able to conduct transactions such as fund transfers or withdrawals. Funds will remain invested throughout the period and the review-only function on the website will reflect daily changes in the market value of each account.

No action is needed during this record-keeping transition. The changeover will be handled electronically. Participating employees will not need to re-enroll or make any changes to their accounts, and their investment options will remain the same. They will receive a closing statement from ING at the end of January showing the amount transitioned to ICMA-RC and a zero ending balance for their ING account.

After the transition is complete, participants will need to create a user ID and password to access their account with ICMA-RC through the VRS website (select the Defined Contributions tab and Account Log-in).

Find out more about the transition to ICMA-RC, including key dates, on the transition website for VRS members. If you have any questions please contact benefits at or 703-993-7756.

Posted December 5 2013

VRS Hybrid Plan and Changes to the 457 Record Keeper

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) is adding a new retirement plan as of January 1, 2014. We want to bring it to your attention because it will impact:

• all new classified staff who are hired January 1, 2014 and after as they will be automatically enrolled in the Hybrid Plan;
• all new faculty hired January 1, 2014 and after as they will choose between the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) and the Hybrid Plan;
• all current VRS members, as they will have the option to change to the Hybrid Plan during an opt-in period from January 1 – April 30, 2014.

At the same time, the record keeper for 457 accounts (both supplemental accounts and the defined contribution portion of the Hybrid Plan) will be changing as of January 1, 2014 from ING to ICMA-RC. For current faculty and staff who have supplemental 457 accounts, your investment options will not change, only the vendor who manages the account.

HR & Payroll is holding information sessions on the new Hybrid plan and the move to ICMA-RC. For details, please visit We plan to have a video version of the session online shortly.

You can also learn more about the plan directly from VRS. If you have any questions, please call 3.2600 and ask for the Benefits Team or email them directly at  

Posted November 13 2013

Do-Right Credit For Flu Shots Received Outside of the State Health Benefits Program

During the current plan year, COVA HealthAware (Aetna) participants can receive additional contributions to their health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) by completing certain “do-rights,” one of which is having a flu vaccine. If you received the flu vaccine using your COVA HealthAware (Aetna) benefit, it will automatically credit the additional HRA contribution.  If, however, you received it through another resource where you did not use your insurance, you can still qualify for the credit, but need to complete the COVA HealthAware "Do Right" Flu Shot Form.  Please send the completed form to the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) at the address on the form.



Posted October 31 2013

Member Benefit Profiles Available at VRS

Annual Member Benefit Profiles (MBP) for faculty and staff who are enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) are now available by logging into your account at  MBPs provide information about your retirement and other benefits you have as a member of VRS.  Questions? Please email or call 703-993-2600 and ask for a member of the Benefits team.

Can't find something you remember seeing in this space? Check out our recent Benefits announcements

Kaiser News Release

Human Resources and Payroll Benefits Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The Commonwealth of Virginia and George Mason University reserve the right to terminate, suspend, withdraw, amend or modify the benefits plan in whole or in part at any time. Further, The Commonwealth and the University reserve the right to terminate or modify coverage for any group of employees, active or retired and their dependents or a class of dependents at any time.