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September 3, 2015

Pitt Benefits

2015 On-Campus Flu Shot Clinics

FitnessForLifeEven though it is the beginning of September and it may still be warm outside, flu season is just around the corner. According to Web MD, the influenza vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, and flu prevention should be a goal for everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older receive a flu shot.

According to the CDC, flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Over a period of 30 years, 1976-2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. The best defense is to take advantage of the opportunity to prevent the flu with a flu shot.

Because the peak flu season may begin as early as October and run through May, it is best to obtain a flu shot as soon as possible starting in September. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to be most effective. You still can obtain a flu shot in December or later, but the earlier in flu season you get it, the better your odds are of staying flu free.

The School of Pharmacy, working with Falk Pharmacy, will be conducting flu shot clinics on the Pittsburgh campus. Through the dedication of Dr. Deanne Hall and her team, the University consistently has achieved high levels of participation. In addition, arrangements also are underway to conduct clinics on the regional campuses.

All faculty and staff as well as their dependents are encouraged to obtain a flu shot. In particular, faculty and staff who work in health sciences or have any type of exposure to patient care should consider the vaccination.

Listed below is the flu shot clinic schedule as of today:


Information that you should bring with you when attending an on-campus flu shot clinic

You will need to bring your University ID card and your UPMC Health Plan insurance card with you to the on-campus flu shot clinic. Upon presenting both cards, you will then need to complete an “Intake and Consent Form” prior to receiving your flu shot.

If you do not carry the University’s medical insurance, you can still obtain a flu shot on campus; though you must pay cash at the time of service. We expect the price of the flu shot to be slightly higher than last year. Last year’s price was $25 if you were paying for the flu shot out-of-pocket.

Individuals who participate in the Panther Advocate plan can receive $25 in HIA credits for obtaining a flu shot.

Can’t make it to an on-campus flu shot clinic?

UPMC Health Plan members also may obtain a flu shot from a participating provider at no out-of-pocket cost. If plan members obtain a flu shot at a clinic or pharmacy that does not participate with UPMC Health Plan, then they will need to pay for the flu shot at the time of service and file a claim for reimbursement. Reimbursement forms can be downloaded from UPMC Health Plan’s website at, under “Commonly Used Forms” at the bottom of the page.

Out-of-Area Coverage for Dependent Children

All dependent members up to age 26 who live or attend school outside of western Pennsylvania will be covered at the highest level of benefits for eligible services when they use providers who participate in UPMC Health Plan’s national network through Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) or Medical Mutual of Ohio (MMO), or obtain services at a student health center. This applies to all University of Pittsburgh group plans offered to faculty and staff. Note that certain services require prior authorization, and those requirements will remain in force.

Persons covered by a University of Pittsburgh medical plan are covered 100 percent for urgent medical care and emergency services when traveling outside of the UPMC Health Plan service area, even if the provider is not participating with one of these networks.

For more information, please visit:

Special Notice to Graduate Students With Academic Appointments

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers are required to offer employer-sponsored coverage to qualified individuals. The Graduate Student Medical Plan offers comprehensive coverage with low copayments and no deductible. Additionally, it is an ACA-compliant plan.

Since it is provided to the graduate student with an academic appointment at no cost, it also meets the definition of being affordable. That being said, the definition of employer-sponsored coverage is not clear.

As an alternative, any graduate student with an academic appointment who works an average of 30 hours or more per week may enroll in the Panther Basic plan offered to faculty and staff. It also is provided at no cost but it does have an individual deductible of $1,500 that must be met before the plan pays anything toward the cost of services. Member coinsurance responsibility is 30% and the individual out-of-pocket maximum is $5,000.

Applying the federal government standards for valuing plans, the Graduate Student Plan is considered “richer” and valued at the Platinum level while the other employer-sponsored plan option is valued at the Silver level.

While it does not make economic sense to elect the employer-sponsored plan option, it is available. Anyone interested in a more detailed comparison or who wants to elect this alternative plan during the student insurance open enrollment period should contact the Benefits Department at 412-624-8160.

Importance of Children’s Annual Eye Exam

Back to school! With school just beginning to welcome students back, your child’s annual eye exam should be a priority. Vision is one of the most important factors in learning and development. Nearly 80% of a child’s learning is acquired through his or her visual system, making it the cornerstone for a successful school year.

Studies show that 1 in 4 children has a vision problem. Stay proactive in helping your child develop, and remember that one of the most important tools for success in school is healthy eyesight! Here are a few tips from Davis Vision:

Children should have their first eye exam when they are 3 years old. Take notice if your child is squinting and blinking frequently, as it could be a signal that something is wrong. Even a small deviation in prescription can cause headaches and eye fatigue.

Doctors recommend that children take frequent breaks while using electronic devices. Set a timer and instruct them to stop looking at the screen every 20 minutes and focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

If your child wears glasses, ask about scratch-resistant, anti-reflective coatings and polycarbonate lenses when making a purchase. These lenses will help prevent breakage and unnecessary wear.

Davis Vision serves as the insurance carrier for the University’s vision plans. Davis is one of the nation’s largest vision-care providers, with a network of more than 30,000 ophthalmologists and optometrists. Two vision plan options are offered at Pitt; both provide great value at affordable prices. Both of the plans cover annual comprehensive eye examinations. Eyeglass lenses and frames OR contact lenses may be covered in full or an allowance may apply depending upon your tier level.

UPMC HealthPlan


Important Vendor Contact Information

Benefits Department

Office hours: 8 am-5 pm EST, 320 Craig Hall
412-624-8160 (Main Line) • 412-624-3485 (Fax)
Please visit our web site,, for FAQs, downloadable forms and other benefits information.


UPMC Health Plan
1-888-499-6885 •


United Concordia  1-877-215-3616 •


Davis Vision  1-800-999-5431 •

Retirement Savings

TIAA-CREF  1-800-682-9139  •
Vanguard  1-800-523-1188 •

Flexible Spending Accounts



412-624-8070  •

Faculty Records

Benefits Department Contacts

Feel free to call us if you ever have any questions. We are here to serve you. The Benefits Department can be reached at:

412/624-8160  •

John Kozar, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resources.
Responsible for overall function, strategic initiatives, compliance, contracts and renewals.
412/624-4845  •

Darae Calloway, Administrative Assistant.
Responsible for administrative support for John Kozar.
412/624-8068  •

Lori Carnvale, Director of Benefits.
Responsible for day-to-day operations of Benefits Department.
412/624-8050  •

Aynsley Jimenez, Benefits Supervisor.
Responsible for retirement, retirement savings, life insurance, FMLA, disabilities.
412/624-8047  •

Stan Charie, Benefits Analyst.
Responsible for day-to-day activity for retirement, retirement savings, retirement counseling.
412/624-8057  •

Amelia Conte, Benefits Representative.
Responsible for day-to-day activity surrounding FMLA, disability and life insurance.
412/324-8059  •

Melissa Kluchurosky, Benefits Supervisor.
Responsible for medical, dental and vision coverage, customer service, flex spending, tuition.
412/624-8067  •

Meghan Tintera, PT Benefits Analyst
Responsible for day-to-day activity surrounding medical, dental, vision, flex spending, bill payments, surveys, open enrollments
412/624-8054  •

Kate Young, PT Benefits Analyst.
Responsible for day-to-day activity surrounding medical, dental, vision, flex spending, bill payments, surveys, open enrollments.
412/624-8054  •

Ryan Arrington, Benefits Representative.
Responsible for tuition program, quality controls and special projects.
412/624-8040  •

Kim Phillips, Benefits Representative.
Responsible for customer Service Desk, fielding calls and handling walk-in customers.
412/624-8160  •

LaKeisha Gray, Benefits Representative.
Responsible for customer Service Desk, fielding calls and handling walk-in customers.
412/624-8160  •


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