Benefits - Human Resources - Christopher Newport University

Human Resources


Benefits are an integral part of employment, and can affect the quality of your life. Christopher Newport is proud to offer a comprehensive benefits package to our employees.

Christopher Newport employees and their dependents are eligible to participate in the commonwealth of Virginia state health benefits program. Available plans include:

  • COVA Care
  • COVA HealthAware
  • Optima Health HMO
  • Tricare Supplement for Military Retirees

Each health plan includes the following:

  • Medical coverage
  • Preventative dental coverage
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Behavioral health coverage
  • Employee assistance programs

Employee assistance programs include:

  • Mental health
  • Alcohol or drug abuse assessment
  • Child or elder care
  • Grief counseling
  • Legal
  • Financial services

Most health plans include a buy-up for basic and complex restorative dental services. The COVA Care plan provides a buy-up for hearing and vision coverage. COVA HealthAware provides a buy-up for eyeglasses or contacts.

Group Life Insurance

Employees are entitled to group life insurance administered through the Virginia Retirement System and paid for by Christopher Newport University. The amount of your group life insurance equals your salary rounded up to the nearest thousand, multiplied by two.

For example, an employee currently making $25,400 would be entitled to $52,000 worth of group life insurance ($26,000 x 2 = $52,000). There are additional benefits associated with your basic group life policy.

Optional Group Life Insurance

Employees can purchase additional voluntary optional life coverage for themselves and along with additional coverage on themselves, they may cover their spouse and/or children. Premiums are submitted through payroll deduction once approved by Securian. The optional group life insurance is administered through the Virginia Retirement System. Coverage elections include one up to eight times the amount of the employee's salary subject to the maximum limits. Without evidence of insurability, employees may elect up to $400,000. The cap on optional life insurance coverage is $800,000. If coverage is not elected within the first 30 days of employment, employees and spouses will need to complete both the enrollment and evidence of insurability forms regardless of the amount of life insurance elected. 

Coverage for an employee's spouse can be up to half the maximum amount of coverage chosen by the employee subject to the two times salary limit. Proof of good health may be required based on the coverage level elected. Coverage for children if elected ranges from $10,000 up to $30,000, depending on the coverage option elected by the employee. Children can only be covered from 15 days after birth until age 21 or age 25 if in college.

It is the employee's responsibility to contact Securian to remove an aged out dependent child. 

After one year of employment, employees enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) who are not in the traditional sick leave program are automatically enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability plan (VSDP), which includes short- and long-term disability and long-term care insurance. Employees may also purchase additional long-term care insurance.

An employee-paid, long-term disability plan is also available through The Hartford for employees not enrolled in the VRS or those in the traditional sick leave program under VRS. Employees may also purchase long-term care insurance.

Long-term care plan (LTC) is provided to state employees in the Virginia Retirement Plan to help with everyday life tasks due to a prolonged health problem or following a major illness, injury, accident or surgery. Full-time employees enrolled in the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Educatioin (ORPHE) do not recieve the state sponsored LTC plan. 

Full-Time Classified Employees

Classified employees are automatically enrolled in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). Employees hired after January 1, 2014 or later are covered under the VRS Hybrid plan, which is a defined benefit and defined contribution plan.

Full-Time Faculty and Administrative Professional Faculty Employees

Faculty and administrative professional employees may choose between the VRS plan and the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE), a defined contribution plan. The current providers for the ORPHE plan are TIAA-CREF and Fidelity. Employees hired after July 1, 2010 or later are covered under ORPHE Plan 2.

New instructional faculty and administrative professional faculty employees have 60 days from the date of hire to enroll in their chosen plan.

Supplemental Retirement Accounts

Christopher Newport offers the following supplemental retirement options:

  • Tax Sheltered Annuity Program 403(b)
  • State Deferred Compensation Program (457)
    Contributions are not subject to state or federal tax until withdrawals are made.
  • State Cash Match Program (401a)
    The Commonwealth of Virginia will match 50 percent of your contribution up to a maximum of $20 per pay period.

The Flexible Benefits Program allows you to set aside part of your pay on a pre-tax basis for a medical spending and/or dependent care account.

Employees accrue leave in a variety of ways based on whether they are classified or administrative or professional faculty. Consult the employee handbook or contact Human Resources for more information.

All Christopher Newport employees are covered under workers’ compensation. Claims are handled by Managed Care Innovations.

Christopher Newport is committed to the continued professional and personal development of our staff.

Full time, twelve-month employees may pursue on-campus courses and instruction (for degree and nondegree credit) offered by the University and can request a tuition waiver after a year of service as follows:

  • One course of four or fewer credit hours each semester
  • One course of four or fewer credit hours during the entire summer

Courses taken under this policy are subject to supervisor approval, final passing grade and policy guidelines. 

Christopher Newport University complies with the Americans with Disability Act.  Accommodation requests for applicants and employees with disabilities are overseen by the ADA Coordinator.

For questions regarding the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requests, contact:

ADA Coordinator Cheryl Menkins
Benefits Manager or
(757) 594-7145

For questions regarding the FMLA, Short-Term Disability or Workers’ Comp requests, contact:

Leaves and Workers’ Comp Coordinator
Mary Connolly
Benefits Specialist or
(757) 594-7145

Christopher Newport employees are eligible for a variety of other benefits, including discounted travel, banking, legal and retail services, among others.

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