Health Benefits

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a valuable component of your compensation package.

As a NOVA employee, you and your eligible family members have access to a variety of health plans under the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Group Health Benefits Program.

Participation in the group health plan is open to full and part-time salaried employees whose work schedule is at least 30 hours per week. Faculty and staff employees who work at least 20 hours per week but less than 30 hours per week are also eligible for participation but do not receive the employer’s contribution towards the monthly premium. Premiums for health coverage are payroll deducted each pay period on a pre-tax basis.

Newly hired employees must enroll within 30 calendar days of the date of hire. Existing employees already enrolled in a plan may apply to make changes to their plan and/or membership level within 60 calendar days of the date of a qualifying mid-year event.

Detailed plan and participation information can be viewed on the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) website.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are special accounts approved by the IRS to allow you to put money into for use to pay for certain out-of-pocket medical and dependent care costs. There are two types of flexible spending accounts:

  • Medical Spending Account
  • Dependent Care Account

Eligibility for participation in group health coverage is required but enrolling in a health plan is not required. Enrollment must be made within 30 calendar days of hire date or within 60 calendar days of a qualifying mid-year event. Re-enrollment is required each year during the spring for continued participation.

Full program details can be found on the Department of Human Resource Management’s website.

Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP)

The Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) is an employer paid benefit which provides income protection if you can’t work because of a non-work-related or work-related illness or injury or other condition, such as surgery, pregnancy, complications from pregnancy or a catastrophic or major chronic condition. VSDP benefits include:

  • Sick leave
  • Family and personal leave
  • Short-term and long-term disability coverage for total and partial disabilities
  • Long-term care coverage
  • Transitional, medical rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation plans to help you return to work if you are able
  • Free advocacy services to assist you in applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits

You are eligible for VSDP coverage if you are:

  • A full-time or part-time classified state employee covered under the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), the State Police Officers’ Retirement System (SPORS) or the Virginia Law Officers’ Retirement System (VaLORS); or
  • A salaried faculty member of a Virginia public college or university who has elected VRS as your pension plan

New and re-hired employees must complete one continuous year of employment before being eligible for VSDP income replacement benefits for non-work related disabilities. Eligible employees have the option of purchasing an individual policy for non-work related disability income protection during their first year of employment. See a list of companies approved to handle premium payments through payroll deductions for state employees on the Fringe Benefits Management Company’s website. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not endorse any of these companies.

Employees or their respective supervisors should notify Human Resources immediately at 703.323.3110 Option 3 or, when a salaried employee has a planned or unplanned absence of at least 5 work days. Additional information on VSDP can be found here.

UNUM Long Term Disability

UNUM Long-Term Disability is designed to protect your income should you become medically unable to work. Upon claim approval, non-taxable benefit payments begin after 90 days of total disability. It is not available to VSDP participants. Eligible salaried employees may enroll within 60 calendar days of the date of hire or during the annual open enrollment period announced each year by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). Individual premiums vary by salary, compensation and chosen plan option and are paid through payroll deduction.

You may purchase 25%, 40%, or up to 50% coverage of basic monthly earnings to a maximum benefit of $5,000 per month. There are no offsets for Social Security, Workers Compensation, Retirement Plans, or individual LTD plans. Benefits are payable up to the age of 65.

See additional plan details here.

Worker's Compensation

Employees are eligible to receive benefits under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act for an injury and/or illness which is incurred in the course of official work-related duties. Benefits generally include payment of medical expenses and time lost from work.

Learn more about Worker's Compensation.

Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave is job protection leave that can be taken for up to 12 weeks (480 hours) in a calendar year to care for yourself or an eligible family member. All employees who have worked 1 year or at least 1250 hours may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave. FML may be granted when an employee is unable to do his/her job due their own serious health condition or for an employee to care for an eligible family member due to the family member’s serious health condition as certified by a licensed, treating physician. FML may also be granted for the birth of a child or the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.

To request Family and Medical Leave for the employee’s serious health condition, the FML Certification of Health Care Provider Form for Employee’s Serious Health Condition must be completed and submitted.  To request FML for an employee’s eligible family member, the FML Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition must be completed and submitted.  Completed forms should be submitted to Human Resources within 15 calendar days of the date the employee receives the Notification of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities form from Human Resources, having been sent to the employee in response to the notification of the need for FML by the employee. 

A review of the FML request and subsequent determination will be made by HR and communicated to both the employee and the employee’s supervisor within 5 calendar days of receipt of the employee’s certification.  Both provider forms can be found under HR forms on NOVA’s website and may be submitted to HR by fax: 703.323.3155 or

For additional information on Family and Medical Leave, contact HR at 703.323.3110, Option 3 or

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offered by the College is through the employee’s health carrier to maintain the health of a business and the well-being of its employees. EAP services offer counseling and referral for problems such as alcohol or substance abuse, marital or family difficulties, financial problems, and mental and medical disorders. EAP services are confidential and voluntary and EAP counselors are available 24/7. Employees may contact their group health plan’s Member Services Unit for assistance.

Accommodating Employees with Disabilities

NOVA is committed to providing equal access to employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. We recognize that individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to have equal employment opportunities. NOVA provides reasonable accommodations as necessary to enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their jobs.

To request accommodation, please see Accommodation of Employees With Disabilities. Employees are asked to submit the ADA Accommodation Request Form and the ADA Medical Documentation Form.

For additional information, please see Accommodations and Accessibility Services.