Benefit Changes

Most changes in your benefits must happen at open enrollment or when you have a qualifying event. Per IRS section 125, different qualifying events allow different benefit changes. If you experience a qualifying event during the calendar year, you may be able to make a benefit change that corresponds with the event. A request for change must be within thirty (30) days of the date of the event.

Qualifying Events

Qualifying events for making benefit changes

  • Birth/Adoption (changes must be made within sixty [60] days)
  • Death of spouse/dependent/domestic partner
  • Marriage/Domestic Partner Affidavit
  • Divorce/legal separation/termination of domestic partner agreement
  • Spouse or dependent loss of health or dental insurance coverage
  • Entitlement to, or loss of eligibility for, Medicare/Medicaid/SCHIP for employee or dependent
  • Change of residence
  • Approved Leave of Absence
  • Dependent no longer eligible

Qualifying events for change to a different Merit Staff Health Plan

  • Open Enrollment
  • Your retirement
  • Beginning or returning from an unpaid leave of absence
  • A family member is being added because of:
    • Loss of other health coverage
    • Marriage or domestic partner affidavit
    • Divorce or termination of domestic partner agreement
    • Death of spouse/domestic partner or dependent
    • Birth/Adoption

Additional Qualifying Events for dependent care spending accounts

The changes below are also qualifying events for dependent care spending account deductions. Visit the spending account web site for more detailed information on this topic.

  • Change of work schedule or work site for yourself or spouse or dependent
  • Change of residence for yourself or spouse or dependent
  • Termination or commencement of employment of your spouse or dependent
  • A change in a child-care provider

Coverage changes begin the first of the month following the event (except for birth or adoption, in which case coverage begins the first of the month in which the child is born or, in the case of adoption, enters the home).

Instructions to make changes

Faculty, P&S, and Select Merit Staff

Step 1: A Benefit Change Request form must be completed and sent to the Benefits Office to request this change.  This form can be completed electronically on Employee Self Service and is also available on the Benefits Forms website.

Step 2: Approximately 24 hours following the approval of the Benefit Change Request, benefit changes for Faculty and P&S staff may be made on the Benefits Enrollment Section of Employee Self Service. If the request is received during the last 6 working days of the month, changes cannot be made until the second working day of the following month.

Merit Staff

Step 1: The Merit Staff Benefit Change Request Form (pdf) must be completed and returned it to the Benefits Office to request this change. 

Step 2: Approximately 24 hours following the approval of the Benefit Change Request, benefit changes for Merit staff may be made on the Benefits Enrollment Section of Employee Self Service. Upon request, a paper form can be mailed to you through Campus Mail for you to complete and return to the Benefits office to update your coverage. If the request is received during the last 6 working days of the month, changes cannot be made until the second working day of the following month.

Temporary Employees

Call the Benefits Office at 319-335-2676 for the necessary form to request a Benefits Change based on a qualifying event. Temporary employees should not complete the Benefit Change request, nor can you make changes on Employee Self Service. 

Benefits changes may also be made during the open enrollment period. Letters are sent notifying you of this opportunity prior to the end of each year.

Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows

Call the Benefits Office at 319-335-2676 for the necessary form to request a Benefits Change based on a qualifying event. Temporary employees should not complete the Benefit Change request, nor can you make changes on Employee Self Service. 

Benefits changes may also be made during the open enrollment period. Letters are sent notifying you of this opportunity prior to the end of each year.

Students

You must complete a new application form available in the Benefits Office or on the Health Insurance website under the appropriate classification. You should not complete the Benefit Change request form, nor can you make changes on Employee Self Service. 

Benefits changes may be made during the open enrollment period listed in the booklet you receive at the beginning of the year or for any of the listed qualifying events.

Benefits Office

Campus address
120 USB
U.S. mailing address
The University of Iowa
University Benefits Office
120 University Services Bldg.
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
Phone
319-335-2676
877-830-4001
FAX
319-335-2776
Hours
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm