Benefit Changes

Making 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.

Faculty, P&S, and Select Merit Staff

Qualifying Events for Change of Coverage

  • 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
  • Change of employment, work schedule or work site for self, spouse or domestic partner
  • 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
  • Change in dependent care provider

Coverage begins 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).

Steps to Follow:

  • 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 the Employee Self Service, and is also available on the Benefits Forms web site.
  • Benefit changes for Faculty and P&S staff must be made on the Benefits Enrollment Section of the Employee Self Service following the approval of the Benefit Change Request. 

  • You will be able to complete the change of benefits online on the Employee Self Service approximately 24 hours after the Benefits Office approves the completed Benefit Change Request. 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.

  • Go to Employee Self Service login page

Merit Staff

Qualifying Events for Health Insurance

  • Birth/Adoption/Foster child (changes must be made within sixty [60] days)
  • Death of spouse/dependent/domestic partner
  • Marriage/Domestic Partner Affidavit
  • Divorce/legal separation/termination of domestic partnership
  • Spouse or dependent loss of coverage
  • Employee's own loss of coverage under another plan
  • Dependent no longer eligible
  • Your retirement
  • Spouse's retirement from another employer
  • Employee, spouse or dependent becomes eligible for, or loses eligibility for Medicare/Medicaid?SCHIP
  • Beginning or returning from an unpaid leave of absence

All of the above qualifying events allow for change within the current plan.  Of these, there are some which allow a change from one plan to another.

Change of Health Plans allowed for the following:

  • 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

Coverage begins 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).

Qualifying Events for Dental Insurance:

Employees may add new dependents only if they are affected by marriage or domestic partnership, divorce or termination of domestic partnership, a dependent becoming a full-time student (within 30 days of the event), or birth/adoption (within 60 days of the event). Other existing family members cannot be added unless the state has an open enrollment. Spouse & dependents may be added if they lose coverage under the employee's spouse due to involuntary termination of employment, however they must also enroll in health insurance.

Merit Changes For Spending Accounts

Any of the above events are considered qualifying events for making changes to spending account deductions.  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

How to Make Changes

Complete the Merit Staff Benefit Change Request Form (pdf) and return it to the Benefits Office.  An enrollment form/packet will be created and mailed to you through Campus Mail for you to complete and return to the Benefits office to update your coverage.  Return this form/packet to the Benefits Office.

Temporary Employees

Changes can be made if any of the qualifying events listed under the “Faculty, P&S and MSE Staff” section occur or during the annual open enrollment period.  Letters are sent notifying you of this opportunity prior to the end of each year.

You should not complete the Benefit Change request, nor can you make changes on the self-service web site.  Call the Benefits Office at 335-2676 for the necessary form

Students

Changes can be made if any of the qualifying events listed under the “Faculty, P&S and MSE Staff” section occur or during the open enrollment period listed in the booklet you receive at the beginning of the year.

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

Postdoctoral Scholars/Fellows

Changes can be made if any of the qualifying events listed under the “Faculty, P&S and MSE Staff” section occur or during the annual open enrollment period.  Letters are sent notifying you of this opportunity prior to the end of each year.

You should not complete the Benefit Change request, nor can you make changes on the Self Service web site.  Call the Benefits Office at 335-2676 for the necessary form.

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