The Benefits Bulletin is your gateway to the University of Iowa's benefits news, tips, and more. We will highlight benefits and resources, and most importantly keep you and your covered dependents informed about any new changes or significant updates. 

Recent Updates and News

Open enrollment: Vision insurance (voluntary)

Jan. 01, 2024

Vision insurance open enrollment runs through Feb. 29, 2024. If you are currently enrolled and do not want to make changes, you do not need to take any action. 

Complete a new enrollment form to enroll or cancel coverage, change the members covered, or switch plans. You can access the form on the University of Iowa World Insurance Associates website

New enrollments take effect on Apr. 1, 2024.

Not all UI employees can enroll in the voluntary vision plan through World. Please visit the Voluntary Vision Plan webpage to review eligibility. 

World Insurance Associates (World) administers our voluntary vision program. If you have questions about the plans, rates, or enrollment status, please contact World at 800-728-9620 or

Voluntary Vision Open Enrollment runs from Jan. 01, 2024, to Feb. 29, 2024, with an effective date of Apr. 1, 2024. 

Wellmark's primary care provider (PCP) requirement in 2024

Dec. 05, 2023

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, Wellmark will require all health plan members to choose a primary care provider (PCP) to designate for primary care visits. This designation can quickly be made in the myWellmark portal or by calling Wellmark Customer Service at 1-800-211-6771.

Read more about PCP selection requirement

Archived Updates

2024 Benefits open enrollment has ended

Nov. 15, 2023

Open enrollment for 2024 benefits closed at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023.

University Benefits strongly encourages all employees to sign in to Employee Self-Service and complete their open enrollment event. Elections made during the open enrollment period will be effective Jan. 1, 2024, through Dec. 31, 2024.

If you did not make changes during this open enrollment period, you will remain enrolled in the same plan and coverage options you currently have in 2023. The only exception is your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), as you must re-enroll if you want to participate in 2024.

Benefits open enrollment begins today

Nov. 1, 2023

Open enrollment for 2024 benefits is now open. This is your annual opportunity to tailor the benefits package offered by the University of Iowa. Here’s how you can get started:

Elect benefits or make changes in Employee Self-Service.

A summary of updates and changes for 2024 is available on our annual benefits open enrollment webpage. Don’t forget to re-enroll in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) if you wish to participate in 2024.

Changes and new rates take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. You have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, to complete your open enrollment.

2024 benefits preview

Oct. 10, 2023

On behalf of University Human Resources, we are proud to offer you and your family a comprehensive and robust benefits package. We are excited to share a summary of what’s included in this year’s benefits open enrollment.

The annual benefits open enrollment for faculty and staff will begin at 8 a.m. Nov. 1, 2023, and end at 5 p.m. Nov. 15, 2023. We are sharing this information now so you have time to consider your options before you need to make final decisions about your 2024 insurance benefits.

You will receive an email with additional open enrollment information on Nov. 1, 2023.

Plan cost and coverage changes for 2024:

  • Dental insurance premiums will increase modestly.

  • Health insurance premiums will increase similar to national trends. However, UISelect will continue to offer a zero-premium option for Employee Only and Double Spouse Family.

  • Because mental health and well-being is a top priority, both UISelect and UIChoice health plans will have zero dollar copays for mental health visits, along with free virtual mental health visits through Doc on Demand.

Free virtual mental health visits through Doc on Demand

Jul. 01, 2023

Effective Jul. 1, 2023, all UIChoice and UISelect health plan participants and their covered dependents can receive free virtual mental health visits through Doc on Demand. Choose from various licensed therapists or psychiatrists (for more complex issues) that can be available day or night. Get the help you need in days, not months.

June 30, 2022  |  Wellmark's Transparency in Coverage Public Files

The Transparency in Coverage Rule (TCR) requires self-funded health plans and insurers to disclose rates and other price information for all covered billable services to improve health plan transparency in the cost of health services. Wellmark has provided two machine-readable files publicly available beginning July 1, 2022, including:

  • In-network allowed amount
  • Out-of-network allowed amount, if applicable, based on threshold requirement.

Review the public files effective July 1, 2022. 

Downloading files

The files are a specific file type, JavaScript Object Notation (.json.gz file format), as the law prescribes. Wellmark cannot make the files available in other formats.

Please note as machine-readable files, they are not readily interpretable by consumers. As such, members are encouraged to use the more member-friendly Find Costs tool available through The tool can help you find providers and determine how much a visit will cost you before receiving services. The machine-readable files do not provide information on a member’s out-of-pocket charges.

June 27, 2022  |  IRS increases FSA mileage reimbursement rate to $0.22/mile

The IRS announced on Jun. 9, 2022, that there will be an increase in the health care FSA mileage rates for the remaining six months of 2022. Effective July 1, 2022, the health care FSA mileage rate will increase from .18/mile to .22/mile. Any mileage expenses incurred before July 1, 2022, will be reimbursed at the .18/mile. 

IRS News Release

June 8, 2022 | Wellmark Update for all Health Plan Members

Wellmark's Legal Notice for all Health Plan Members

This notice explains member rights as it applies to surprise medical billing when you see a provider or visit a healthcare facility that is not in our health plan network as it relates to Emergency Services or certain services at an In-Network Hospital or Ambulatory Surgical Center. 

To read the complete notice from Wellmark, please select the pdf link listed below:

To review other Wellmark updates, visit Wellmark Health Plan Updates for previous announcements. 

June 3, 2022 | 3-year Pilot Phased Retirement Program Approved

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved a three-year pilot phased retirement program for eligible University of Iowa faculty and staff. The two-year program, approved on July 1, 2017, remains normal. 

Eligibility for either program:

  1. Faculty, P&S, and Merit employees hold regular appointments of 50% or greater for at least 15 continuous years of service.
  2. Employees must be aged 57 or older to participate. 

Highlights of the Phased Program:

  • Can phase for up to 3 years maximum.
  • You must fully retire from the University at the end of your phased period.
  • Reduce your time between 50-65%, with the last year of your phase agreement must be 50%. 
  • At the institution's discretion, up to an additional 10% salary incentive. 
  • Benefits will continue as usual for life, health, dental, and disability. Accrual of vacation and sick time will be based on your appointment percentage.
  • If you have TIAA, the UI contribution will be based on your salary as if you were still in a full-time regular appointment. 

Visit the Phased Retirement Program page for more information and how to begin the process. 

TIAA Financial Webinars and Important Benefits Events

TIAA Financial Webinars by Month

Name of eventDate and time
Invest for success: 5 principles you need to knowJan. 16 at 1:00 p.m.
Take control of your financial life: Five steps to managing money and debtJan. 18 at 2:00 p.m.
Cybersecurity/identity theft protection for elders: Help protect yourself, your family and your moneyJan. 24 at 12:00 p.m.

Register and reserve your spot today!

February Webinars printable document (pdf) 

Name of event Date and time (CST)
Opening doors to the future: Save in a 529 college savings plan Feb. 1  |  2 p.m.
Inside money: Managing money and debt Feb. 6  |  11 a.m.
She's got it: A woman's guide to saving and investing Feb. 15  |  1 p.m.
Gaining insight: Navigating debt consolidation and understanding the mortgage process Feb. 21  |  12 p.m.

Register and reserve your spot today!

March Webinars printable document (pdf) 

Name of event Date and time (CST)
The starting line: Beginning to save for retirement Mar. 6  |  11 a.m.
Attention to detail: Financial finishing touches for women Mar. 14  |  12 p.m.
Paycheck for life: Set your sights on retirement security Mar. 20  |  11 a.m.
Live with confidence in retirement: Five steps to creating your retirement income plan Mar. 26  |  2 p.m.

Register and reserve your spot today!

Benefits Event Dates & details
Annual Vision Open Enrollment

Jan. 01 - Feb. 29, 2024

  • New changes take effect on April 1, 2024
2023 Flexible Spending Account Deadline

2023 expenses must be incurred by Dec. 31, 2023

  • Reimbursement requests must be submitted to HealthEquity by April 30, 2024
Annual Open Enrollment 2025

Nov. 1 - Nov. 15, 2024

  • New changes take effect on Jan. 1, 2025