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

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

To improve health plan transparency in the cost of health services, 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. 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 prescribed by the law. 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 even determine how much a visit will cost you before you receive 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 that was approved on July 1, 2017, remains in effect as normal. 

Eligibility for either program:

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

Highlights of the Phased Program:

  • Can phase for up to 3 years maximum.
  • 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 discretion of the institution, up to an additional 10% salary incentive. 
  • Benefits will continue as normal for life, health, dental, and disability. Accrual of vacation and sick time will be based on the percentage of your appointment.
  • 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. 

Benefit Events

Event Dates & details
Annual Open Enrollment 2023 Nov. 1 - Nov. 15, 2022
  • New changes take effect on Jan. 1, 2023