When do my benefits begin?

If you are hired into a regular benefit-eligible position working fifty percent or greater, your benefits will take effect the first of the month following your hire date. For example, if you were hired on September 15, your new employee benefits package will take effect on October 1.

Enrolling in Benefits FAQs

Insurance enrollment

All benefit-eligible employees will have a New Hire enrollment event available for you to complete on your first day of employment. 

You will have 30 calendar days from your start date to complete your online enrollment through Employee Self-Service. 

  • After you submit your elections to the Benefits Office, you will be notified by email that a confirmation statement is available (approximately 24-48 hours) for review. 
    • If you need to change your elections, you must request your change through your confirmation statement in Employee Self-Service. Please be very specific about what changes you need. 
    • You will only have five calendar days from the release date of your statement to request a change.
      • PLEASE NOTE: Requests will NOT be accepted after the 5-day deadline, even if the employee is still within their first 30 days from hire. 

Retirement plan enrollment (mandatory)

A regular benefit-eligible employee expected to work six months or more must participate in a retirement program. 

You have 60 calendar days from your start date to enroll in one of the two mandatory retirement plans offered (IPERS or TIAA). To review more information about the retirement plan vendors available and instructions on enrolling, visit the Retirement Plan Options page.

If you are eligible for the mandatory retirement program, you will receive an email with further details from the Benefits Office on your first day of employment. 

Before you enroll

  1. Make sure you've set up your Two-Step Login with Duo Security.
  2. Gather personal information for each person you are enrolling. This includes full legal names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers.
  3. Have your HawkID or HealthCareID and password:
    • If you have difficulty with your HawkID or password, call 319-384-4357, or visit hawkid.uiowa.edu.
    • If you have difficulty with your HealthCareID or password, call 319-356-0001, or visit healthcareid.uiowa.edu.

How to enroll in Employee Self-Service

When you're ready to go online and make your benefit elections, follow these steps below:

  1. Log in to Employee Self-Service at hris.uiowa.edu.
  2. From the lefthand menu, select "Benefits & Wellness" >> "Benefits" >> "Benefits Enrollment"
  3. On the next page, you will choose the link labeled "OPEN - Edit Your Benefit Elections" to begin.
  4. Add beneficiaries and dependents.
    • Select the blue button on the right labeled "I agree - View and Update Dependents/Beneficiaries." 
    • Enter the required information for each person, and once completed, submit.
    • Select the "Return to Benefits Enrollment" button to continue with your elections.
  5. Elect your benefits
    • Select "OPEN - Edit Your Benefit Elections."
    • Select the blue button on the left labeled "I agree - Continue to Benefits Enrollment."
      1. Under Medical, choose your preferred plan by selecting the corresponding option code in the Medical Coverage Selection dropdown box.
          • if you are waiving coverage, you must still actively select waive from the dropdown box, option 90. An additional red outlined box will appear where you must answer the Minimum Value Coverage question to continue enrolling. 
          • If you are selecting UISelect as your health plan, you must attest that you live in the state of Iowa.
      2. If you wish to add a dependent to your coverage, check the box next to their name to add them to your coverage. If you are removing a dependent from your coverage, uncheck the box next to their name.
    • Complete the same process for dental insurance, life insurance, voluntary term life insurance, AD&D, dependent life insurance, and flexible spending accounts (health care or dependent care)
    • Note: Long-term disability insurance is required and provided to all benefit-eligible employees at no cost. You cannot change this selection. 

After you enroll

These final steps will ensure you and your dependents are confirmed for coverage and receive all the information necessary to take full advantage of your benefits. 

  1. Update your home and work addresses. Under My Self-Service, select Address/Phone Change. This address is where your insurance cards will be mailed.
  2. Watch for your confirmation statement. You will receive an email notifying you of your online confirmation statement within 24-48 hours of submitting your benefit elections. Please review this carefully. You will only have five days from your statement date to request any changes to your enrollment.
  3. If you added dependent(s) to your benefit plans, gather the documents you need to complete your dependent eligibility verification. An email will be sent to your UIOWA account once your Verify Dependents link in Employee Self-Service is available. You will have four weeks from the date of your first email to upload the necessary documents. 

When do my benefits end?

Active employee benefits will end at the end of the month in which the regular fiscal year faculty, professional & scientific, or merit staff terminates from the University. For example, if an employee terminates on May 5, the employee will continue to have active employee benefits until May 31. 


  • An academic year faculty member (9-month employee). 
    • If the faculty member worked the entire academic session, even if the member leaves before the actual end of an academic semester on 6/30 or 12/31, the faculty member remains employed and covered on active employee benefits until 6/30 for the spring semester or 12/31 for the fall semester.  
  • House staff members transferring into a faculty position. 
    • Generally, the house staff employee benefits will end on 6/30. When transferring into a regular employee position (typical start date - July 1), the new regular employee benefits will not be effective until 8/1. This will leave the house staff member transferring into their new faculty position with a gap in coverage for the month of July. 
    • For the month of July, these employees will have the option of COBRA, ACA health only (typically), and, in some cases, temporary insurance. 
    • The new faculty member must remember to enroll in their new regular employee benefits within the first 30 days and elect a mandatory retirement election, if applicable, in the first 60 days in their new faculty position.