Faculty and Staff: 2019 Annual Benefits Open Enrollment

2019 Annual Open Enrollment, November 1 through the 16th, 2018
2019 Annual Open Enrollment, November 1 through the 16th, 2018

Open Enrollment for 2019 Benefits for Faculty, Professional and Scientific, Merit and House Staff is November 1 through November 16, 2018. Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to review your current benefit elections, understand you benefit options and evaluate your anticipated needs for the coming year, add or remove dependents and enroll in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program. University Benefits strongly encourages faculty and staff to sign into Employee Self Service and complete Open Enrollment.

If you do not make any changes or new elections during the enrollment period, your current coverage will remain the same in 2019 with the exception of FSA enrollment. The Health Care FSA will only include unused benefit credits, if applicable, and the Dependent Care FSA will be set to $0

2019 Benefit Changes


The university will continue to provide the full cost of single and double spouse family coverage for the UIChoice health plan premium and 80% of the coverage cost for the other family status options. Effective, January 1, 2019, UIChoice health premiums will increase 2.5%.

Dental Insurance will not increase for 2019.

Specialty Drug Requirement

Effective January 1, 2019, UIChoice members are required to use the UI Health Care Specialty Pharmacy for all their specialty drug needs. Learn more about the new specialty drug requirement.

Flexible Spending Accounts:

The Health Care FSA annual maximum for 2019 will increase to $2,650 from $2,600. You must complete your FSA election to continue participating for 2019.

Waiving Health Insurance and University Credits: 

If you waive health insurance through the university and you are not covered under another health plan that provides minimum value coverage, the maximum amount of University Credits (General Credit and Shared Savings Credits) that can roll into a health care FSA is $500 per calendar year. To confirm that your plan meets the minimum value standard, check with your plan administrator.

Please note: A spouse or dependent child for whom you seek reimbursement of expenses through the health care FSA must be enrolled in a plan that provides minimum value coverage during the time the expenses were incurred. It is your responsibility to notify University Benefits immediately if your enrollment status in other health insurance changes.

Double Spouse Coverage

Employees enrolled for Double Spouse Credit who are not covering dependent children will be required to enroll in two employee only plans. Double Spouse Credit only provides a benefit for those who need family coverage.

Life Insurance

Group Life Insurance:
For 2019, the Group Life insurance rate is decreasing from $0.39 to $0.246 per thousand per month.

Supplemental Life:
Supplemental Life Insurance is now called Voluntary Term Life. There are no changes with rates or coverages.

Spouse/Partner or Dependent Voluntary Life Coverage:
In order to elect voluntary term life insurance for your spouse/domestic partner and/or dependent children, you must elect coverage for yourself under the voluntary term life insurance benefit first.Your dependent's benefit amount cannot be more than 100 percent of your own benefit amount.
For Example: If your salary is $40,000 and you elect 1/2 x's salary in voluntary term life for yourself, you must elect $20,000 or less in coverage for your spouse.

New for 2019

Wellmark will be sending all UIChoice participants new member ID cards. Cards will be mailed to your home address on file by January 1, 2019. Please ensure your address is up to date in Employee Self Service to avoid any delays in receiving your new card.

  • Doctor on Demand, new virtual medicine option available at no cost to the UIChoice members.
  • You will now receive benefits confirmation statements electronically. Paper confirmation statements will no longer be sent in campus mail.
    • Going forward, you will receive email notification of a confirmation statement available in Employee Self Service following your elections. Upon receiving your email notification, please review the applicable statement to confirm your elections. 
    • If a correction is needed, follow the steps from your Benefits Confirmations page in Employee Self Service.
  • The University of Iowa collects information to verify dependents enrolled in our health and dental plans meet the eligibility guidelines for plan coverage.
    • If you have recently added or plan to add dependent(s) during open enrollment and beyond, you will be contacted by University Benefits and required to provide documentation to verify their eligibility. More information regarding this process will be available in late 2018.  

More information about available benefits, rates, and calculators

Do you need help or have questions regarding your 2019 enrollment? 

University Benefits has planned additional Benefits Office Hours dedicated to Open Enrollment in a location near you! Visit below for dates, times, and locations:

PDF iconNovember 2018 Benefits Office Hours (pdf)

A brief 2019 Open Enrollment presentation will be held each hour, at the top of the hour during each of session below.For example, on November 2, 2018, a short presentation on Open Enrollment will be held at 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

You do not need to RSVP for these sessions. Please come when you can!

Date Time Location
Friday, November 2, 2018 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Room 1015, Main Library
Saturday, November 3, 2018 6:00 AM - 11:00 AM Room C500 GH, 5th flr near elevator B
Saturday, November 3, 2018 4:00 PM - 11:00 PM Room C500 GH, 5th flr near elevator B
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM Health Fair, UI Field House
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM Room 1015, Main Library
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM Room C500 GH, 5th flr near elevator B

Annual Open Enrollment Deadline

The deadline to complete your enrollment is November 16, 2018. 
When 2019 benefit enrollments are finalized, you will receive a confirmation statement to your uiowa email address confirming your elections and costs for 2019. Please watch for your confirmation statement and review it carefully. Elections made during the open enrollment period will be effective January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 and cannot be changed during the year unless there is a qualifying event.

ABOUT OUR SITE: The information presented on our website describes only the highlights of the plans and does not constitute official plan documents. Additional terms and conditions apply. If there are any discrepancies between the information contained herein and the official plan documents, the plan documents will govern.

University 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
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm