Benefits Open Enrollment - Merit Staff

Open Enrollment for 2018 Benefits for Merit Staff hired before July 1, 2017 is now through November 17, 2017. The State of Iowa health (Blue Access, Program 3+ and Iowa Select) and State of Iowa Dental insurance plans are ending December 31, 2017. 

Effective January 1, 2018, all AFSCME covered Merit Staff who are participating in the current Merit Staff benefits package will now have access to the same benefits package that is available to Professional and Scientific, Merit Supervisory Exempt and Merit Confidential staff. Your health plan option will be UIChoice and your dental plan option will be Dental II. You MUST complete your online enrollment in Employee Self Service in order to have health and/or dental insurance for 2018. If you do not complete your enrollment, you will not have health and/or dental coverage for 2018 unless you have a qualifying event. Carefully review the Annual Open Enrollment information which has been sent to your home address to ensure that you understand any changes that may affect your benefit choices.

Benefit enrollment events will automatically be created for you in Employee Self Service to make your benefit elections. If you do not actively enroll, your current benefit selections will end on 12/31/17 and you will not have benefits for 2018. 

More information about available benefits and rates

Visit a recording of a Merit Info Session presentation

Schedule of Computer Lab Sessions

An informational packet, the PDF icon2018 Merit Open Enrollment Memo (pdf)has been sent to your home address. It outlines benefit changes, plan details and provides instructions on how to complete your enrollment. 

2018 Benefit Change Highlights

Health Plan
The Merit health plans (Blue Access, Program 3+ and Iowa Select) through the State of Iowa are ending on 12/31/17. All Merit Staff are eligible for the UIChoice health plan beginning January 1, 2018. You MUST complete your online enrollment in order to continue to have health insurance for 2018. 

Dental Plan
The Merit dental plan through the State of Iowa is ending on 12/31/17. All Merit Staff are eligible for the Dental II dental plan beginning January 1, 2018. You MUST complete your online enrollment in order to continue to have dental insurance for 2018.

University Credits
You are eligible to receive a variety of benefit credits based on the benefits elections you make. You may receive up to a total of $155 in credits per month depending on your 2018 benefits choices.
Credits may be used to reduce the cost of health and dental insurance, additional life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance or to fund a flexible spending account. Unused credits will automatically roll into a health care flexible spending account or can be designated to a dependent care flexible spending account by making an election in the open enrollment process.

General Credit - Every eligible employee receives $90 per month in General Benefit Credits (up to $1,080 per year)
Shared Savings Credit - Depending on your benefit choices, you may be eligible for additional benefits credits.

  • If you have dental insurance and are not enrolled in a University of Iowa dental plan, you will receive a credit of $25 per month.
  • If you elect $50,000 in group life insurance and your annual base salary is $25,000 or greater, you will receive a credit of $40 per month.

Group Life Insurance
More options are now available to you. Participation in the group life insurance plan is mandatory. This coverage is for the employee only. The group life insurance coverage is available in amounts of $50,000, 2.0 times salary, 2.5 times salay, or 3 times salary. The University will pay the full cost of 2.0 times salary. 

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Enrollment
If you wish to participate in the Health Care and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for calendar year 2018, you MUST make an election and complete your enrollment. Your 2017 pledges will not roll over if you do not re-enroll unless you are receiving benefit credits that default into your Health Care FSA.
The Health Care FSA maximum is increasing to $2,600 for 2018. 

Contact the Merit Benefits team


University Benefits has assembled a dedicated Merit Benefits Team that will be available to assist active and retired Merit Staff during the open enrollment period.

The Merit Benefits Team is available to help with enrollment and questions pertaining to your benefits until January 2018.