Annual Benefits Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is now closed  


Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to reflect upon your current benefit elections and make any needed changes for the upcoming year. During Open Enrollment, faculty and staff may enroll, add, or remove eligible dependents, make changes to their health and dental plan options, life insurance, and re-enroll in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). 

Mark Your Calendar

Open Enrollment for 2020 Benefits begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 and ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.

  • Oct. 23, 2019: Open Enrollment opens at 8 a.m. This is the first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2020 insurance plan. 

  • Nov. 15, 2019: This is the last day to enroll in or change benefits plans. You will have until 5 p.m. to submit your Open Enrollment selections to University Benefits.

  • Oct. 1-Nov. 15, 2019: Open Enrollment Information Sessions are available across campus. Plan to stop by one of the sessions to ask questions about your benefits or find out about the additional health plan, UISelect, added for 2020.

  • Nov. 25, 2019: Deadline for requesting any changes made to your 2020 enrollment selections. Must be submitted through Employee Self Service via your online confirmation statement. 

If you choose not to take action, your existing coverage options will roll over into the next year with the exception of the Health Care and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account(s), in which you are required to actively enroll each year. In addition, if you are currently enrolled in the UIChoice employee only or double spouse family option, and do not switch your health plan to UISelect, you will pay 5% of the total calculated premium in 2020.

Changes in 2020 Benefits

University Benefits encourages every employee to review both UIChoice and UISelect rates for 2020. Please note that there are changes in the premium cost share for UIChoice. These rates will be effective Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020.

UIChoice Rates:

  • Health care premiums will increase for UIChoice.
  • Employee Only and Double Spouse Family option: Employees who currently pay $0 premium for the employee only and double spouse family options in UIChoice will continue to have access to a zero-premium option with the new plan, UISelect. If these employees choose to remain in UIChoice, they will pay 5% of the premium cost for their health plan in 2020. 
  • There are no changes in the percent cost sharing for the following UIChoice members: Employee+Spouse, Employee+Child(ren) and Employee+Family. These members will continue to pay 20% of the premiums.
  • Please review the 2020 UIChoice rates that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

UISelect Rates:

  • UISelect will carry a zero-premium option for the employee only and double spouse family coverage options.
    Please review UISelect rates

Dental II Rates:

  • Premiums will not increase for Dental II insurance plan in 2020.

Other Insurance:

Due to the dissolution of the UI Health Alliance, some changes will occur to the university’s Level 1 and Level 2 providers starting Jan. 1, 2020. These changes will largely affect members using a Level 1 provider in counties neighboring Johnson County.

In anticipation of this change, University Human Resources and UI Hospitals & Clinics have created a range of options for easy and timely care, including the expansion of Level 1 providers in neighboring counties and a commitment to timely access to specialty clinics.

We encourage you to review the current UI Health Alliance Providers list and check it against the list below of Level 1 providers for 2020.

Providers that will be added or remain as a Level 1 provider for both UIChoice and UISelect in 2020:

For a more complete list, please visit the UISelect and UIChoice Level 1 provider page.

  • Washington County Hospital and Clinics
  • The Iowa Clinic, PC
  • University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics
    • Iowa River Landing
      UI Urgent Care
      UI QuickCares
      University of Iowa Community HomeCare
Type of Provider Provider - Location
Family Medicine
  • UI River Crossing - Riverside
  • UI Family Medicine - North Liberty
  • UI Family Medicine - Muscatine
  • UI Family Medicine - Scott Boulevard
  • Washington County Hospital and Clinics
UI General Internal Medicine
  • Iowa River Landing
General Pediatrics
  • UI General Pediatrics - Iowa River Landing
  • UI General Pediatrics - Scott Boulevard, Iowa City
  • UI General Pediatrics - North Liberty
  • UI General Pediatrics - Cedar Rapids (two locations)
  • Pediatric Associates of UI Stead Family Children's Hospital - Iowa City & Coralville
Women's Health
  • UI Women's Health -  Iowa River Landing
  • UI Women's Health - North Dodge Street, Iowa City


The Health Care Flexible Spending Account maximum will increase to $2,700 for calendar year 2020.

If you wish to participate in the FSA program, you must re-enroll during the open enrollment period. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulates FSA plans. IRS rules do not allow enrollments to carry over from one year to the next.

Learn more about FSAs. 

The University of Iowa is discontinuing the $200 Shared Savings Credit, which has been offered to Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members who waive participation in university-provided health insurance.

The $90 general benefit credit will still be available to all regular benefits-eligible employees. 

What is Not Changing?

Most university benefits will continue unchanged in 2020, including the following:

  • $90 general benefit credit is still available to all regular benefit-eligible employees.
  • No changes to the Dental II insurance plan or rates.
  • No changes to Group Life insurance plan or rates.
  • No changes to Voluntary Term Life insurance plan or rates
  • No changes to Accidental Death and Dismemberment plan or rates.

Adding/Removing a Dependent 

Adding a dependent to your health and/or dental insurance

Any employee who plans to add a spouse, partner, and/or dependent to their insurance will be required to verify each dependent(s) eligibility within four weeks of adding them to health and/or dental coverage. If complete documentation is not received within four weeks, your unverified dependent(s) will be removed from coverage and cannot be added without a qualifying event.

Once your enrollment has been submitted to University Benefits, you will receive an email from our office as soon as your Verify Dependents link is live in Employee Self Service. This is where you will upload your documents to verify eligibility for each dependent added to the plan(s). Please review the required documentation list so you are prepared when it is time for you to verify.

Removing dependents who are no longer eligible

Eligible children may be covered through Dec. 31 of the year in which they reach age 26 without tax implications. Coverage for children who are full-time students or disabled can continue as long as they remain in that status.

If your child should be removed for plan year 2020, please complete your enrollment by un-checking them as a covered dependent in your enrollment event and submit your enrollment to University Benefits. 

Read more about adding or removing a dependent

Need Help?

To help employees understand their benefits and plan benefits selections, the University Benefits Office will provide the following this fall:

You can find more information regarding tips and session dates and locations on our Need Help? page. 

Frequently Asked Questions


You will make benefits changes, if any, through Employee Self Service during the Open Enrollment period, which begins at 8 a.m. Oct. 23, 2019, and ends at 5 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2019. 

Changes and new rates go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.


If you do nothing during Open Enrollment, your current elections will continue to the next year with the exception of your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). If you have an FSA, you must re-enroll during the Open Enrollment period.

In addition, employees who have UIChoice and are currently paying $0 for employee only or double spouse family coverage will pay 5% percent of their calculated premium in 2020. UISelect will carry a zero-premium option for the employee only and double spouse family coverage options. 


Open Enrollment is your annual opportunity to make changes, enroll in, or cancel such benefits. If you miss the Open Enrollment deadline of 5 p.m. Nov. 15, 2019, you will not be able to make any changes for 2020 unless you experience a qualifying event such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, divorce, death, etc. Learn more about changing your benefits outside the annual Open Enrollment period.


Some changes will occur to the university’s Level 1 and Level 2 providers starting Jan. 1, 2020 due to the dissolution of the UI Health Alliance in 2018.

This decision will not affect the quality or availability of patient care services. In anticipation of this change, University Human Resources and University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics have created a range of options for easy and timely care, including the expansion of level 1 providers in neighboring counties and a commitment to timely access to specialty clinics.


The university will continue to offer a zero-premium health plan option. Employees who select the Employee Only or Double Spouse Family option under the new health plan, UISelect, will pay zero in monthly premiums.

In addition, the university will continue to offer both General and Shared Savings Credits, which can be used for many health care related expenses, including premiums:

  • Regular benefits-eligible employees will receive a $90 per month General Benefit Credit.
  • Individuals who elect not to enroll in the university’s dental insurance plan may be provided a $25 per month in Shared Savings Credist. 
  • Individuals whose salary is over $25,000 who elect $50,000 in group life insurance receive an additional $40 per month in Shared Savings Credits.

Premium rates are recommended to the university’s executive leadership by the Funded Retirement and Insurance Committee (FRIC), a presidential charter committee composed of faculty and staff. In making its recommendations, FRIC considers the inflation of health care costs, health care costs incurred by members from the previous year, previous and anticipated plan usage, market trends, and analyses provided by industry experts. In addition, the rise of health care costs is a nationwide trend.

Pay increases are determined by college and unit leadership in an annual budget process that considers overall funding, strategic goals, and employee performance. The national trend of declining state funding for public higher education has added pressure to collegiate and unit budgets.


As health care costs continue to rise nationally, the university must balance its goals of providing high-quality and competitive benefits with long-term financial sustainability. 

The university discontinued offering this credit to all other employees in 2017 due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) work for the university under a contract with the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The previous contract included the shared savings credit and changes could not be made outside the collective bargaining process.


UISelect Member will need to call Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa customer service to obtain the guest membership. The customer service number is listed on the back of your health insurance card or you may find contact information on Wellmark's website

The criteria for guest memberships is listed below:

  • Dependent children attending college:  Guest membership is available to a student/dependent of the policyholder who are out of the area for 90 or more consecutive days.
  • Long-term travelers:  Guest membership is available to a policyholder, spouse or other dependents who are way from the area in the U.S. for at least 90 consecutive days.* The member will be asked for their approximate date of return. 
    • Example: Used for long-term work assignments or a retiree with dual residence. 
    • Permanent address must be an Iowa address.
  • Families living apart:  Guest membership is available to a spouse or other dependents of the policyholder who do not reside in the area for 90 or more consecutive days. The policyholder is NOT eligible for this type of guest membership.
    • Example: Typically used when divorced or separated family members permanently reside outside of the area
  • COBRA:  COBRA guest membership is available to a policyholder, spouse or other dependents who obtain residence in another state. COBRA guest membership will remain in effect as long as COBRA is in effect or until the member returns to reside in Iowa, whichever comes first.

Medical services received by those on a Guest Membership will have coverage under Level 2 if services are received by a participating Blue Cross Blue Shield provider. 

*The guest membership program is not available for international services when traveling outside of the country. If you are an employee and are traveling internationally for university business purposes, than the CISI insurance will apply. 


Selena and her friends take a road trip to Chicago. While there, she comes down with a nasty cold and wants to see a doctor. Please see examples of provider-type options below and anticipated out-of-pocket expenses to the health plan member.

Type of Provider Cost of Visit UIChoice UISelect
Doctor on Demand $0 $0 $0
CVS Minute Clinic
(or other retail clinic option)
$99 ~$49.50
(Approximately 50% could be reimbursable under Level 3 for a non-participating provider.)
Urgent Care $220 $110
(50% would be covered under Level 3 for a participating BC/BS provider.)

UIChoice: When seeing a non-participating provider (including providers in Iowa), any coinsurance owed by Selena will go to the separate Level 3 medical out-of-pocket maximum (OPM) of $2,000. Selena does need to file her own claim with Wellmark to be reimbursed.

UISelect:  There is no Level 3 coverage except in the case of an emergency or through a guest membership. Any amount paid by Selena in the examples above would NOT go toward her deductible or out-of-pocket maximum (OPM).

Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA):  Any amount paid toward the health care examples above would be considered a qualified expense and reimbursable from a health care FSA. In the examples under UIChoice, the explanation of benefits from Wellmark will be required for processing. In the examples under UISelect, a copy of the itemized statement from the provider's office will be required for processing.

Contact Information

University Benefits

Campus Address
120 USB
Mailing Address

120 University Services Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.