UI to review employee health benefits for 2020

In response to recent changes in state and federal law, the University of Iowa has established a stakeholder advisory committee of faculty and staff to oversee a transparent review of health-related benefits for faculty and staff.

The review’s goal is to ensure that the university can continue to offer high-quality, competitive, and sustainable health plans that match employee interests. Any resulting changes in UI offered benefits would take effect at the earliest beginning 2020.

University Human Resources will lead the stakeholder advisory committee composed of faculty and staff representatives from across campus. The committee will work with Aon Hewitt, an actuarial and benefit consultant, as well as campus shared governance and the Funded Retirement and Insurance Committee (FRIC).

The advisory committee plans to gather feedback from faculty and staff via a survey in spring 2018. University leadership hopes to have final recommendations for future health benefit offerings by December 2018. The university last completed a review of benefits design in 2009-2010.

The advisory committee is charged with composing a long-term health benefit philosophy to help the university make decisions about future benefit designs. Based on campus feedback, the benefit philosophy would articulate principles that balance the needs and interests of UI employees with health provider costs and what the university can sustainably provide to remain a competitive employer.

Aon Hewitt will consider current and anticipated regulatory guidelines, recent market innovations, benchmark comparisons, and best practices to recommend a set of benefit designs that align with the benefit philosophy and guiding principles provided by the advisory committee.

Recent and ongoing changes in federal and state law are affecting the economics of health insurance both nationally and on campus. In early spring 2017, the governor of Iowa signed into law changes to Iowa’s Chapter 20 code that prohibit health insurance as a topic of collective bargaining. Given this change, Board of Regent Institutions will begin insuring their respective AFSCME covered merit staff effective January 1, 2018.

This fall, University HR launched a special benefit open enrollment period (Sep. 29 to Nov. 17) for those AFSCME covered merit staff previously covered by state offered plans to join UI offered medical and dental plans. University HR anticipates that most of the 4,200 affected UI merit staff will do so.

Stakeholder Advisory Committee Membership:

Joni Troester
Committee Chair, Assistant Vice President for Total Rewards, University Human Resources

Cheryl Reardon
Chief Human Resources Officer, University Human Resources

Rebecca Olson
Director of Benefits, University Human Resources

Susan Klatt
Director Financial Management and Budget and University Secretary

Jon Garfinkel
Funded Retirement and Insurance Committee, co-chair for faculty, Professor of Finance, Tippie College of Business

Nancy Davin
Funded Retirement and Insurance Committee, co-chair for staff, Administrative Services Manager, Center on Aging

Katherine Tachau
Funded Retirement and Insurance Committee, faculty member, Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Michael Schueller
Funded Retirement and Insurance Committee, staff member, Assistant Director of Environmental Operations, State Hygienic Laboratory

Carroll Reasoner
Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel

Jana Wessels
Associate Vice President for Human Resources, UI Health Care

Doug Van Daele
Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, UI Physician Group, UI Health Care

Daniel Fick
Campus Health Officer

Maria Guadalupe Bruno
Staff Psychologist, University Counseling Service, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Julie Hostager
Support Staff, Office of Student Financial Aid, Merit staff member

Quintin Bryant
Clerk IV, Engineering Services, UI Health Care, Merit staff member

Barbara Van Gorp
Clinical Specialist, Rehabilitation Therapies, UI Health Care, SEIU staff member

Advisory Group Support
Cristóbal McKinney
Office of Strategic Communications

Cheri Smith
University Human Resources

For more information, visit the Health Benefits Review page.