Benefits open change period for ISU employees is Nov. 1-17

Mark the calendar

  • Nov. 1 (9 a.m.): Open change period begins; participation statements available on AccessPlus
  • Nov. 3: Live, closed-captioned webcasts (pre/postdoctoral associates (9-10 a.m.); merit (10:30 a.m.-noon); faculty, P&S and supervisory/confidential merit (1:30-3 p.m.)
  • Nov. 17 (5 p.m.): Open change period ends
  • Dec. 1 (9 a.m.): Benefits confirmation statements available on AccessPlus
  • Dec. 8 (5 p.m.): Corrections to benefits statements due at 3810 Beardshear Hall
  • Dec. 15 (9 a.m.): Final benefits statements available on AccessPlus

Faculty, professional and scientific (P&S) staff, and supervisory and confidential merit employees have an opportunity to update their ISU Plan benefits during the annual open change period, Nov. 1 through Nov. 17. This year's ISU Plan open enrollment period marks the first time Iowa State's merit employees will participate in the plan, a change that came about last February when the state Legislature and former Gov. Terry Branstad approved changes to the state collective bargaining law. Merit employees were notified of the insurance plan changes this summer.

Same plans, same price, some changes

The 2018 ISU Plan medical and dental benefits remain the same as 2017, with no price increases. Current costs and coverages are available on university human resources' (UHR) benefits page.

Items to note for 2018:

  • Merit employees must make medical and dental elections during the open change period
  • The plan year for ISU benefits will move to a calendar year beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Previously, benefits changes were implemented annually on Feb. 1.
  • Faculty, P&S, supervisory/confidential merit and merit employees may receive ISU Plan credits for waiving medical and dental plans

During this open change period only, the following life insurance programs will require no medical underwriting:

Merit meetings

UHR will hold come-and-go help sessions throughout the enrollment period to help merit staff complete their ISU Plan enrollment in AccessPlus. Employees should bring the following to a session:

  • AccessPlus login information
  • Names, dates of birth and social security numbers for themselves and all dependents being insured
  • Name of primary care physician and obstetrician-gynecologist (optional) for those enrolling in the Blue Advantage (HMO) plan

Meeting dates, times and locations are available online.

More information

UHR is holding live, interactive webcasts with closed-captioning for ISU Plan participants Nov. 3. Intended audiences and times are:

  • Pre/Postdoctoral associates (9-10 a.m.)
  • Merit (10:30 a.m.-noon)
  • Faculty, P&S and supervisory/confidential merit (1:30-3 p.m.)

Log in to, type your name in the "Enter as Guest" heading, then select "Enter Room" to join a webcast. UHR will record the webcasts and archive them on the benefits website following the meetings.

How to make changes             

Current ISU Plan participants may review and change their benefits options online through AccessPlus. Benefits will remain the same in 2018 for faculty, P&S staff and supervisory/confidential merit employees who make no changes. However, UHR advises employees to review their benefits and beneficiaries, even if no changes are necessary. Contact the UHR service center, 294-4800, with questions about how to alter benefits online.