Nonsupervisory merit open change period begins Oct. 5

Nonsupervisory merit employees have an opportunity to review and change their benefits during the annual open change period, Oct. 5 (9 a.m.) through Nov. 23 (5 p.m.).

Changes for 2016

As a result of last winter's collective bargaining process, several health insurance changes will go into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

Mark your calendar

  • Oct. 5 (9 a.m.): Open change period begins; participation statements available on AccessPlus
  • Oct. 14 (9-10:30 a.m.): Live webcast
  • Oct. 21 (8:10-8:50 a.m. or 12:10-1 p.m.): Open forum in 1210 LeBaron Hall
  • Oct. 21 (10-11:15 a.m. or 3-4:15 p.m.): Open forum in 301A/B Spedding Hall
  • Nov. 23 (5 p.m.): Open change period ends
  • Dec. 4 (9 a.m.): Benefit confirmation statements available on AccessPlus
  • Dec. 11 (5 p.m.): Corrections to benefits statements due at 3810 Beardshear
  • Dec. 15 (9 a.m.): Final benefits statements available on AccessPlus

Health insurance plans

Most of the health plans offered in 2015 also will be available in 2016, with the exception of Blue Advantage. Blue Access, Iowa Select and Program 3 Plus will be offered with changes, which are described below.

Employees currently enrolled in Blue Advantage may select from the remaining plans during the open change period. After that time, those who did not indicate a new plan choice will automatically be moved to Blue Access beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

Health insurance premiums

The contribution mix for nonsupervisory merit employees will change in 2016. Employees must contribute $20 per month for single coverage for the Blue Access, Iowa Select and Program 3 Plus plans.

The employee contribution for family coverage will be $20 per month for Blue Access. Family coverage for Iowa Select will be 15 percent of the total premium, and family coverage for Program 3 Plus will be the difference between the total premium and 85 percent of Iowa Select's total premium.  

Health insurance plan design changes

The Blue Access plan will require a 10 percent coinsurance for services that do not currently require copays. Examples of these services include inpatient and outpatient hospital care, ambulance service and urgent care. Previously, employees had no out-of-pocket costs for these services. The medical maximum out-of-pocket for Iowa Select and Program 3 Plus will increase to $650 (from $600) for single coverage, and $1,450 (from $800) for family coverage. All deductibles, coinsurance and copays will go toward the out-of-pocket limit for all plans.

Prescription drug benefit

The Iowa Select and Program 3 Plus prescription drug maximum out-of-pocket costs (the most that members will pay in a year) are going up in 2016. Single coverage will increase from $250 to $500, and family coverage will increase from $500 to $1,000. Once employees have reached the out-of-pocket maximum, the health insurance plan will pay 100 percent of the allowed amount for the rest of the calendar year.

Double spouse family contract

If you and your spouse both are employed at Iowa State as eligible, nonsupervisory merit staff, you have the option of sharing a double spouse family insurance contract for $20 per month. The cost will come from the contract holder.

The double spouse option also applies to the family dental plan. If there are no children to insure, two single dental plans for each employee is more cost effective.

Dental enrollment is open

Nonsupervisory merit employees have the option to enroll themselves or add spouses and dependent children to their dental plan this year.

How to make changes to your benefits

Nonsupervisory merit employees may alter their medical, dental, flexible spending and Avesis (eyewear/contacts/Lasik) coverage online through AccessPlus. Enrolling in or increasing employer-sponsored group term basic or voluntary term life insurance will require paper forms. If you aren't making changes to your benefits, you do not need to take any action, though you should review your current benefit elections and information on your dependents and beneficiaries.

More information

UHR is hosting a live, interactive webcast about the 2016 benefits changes for nonsupervisory merit employees on Oct. 14 (9-10:30 a.m.) To participate, log on, enter your name under the "Enter as a Guest" heading, then click "Enter Room." If you are unable to attend the live webcast, a link of the recorded session will be available on UHR's benefits Bulletin Board.

Employees also may attend face-to-face presentations on Oct. 21. The schedule is in the box above.