Employee health care contribution increases reflect higher costs

The health insurance contributions Iowa State employees pay will go up Jan. 1, part of a multiyear plan to address rising costs in the university's health care program. Depending on the plan and who's covered in it, employee monthly premiums will go up $4-$19 in the PPO option and $4-$33 in the HMO plan.

President Wendy Wintersteen, vice president for university human resources Kristi Darr and interim senior vice president for operations and finance Heather Paris shared the new rates in a Sept. 26 email to all faculty and staff. Following its regular review of plan costs and current premiums, the employee benefits advisory committee (previously known as the university benefits committee) recommended the increases.

The enrollment window will open Nov. 1 for the next plan year, which mirrors the calendar year. Look for more information about open enrollment in Inside next month. Questions about increases to employee contributions may be directed to the fringe benefits office, fbac@iastate.edu.


Health plan monthly premiums

Coverage tier

Blue HMO


Blue PPO



Jan. 1, 2023


Jan. 1, 2023


Employee only





Employee + spouse/partner





Employee + children





Employee + family





Family double spouse*





*Paid by contract-holding spouse

Multiyear strategy

The 2023 plan year marks a third year of incremental premium increases, following seven years of flat employee contributions to their health care plans. In their Sept. 26 memo, the three leaders noted that Iowa State continues to pay almost 90% of the health care costs of the plans. Iowa State has used a self-funded model for employee health and dental care and prescription drug service since 1996.

Employees' annual premiums -- $348 for single coverage in the HMO, $588 in the PPO -- remain well below the national average of $1,299 for employer-sponsored health insurance for a single employee, they noted. For family coverage, the national annual average premium is $5,969 in an employer plan; ISU employees will pay $2,316 in HMO premiums, $4,584 in PPO premiums next year.


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