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January 2024 

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State of Iowa Benefits

New Health Benefit: Livongo for Diabetes Now Available 

We are excited to announce Livongo for Diabetes, a new health benefit being offered at no cost to you. The Livongo for Diabetes Program helps make living with diabetes easier by providing you with a connected meter, unlimited strips, and coaching. 

Eligible Members: The program is available to you and your covered spouse/dependents with coverage under the Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan.

Here are some of the benefits of this program:

pic of meter, strips
  • More than a standard meter: The Livongo meter is connected and provides real-time tips and automatically uploads your blood glucose readings, making log books a thing of the past.
  • Unlimited strips at no cost to you: Get as many strips and lancets as you need with no hidden costs. When you are about to run out, Livongo ships more strips and lancets, right to your door.
  • Coaching anytime and anywhere: Livongo expert coaches are available anytime via phone, text, and our mobile app to give you guidance on your nutrition and lifestyle questions.

To learn more or join: you have any questions about this program, please visit the Livongo website or call Livongo Member Support at (800) 945-4355 and mention registration code STATEOFIOWA.

(Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross®, Blue Shield® and the Cross® and Shield® symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. Wellmark® is a registered mark of Wellmark, Inc. Livongo Health, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Teladoc Health, Inc., (“Livongo”) is an independent company providing diabetes prevention and diabetes management services to Wellmark customers.)

Make a Resolution to Get Your Cancer Screenings in 2024

What better time than the first of the year to resolve to get up-to-date on all recommended cancer screenings based upon your age and/or family history of disease. Using the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield recommends the following: 

Colorectal Cancer - For people at average risk of colorectal cancer, regular screening should begin at age 45 and continue until age 75. Talk with your healthcare provider about what type of screening would work best for you. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs or symptoms or a family history of colorectal cancer. 

Lung Cancer  - Yearly lung cancer screenings are recommended for patients 50 to 80 years old who:

  • have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years
  • have a 20 pack-year smoking history (one pack per day for 20 years or two packs per day for 10 years, etc.)
  • receive a written order for a low-dose CT scan from your physician

Breast Cancer - All women are recommended to get screened for breast cancer every other year (every two years), from ages 40 to 74 years old. Learn more about the risk factors of breast cancer. 

Cervical Cancer - It is currently recommended: 

  • Women aged 21 to 29 get screened every 3 years with cervical cytology (Pap test) alone 
  • Women aged 30 to 65 years get screened every 3 years with cervical cytology (Pap test) alone, every 5 years with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing alone, or every 5 years with hrHPV testing in combination with cytology (cotesting)
  • Find out more about the risk factors related to cervical cancer. 

Prostate Cancer  - It’s recommended that men ages 55 to 69 years old decide whether to undergo prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening based on its potential benefits and harms after a discussion with their health care provider.  

Questions? - Not sure what screenings are recommended for you or you have more questions?  Contact your provider to schedule an appointment and don't forget to check your coverage in myWellmark before your visit.

More Resources

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Cancer Screening Recommendations

American Cancer Society - Cancer Screening Guidelines

Iowa Cancer Consortium - Cancer Screening & Early Detection Toolkit

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield - Preventive Care

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield’s ACA Preventive Services List


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WorkSmart with Workday

Need Workday Support?

You never know when you might need assistance with a task in Workday. When the time comes, finding help is easy if you follow these three steps:

  • Check the resources. Check out these step-by-step how-to guides, located in the Training Catalog on the WorkSmart website.
  • Ask a friend. If you know other employees who have the same job responsibilities, ask if they have a solution for you. This is often the easiest and fastest way to address your questions.
  • Submit a ticket. If you still need help, submit a service ticket to get your questions answered.


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Health and Well-Being

Voluntary Vision Insurance: Open Enrollment Underway 

State of Iowa employees can elect vision insurance through the State of Iowa’s Voluntary Insurance Program. The State offers post-tax payroll deductions to pay your vision insurance premiums directly to the insurance carrier. 

Open enrollment for vision insurance has started and runs through February 29, 2024. Elections made during this open enrollment period are effective April 1, 2024. If you are currently enrolled in the voluntary vision insurance, you do not need to re-enroll unless you want to make a change.

You have two different insurance program options: Avesis and EyeMed/Delta Vision (Insight Network). Information about these voluntary vision plans is available at Questions regarding the vision plans should be directed to World Insurance Associates at

Please note: The State of Iowa does not endorse or sponsor any voluntary vision insurance provider, or the products and services they provide, and assumes no responsibility for any purchases or disputes between individual employees and the vendors. All arrangements are strictly between the employee, as a consumer, and the insurance company.

Free Health and Well-Being Seminars Offered Online

On-demand online seminars covering various health and well-being topics are available from Acentra (formerly Kepro), the State’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, at Use Company Code: IOWA and click on e-learning for a list of available online seminars.

Seminars may be viewed from your computer or any other internet-enabled device during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. They are free of charge, with the most current offerings accessible on the dates listed below.

  • Available now: Making a Change - Learn how to make positive changes and discover tips to embrace the discomfort that often comes with change. 
  • Available January 16: Money Matters: Navigating Emotions for Financial Well-Being - Discover how emotions can influence spending, lead to procrastination with decisions, and impact your long-term financial health.

EAP also offers confidential resources at no cost to help employees and eligible family members address challenges which may impact job performance, well-being, and overall health. For more information on EAP resources, visit the DAS Employee Assistance Program web page.


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Retirement Benefits and Savings

News from the Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Team

  • A Happy New Year of Employer Match Contributions!
    The Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) gives you the opportunity to save a little or a lot toward your future, with the state paying matching contributions up to $75 per month. That’s a total annual match of $900 per year! Participation is through payroll deductions. Learn more and enroll today!
  • Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Webinars
    Make the best use of your retirement savings by taking advantage of education opportunities offered by RIC. These webcasts may be viewed online from your computer or other internet-enabled device during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. Register to attend.

News from RIC Providers


Retirement Phases
Grow - Protect - Spend. These are known as the three phases of your financial life cycle for retirement. Learn how you can help understand and manage this path – and bumps in the road – to achieve your planned retirement outcome.

Join one of our webinars to learn more about a variety of topics:

  • January 16 – Principals to Prioritize – How to take the fear out of retirement.
  • February 6 – Retirement Questions that Make a Difference – Answers you need for a happy retirement.
  • February 20 – Social Security and Your Retirement –  What you need to know about Social Security.
  • March 5 – Retirement Pathfinder –  Will I be able to retire when I want to?  How much should I be contributing?  Will I run out of money?

All webinars are held at the following times:  11:30 am  |  12:30 pm  |  4:00 pm  |  7:00 pm   Register Here


Keep track of your financial wellness with Empower’s online tools
Tracking your financial wellness is a lot like tracking your physical wellness. You look at multiple factors and how they’re interrelated, so you can make smart decisions to improve and reach your goals.

That’s why Empower participants are given a personalized web experience to track their complete financial situation. Check out the following online tools available the next time you log in to your account at

  • Linking your accounts – You can easily and securely link accounts like checking, savings, credit cards, health savings accounts, 529 college savings, brokerage accounts and more to your Empower account so you can track your finances in one place. As the balances in those accounts change, your view automatically updates so you always know where you stand.
  • Budget and cash flow –With the budgeting tool, you create a detailed spending plan for each month to help you stay on course. The cash flow tool shows you the difference between your income and expenses over time.
  • Savings Planner and Retirement Planner –Savings Planner helps you see how much you are saving to help you reach financial goals. Retirement Planner runs 5,000 simulations to deliver custom household retirement projections based on multiple factors.

The planning tools and advisors available with your Empower account help you measure your complete financial picture so you can make the changes that can ultimately help your financial wellness — today and in the future. 

link to Horace Mann website

New Year, New Website
Horace Mann is excited to announce that the new site has launched. You’ll find a new look and feel with calculatorsvideos, and retirement educational content focused on where you are in your career. But don’t worry . . . we didn’t change everything! Iowa forms and resources are still there to help guide you through every step of your retirement savings process.

Check it out today! Log on at


What if you could find a simpler way to gain control of your whole financial life?

Prepare to be wowed, we’re upgrading your Voya account experience with new features and a splash of delight. Coming soon, you’ll have a clear way to access information, tools and guidance to support financial decision-making all within your online retirement account. Later in January, you’ll be able to discover how your Voya account experience can provide:

  • One place with all your financial accounts together with your full net worth 
  • The ability to set goals, track progress, and adjust the experience as your needs change 
  • Insights for stronger financial habits 
  • Easy access to view and manage your Voya accounts and make changes to savings, investments and more
  • A private and cybersafe place to help you feel confident about the protection of your information

You’ll be able to bring your whole financial life together with the same account access you know and love into one private, cybersafe place with a little more to explore. Keep an eye out for these updates in late January by logging in to your Voya account at

IPERS Offers Ready, Set, Retire Workshop In Zoom

Retiring in the next three to five years? If so, IPERS offers you Ready, Set, Retire, a free all-day Zoom webinar just for you! You may view/attend sessions during work time if scheduling permits and your supervisor approves. Spouses are welcome to attend. View the description and upcoming workshop dates, and reserve your spot by clicking on the workshop you wish to attend and click “Register.”

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Education Opportunities

NEW New Horizons

PDS partners with New Horizons to offer a wealth of courses covering all facets of technology as well as leadership development. New Horizons has recently updated their website and offerings. You can check it out at View their catalog for a full listing of course options. Following are just a few highlights:

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro DC - introductory, beginner, and advanced options
  • Excel Dashboards
  • ADA Compliance: Creating Accessible Files in Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe

Be sure to reach out to if you are interested in enrolling as our state employees are part of a special pricing agreement!

Ten Second Training: Separate Names in Google Sheets

diagram of process

Have a list of names and you’d like them separated into two columns? Sheets has just the tool for you built in!

  1. Highlight the column of names
  2. Select the Data menu
  3. Select Split text to columns
  4. Choose your separator 

Featured Upcoming Classes

  • The Power of Habit | January 23-25
  • Enhancing Team Membership | February 7 | ATDC
  • Thriving on Change | February 13 | ATDC
  • Customer Experience | March 4 | TDC
  • Project Management Seminar | March 5-6 | MDC
  • Cultural Competency | March 7-8 | TDC

Quick Links



HRExpress is a publication for State of Iowa employees. For prior editions, visit the HRExpress webpage. If you have questions or suggestions for future content, please contact us at

Thank you!


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