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2018 Enrollment and Change Period

 

The 2018 enrollment and change period is:  

October 16 – November 17, 2017

                                 

2018 Enrollment and Change Benefit News

This is the only time that you can make changes to your health insurance, dental insurance, flexible spending accounts, or life insurance, unless you have a qualified life event during the year.  Please use this enrollment and change period as an opportunity to review your benefits.  More importantly, the 2018 enrollment and change period will be an ACTIVE ENROLLMENT for health, and flexible spending accounts.


 QuickLinks

Resources

Active Enrollment  IowaBenefits
IowaBenefits  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) IowaBenefits
Benefit Elections during the Enrollment & Change Period  2018 Health and Dental Premiums
2018 Benefits Highlights  New  2018 Health Plan Decision Guide
Effective Date  Health Insurance Options Side-by-Side Comparison
Benefit Eligibility  Wellmark: Find a Doctor or Hospital
Health Insurance  Wellmark: Drug List (Formulary: Blue Rx Complete sm)
Dental Insurance  Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Iowa Choice
SPOC Health and Dental Premiums Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) National Choice
Flexible Spending Accounts  HealthCare.gov Preventive health services
Life Insurance  Life Insurance Premiums
Premium Conversion SPOC Life Insurance Premiums

Active Enrollment

The 2018 enrollment and change period will be an ACTIVE ENROLLMENT for health insurance.

All employees (except SPOC-covered employees) must elect:

  • Iowa Choice or
  • National Choice or
  • Health Insurance Opt-out or
  • Decline health coverage

Current health elections WILL NOT CARRY-OVER to 2018.

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IowaBenefits

You can make the following benefit elections and changes in IowaBenefits.

  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life insurance
  • Life insurance beneficiary designations

IowaBenefits Username and Password

IowaBenefits requires a username and password. 

  • If this will be the first time you access IowaBenefits, you will need to create a username and password. Click here for step-by-step instructions in creating a username and/or password.
  • You can also call IowaBenefits technical assistance at 866-415-7872 (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) if you need your Login ID or if you have trouble using this system.

If you know your IowaBenefits username and password, you do not need to change your username and password.

Enrolling in Benefits in IowaBenefits

Once you have logged into IowaBenefits, you will go through a series of screens.  

  • Make sure that you are on the “Open Enrollment Benefits” tab and click on the “Get Started” button for 2018 medical.

  • First, you will be taken to medical screens. Click on the medical plan you want or decline coverage. If you want family coverage, add the dependents you want covered. Once you have made your selection, scroll down the page and click the “Save” button.

  • Once you save your medical election, you will click the “Get Started” button to begin dental enrollment. You will select dental insurance or decline coverage. If you want family coverage, add the dependents you want covered. Once you have made your selection, scroll down the screen and click the “Save” button.

  • Once you save the dental enrollment, IowaBenefits will display the “Get Started” button for 2018 Flexible Spending (FSA). Regardless of whether or not you want to participate, you must either enroll or decline FSA before you will see the confirmation screen.

  • Once you have enrolled or declined FSA benefits and saved those actions, IowaBenefits will display the confirmation screen as shown below. 

If you do not see this page, you have NOT saved your choices and are NOT enrolled in benefits.

IowaBenefits and Social Security Numbers

When you are in IowaBenefits, check that your spouse or domestic partner, and/or dependents’ Social Security numbers are correct. 

It is important that your covered family members’ Social Security numbers are correct to meet the new health coverage reporting required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The State will be required to issue a statement to every employee about his or her previous year’s health care coverage. You will need this information when filing your personal income tax return. The new provision requires us to report your health care coverage to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS requires this information be reported using the SSN of the contract holder and each dependent covered under your health care coverage. If the covered family members’ Social Security numbers are missing or incorrect, you may be assessed an IRS penalty ($50 per violation).

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Benefit Elections during the Enrollment and Change Period

Following are the benefit actions eligible employees can take during the 2018 enrollment and change period.

Health Insurance

  • Elect either the Iowa Choice or National Choice option
  • Elect the Health Opt-out
  • Decline coverage 
  • Add or remove eligible family members from health coverage 

Dental Insurance

  • Enroll in dental insurance if not currently enrolled
  • Add or remove eligible family members from dental insurance
  • Cancel dental insurance coverage

Flexible Spending Accounts

  • Enroll in the Health Flexible Spending Account and elect up to a maximum of $2,600 in 2018
  • Enroll in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account and elect up to $5,000 if married and filing a joint tax return, or $2,500 if married and filing a separate tax return for 2018

Supplemental Life Insurance

  • Apply to increase the amount of supplemental life insurance.
  • Change the amount of supplemental life insurance.
  • Cancel your supplemental life insurance.

Premium Conversion

  • Change whether the premiums for health, dental and supplemental life insurance are taken pre-tax (before federal, state, and FICA tax) or post-tax (after federal, state, and FICA tax).

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2018 Benefits Highlights

The highlights for this enrollment and change period are:

Health Insurance 
All employees (except SPOC-covered employees) must elect:

  • Iowa Choice or
  • National Choice or
  • Health Insurance Opt-out or
  • Decline health coverage

Open Dental Enrollment
Eligible employees can enroll in dental coverage, change to family or single coverage, add eligible family members to their dental insurance, or remove eligible family members from their dental insurance.

Health Flexible Spending Account Increase
The maximum Health FSA contribution increases to $2,600 in 2018 from $2,550.

Supplemental life insurance for UE/IUP-covered employees

UE/IUP-covered employees will be eligible to elect up to $100,000 supplemental life insurance coverage.  During the enrollment and change period, an UE/IUP-covered employee may elect supplemental life insurance up to a maximum of $100,000 in increments of $5,000.  

  • UE/IUP employees, who are currently at maximum of $40,000 in supplemental life insurance, can increase up to $100,000 without evidence of insurability during this enrollment and change period.
  • UE/IUP employees, who are currently below $40,000 in supplemental life insurance, can increase up to $100,000 but any increases to supplemental life coverage requires evidence of insurability and be approved by The Standard.  

Effective Date

Benefit elections made during the enrollment and change period are effective January 1, 2018.  Increases to supplemental life coverage will be effective the first of the month after DAS receives The Standards approval.

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Benefit Eligibility

If you work 20 hours a week or more, you are eligible to participate in and make changes to health insurance, dental insurance, flexible spending accounts, and the premium conversion plan.  If you work 30 hours a week, in addition to health insurance, dental Insurance, flexible spending accounts, and the premium conversion plan, you can also make changes to your supplemental life insurance during the 2018 enrollment and change period.

Family Members Eligible for Coverage
Dependents eligible for health and dental insurance coverage are:

  • Your spouse defined as a husband or wife as the result of a marriage that is legally recognized in Iowa.  This does not include a spouse from whom you are legally separated or divorced.
  • Your domestic partner (same sex or opposite sex)
  • Your dependent children

Coverage of Dependent Children
An eligible dependent child may be covered under your health and dental insurance through the end of the year in which they turn age 26.  The following are all eligible dependents.

  • A child, under the age of 26, can:
    • Be a student or a non-student
    • Live in Iowa or outside of Iowa
    • Be unmarried or married (A dependent’s spouse is not eligible for coverage.)
  • An unmarried, full-time student in an accredited institution of postsecondary education, regardless of age.
  • An unmarried child who is totally and permanently disabled, physically or mentally, regardless of age.  The disability must have existed before the dependent child turned age 26 or while a full-time student.

Verification of Full-Time Students over Age 26

You will need to provide documentation that your unmarried full-time student over the age of 26 is a full-time student in 2018.

 If you have an unmarried full-time student over the age of 26 covered on your health and dental plans, your human resources associate will provide you with a Certification of Full-Time Student Status form. In addition to verifying that your dependent is unmarried, you must provide a copy of your dependent’s most recent semester/quarter transcript or class schedule to confirm his or her full-time student status.  The form and documentation must be returned prior to the end of the enrollment and change period.
 
It is important that you respond to this verification request.  Failure to return the verification form will mean that coverage for your dependent will be removed from your plan on December 31, 2017.  You will not be able to add coverage for this dependent until the 2019 enrollment and change period, unless there is a qualified life event affecting the coverage for this dependent.

When adding a full-time student over age 26, the above documentation must be received before coverage can be effective.

If you have questions about the verification process, contact Kelley Hall at 515.281.8989 or e-mail kelley.hall@iowa.gov.

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Health Insurance

All State employees will be offered the same health coverage (one plan) with a choice between two network options: 

For 2018, there is one plan with two network options:

  • Iowa Choice: Offers benefits through the Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Access network
  • National Choice: Offers benefits through the Wellmark Alliance Select network.

The 2018 plan offers the broadest coverage available from all of our current plans. All of the health care services that are covered today will continue to be covered next year (though the cost share amounts for covered services may differ). 

  • Iowa Choice - similar to Blue Access, you will have access to a large selection of doctors and hospitals in Iowa and in counties sharing a border with Iowa. You will also have coverage should you have an emergency while out of state.
  • National Choice - similar to Iowa Select, you will have access to a large selection of doctors and hospitals in Iowa and nationwide. 

All of the health care services covered currently in 2017 will continue to be covered next year (though the cost share amounts you pay for services may differ.) Refer to the Health Insurance Options Side-by-Side Comparison.


Health Insurance Premiums 

The 2018 monthly premiums for the new plan network health options will be:

Full-time Employees Total Premium State Share % Employee Share %
Iowa Choice
Single $712.00 $672.00 94% $40.00 6%
Family $1,668.00 $1,518.00 91% $150.00 9%
National Choice
Single $765.00 $672.00 89% $93.00 11%
Family $1,791.00 $1,518.00 85% $273.00 15%

 

Part-time Employees

(20 - 29 hrs per week)
Total Premium State Share % Employee Share %
Iowa Choice
Single $712.00 $336.00 47% $376.00 53%
Family $1,668.00 $759.00 46% $909.00 54%
National Choice
Single $765.00 $336.00 44% $429.00 56%
Family $1,791.00 $759.00 42% $1,032.00 58%

Double Spouse

The double spouse credit will not be available in 2018. If you and your spouse are both employees of the State of Iowa, you have the following options for 2018:

  • Option One:  One spouse can be the contract holder of the health option and cover all family members. The other spouse would decline coverage in IowaBenefits.
  • Option Two:  One spouse is the contract holder and the other spouse is the contributing spouse. The spouse who is the contract holder enrolls all eligible family members in health insurance and the other spouse elects to be a contributing spouse in IowaBenefits.  Each employee spouse then pays half of the monthly premium amount (see the table above).
  • Option Three:  If there are no family members to be covered, each spouse can elect single coverage.

Please note: Employees cannot have coverage as both an employee and a dependent under the State’s health or dental insurance plans. Contact your Human Resources Associate before making any changes to your double spouse family contract.

Health Insurance Opt-Out

You may opt-out of a state-sponsored health insurance plan and receive $125.00 monthly if you are:

  • Full-time (work 30 or more hours per week) benefit-eligible employee and
  • Not be covered by any state-sponsored (active or retiree) health insurance plan through a family member, including a domestic partner.

The $125.00 opt-out payment is:

  • Paid on the first pay warrant of the month
  • Taxed as part of your income at your W-4 requested withholding status
  • Included in the calculation of the IPERS benefit

You must elect the opt-out option in IowaBenefits during the 2018 enrollment and change period.  If you do not elect the opt-out option in IowaBenefits, you will not default to the opt-out option.

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Dental Insurance

There are no changes in the dental benefits for 2018.

The 2018 enrollment and change period is an open dental enrollment period. During the open dental enrollment and change period, you can:

  • Enroll in dental insurance, if not currently enrolled in dental insurance
  • Change from family to single coverage
  • Change from single to family coverage
  • Add or remove eligible family members from your coverage

Your dental elections will be effective January 1, 2018.

  Full-Time Part-Time
2018 Dental Premiums  Total Premium State Share Employee Share Total Premium State Share Employee Share
Single $29.55 $29.55 $0.00 $29.55 $14.79 $14.76
Family $79.43 $39.73 $39.70 $79.43 $19.27 $60.16

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Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside pretax dollars to reimburse you for eligible health or dependent care expenses. 

When you enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, you decide how much to contribute to each account for calendar year 2018.  The money is then deducted from your paycheck pre-tax (before Federal and State income taxes and FICA taxes are deducted) in equal amounts over the course of the year.  After you incur expenses that qualify for reimbursement, you submit claims (reimbursement requests) to ASIFlex (the administrator of the program) to request tax-free withdrawals from your Flexible Spending Account to reimburse yourself for these expenses.

You may elect to have your reimbursement placed directly into your checking or savings account by adding direct deposit information into IowaBenefits when you enroll. 

Health FSA

With the Health FSA, certain health care expenses for you and your eligible family members can be reimbursed.  Medical expenses eligible for reimbursement include most medically necessary health care expenses that are not paid through medical or dental insurance plans.  Your share of health and dental insurance premiums are not eligible to be reimbursed from the Health FSA.  Premiums are already made with pretax dollars.

Maximum Annual FSA Elections
The maximum annual Health FSA contribution is $2,600.00 per plan year. 

$500 carry-over
Up to $500.00 of unused health FSA amounts remaining at the end of 2017, can be carried over to reimburse medical expenses incurred during the entire calendar year of 2018. 

The carryover will not reduce your 2018 election.  The carryover of up to $500.00 is in addition to the State’s plan limit of $2,600.00.  You can carry over up to $500.00 of unused funds for a total of $3,100.00 to be used for calendar year 2018 expenses. 

A great provision of this change is that you do not have to enroll in the next year in order to use the $500.00 carryover!  You do have to be employed in 2018, but do not have to enroll in the health flex plan to use your carryover dollars.

Dependent Care FSA
The Dependent Care FSA reimburses you for qualified dependent care expenses necessary for you to work, or if you are married, for you and your spouse to work.  Expenses eligible for reimbursement up to the annual maximum limit include:

  • Care of dependent children under age 13
  • Care of adult disabled dependents

Maximum Annual FSA Elections
The maximum annual Dependent Care FSA contribution is $5,000.00 per household ($2,500.00 if you are married and file a separate tax return).

Grace Period
The grace period for the dependent care FSA allows you to incur eligible expenses in the year after the plan year ends, through March 15 of the second year.  For instance, if your 2018 dependent care FSA is $5,000.00 and you incur claims totaling $4,400.00 in 2018, you can incur claims for $600.00 from January 1, 2019 – March 15, 2019 and be reimbursed from your 2018 dependent care FSA.

Enrolling in Flexible Spending Accounts
To participate in either or both of the flexible spending accounts, you must enroll each year in IowaBenefits.

If you are currently enrolled and are enrolling for 2018, please check your existing deposit information in IowaBenefits is up-to-date.

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Life Insurance

The State of Iowa's life insurance plan provides your family financial protection in the case of your death.  Each year, you can make changes to your supplemental life insurance coverage during the enrollment and change period.

Basic Life Insurance

The State pays 100 percent of the premium for basic life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance.  The amount of coverage is:

Eligible Employees Basic Life Insurance*
All employees except SPOC-covered $20,000
SPOC-covered employees $50,000

* Age reductions apply beginning at age 65

Supplemental Life Insurance

In addition to the basic life insurance coverage, you have an opportunity to elect supplemental term life insurance at group rates.  The maximum amount of supplemental life insurance that you may purchase depends upon your bargaining status.

Supplemental Life Insurance Available*
Eligible Employees Minimum Amount Maximum Amount
All employees (except SPOC-covered) $5,000 $100,000
SPOC-covered employees $25,000 $250,000

* Age reductions apply beginning at age 65

Changing Supplemental Life Insurance

During the enrollment and change period, you can request to increase, decrease, or cancel your supplemental life insurance coverage.  You can purchase additional life insurance from the minimum amount to the maximum amount of coverage.  Any increases to supplemental life coverage must be approved by The Standard.  Decreases or cancellations do not require approval and are effective January 1, 2018.

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Premium Conversion

The Premium Conversion Plan allows you to pay your share of health, dental, and supplemental life insurance before federal, state, and FICA taxes are calculated.  By deducting premiums from your salary on a pretax basis, you save money on your income and FICA taxes. 

All employees are enrolled in the Premium Conversion Plan at the time they are hired.  Unless you have previously opted out, your enrollment will carry into 2018.

If you do not wish to participate in the Premium Conversion Plan in 2017, please contact your Human Resources Associate for the appropriate form to opt out.  You may not re-enroll in the premium conversion plan until the 2019 Enrollment and Change Period, unless you have a qualifying life event.

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10/13/2017