You are here

HRExpress - January 2022


January 2022    

In this Edition ...

Iowa WorkSmart Project • Benefits • Health & Well-Being • Retirement Savings  • Education Opportunities  

Iowa WorkSmart Project

Monthly Smart Talk Update

  • Phase 1: Workday Human Capital Management (HCM)
    See the January edition of Smart Talk for payroll guidelines, a reminder about required Workday training, and the latest Tips & Tricks on W-2s in Workday. For more Workday information visit the Resources webpage or Wanda WorkSmart for additional Tips & Tricks.  
  • Phase 2: Workday Financial (FIN) 
    In December, the FIN Team previewed the Workday FIN tenant and introduced key concepts for end users in a series of Customer Confirmation Sessions (CCS). Following CCS, FIN Unit Testing kicked off January 3 and will continue through February 25, 2022. 

For Workday assistance, refer to the Workday Support Chart. For WorkSmart Project information and Workday resources, visit or contact the WorkSmart Team at

Return to Top

State of Iowa Benefits

Dependent Care FSA Plan Now Offers Recurring Direct Pay Option
ASI - the third-party administrator for the State’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program - now offers a convenient Recurring Direct Pay program for payments to dependent care providers. With Recurring Direct Pay, you no longer need to submit a claim for every payment.This is a free service with a one-time initial setup between you, your daycare provider, and ASIFlex. After setup, ASIFlex will pay your daycare provider directly from your ASIFlex account on the schedule agreed upon by you and your provider.
Benefits of this new service are:

  • Payments are made on the schedule you and your provider choose
  • No need to file claims after initial setup
  • You no longer need to pay daycare fees up front and then wait for reimbursement
  • The appropriate fees are paid directly to the provider of the participant’s choice. (Requires enrollment and certification by your provider)
  • Notification of payment is sent to both you and your provider when payment is made
  • You can stop or make changes at any time
  • The Recurring Direct Pay Program is free

 To enroll, simply log-in to the Employee Portal at ASIFlex offers a helpful guide with step-by-step instructions for your convenience. The document and more detailed Information are available on the DAS Dependent Care FSA webpage

Flexible Spending Account Tracking Made Easier
ASI recently released a new mobile app feature allowing participants to track medical mileage claim reimbursements. The app is free and available online at or through Google Play or the App Store. Once you are in the app, access this new feature by clicking on “File New Claim” to get started. ASI’s app allows you to:

  • File claims
  • See account balance(s)
  • See your reimbursements and contributions

Please note the reimbursement rate increases to $.18/mile in 2022. Contact ASI at 800-659-3035 if you have questions about the app or your account(s).

Three Dental Plan Enhancements for 2022
In order to make certain dental services more affordable for families, three enhancements have been made to the State of Iowa Dental Plan* for 2022. They are:

  1. White fillings will be covered with the same coinsurance as silver fillings 
  2. Sealants are now covered at 100% instead of 80%. Sealants are a thin, protective coating that adheres to back teeth to help prevent cavities in children. According to the CDC, school aged children without sealants have almost three times more cavities than children with sealants.
  3. Space maintainers are now covered at 100% instead of 80%. Space maintainers are devices used to leave enough space open for permanent teeth to grow in after baby teeth are lost prematurely.

 *Please note: These changes do not apply to SPOC-covered employees. 

Is the Livongo Diabetes Prevention Program Right for You?
A new diabetes prevention program is available for State employees through your Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield health benefits.The Livongo program makes living healthy and managing weight easier with a smart scale, guidance on healthy habits, and personalized health coaching. 
Livongo is designed to help those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This voluntary program includes:

  • Unlimited One-on-One Coaching: Connect with a health coach to create a custom plan that works with your lifestyle. Get personalized advice on nutrition, meal plans, weight loss, and more to help you reach your goals.
  • Advanced Tracking Technology: Receive a free smart scale that syncs to an easy-to-use mobile app, so you can track weight and activity all in one place.
  • Guidance on Healthy Habits: Learn how to take simple but powerful steps to lose weight, eat healthy, sleep better, and live healthier.

Watch the member experience video to learn more about Livongo, or visit to get started. Once logged into your account:

  1. Scroll to Livongo in the Diabetes Support box, and click GET STARTED.
  2. Continue to the Livongo site, accept Livongo’s Terms of Service, and select NEXT to begin registration. 
  3. As part of the registration process, you will answer questions to determine your eligibility. If eligible, you will receive new participant information right away and next steps from Livongo!

If you have any questions about this program, please visit the Livongo website, email Livongo Member Support at, or call 800-945-4355 and mention registration code STATEOFIOWA.

Return to Top

Health and Well-Being

Is it Depression or Anxiety? It's Harder to Tell Than You Might Think
Have you been feeling a little down or anxious lately? If so, you are certainly not alone! Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with their mental health, but there are steps you can take to feel better. Read more in this informative article from Wellmark.

Voluntary Vision Insurance: Open Enrollment Underway
State of Iowa employees have an opportunity to elect vision insurance through the 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 runs through February 28, 2022. Elections made during this open enrollment period are effective April 1, 2022. 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 are available at Questions regarding the vision plans should be directed to Two Rivers/World Insurance Company 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 the State’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 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 recent offerings accessible on the dates listed below.

  • Available now: Paying it Forward - Understand the small but powerful ways everyone can 'pay it forward' and make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Available January 18: Reframing Your Way Through 2022 - Learn practical steps to use positive reframing strategies and guide your way through 2022.

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.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information, Testing at Home, and DAS Resource Page
Looking for COVID-related information? Visit Vaccinate Iowa - Sleeves Up for vaccination information and learn more about a free option for at-home COVID testing. Additional resources and guidance are also available on the Return to State Buildings, Vaccines, and Associated Resources webpage. 

 Return to Top

Retirement Savings

Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Webcasts
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. Click on the links below to register.

Retirement Benefit Presentations Offered On Demand
DAS-HRE has on-demand resources available for employees seeking information about State of Iowa retirement benefits. Retirement Benefits Before Medicare Eligibility and Retirement Benefits After Medicare may be found on the DAS Benefit Series Highlight page. 

IPERS Ready, Set, Retire Workshop Offered Via Zoom
Retiring in the next three to five years? If so, IPERS’ Ready, Set, Retire is designed to provide you with a broad range of retirement-related information. Ready, Set, Retire is a free all-day (9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) Zoom webinar, and 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. Reserve your spot by clicking on the workshop you wish to attend and then clicking Register. 

IPERS Offers Creating a Secure Retirement: The 3-Part Solution
IPERS and Iowa State Extension Services team up to present a free workshop for all State employees planning to retire in the next three to five years. Creating a Secure Retirement: The 3-Part Solution is a full-day workshop to bring together everything you need in order to plan a financially secure retirement. Workshop content will be customized with your personal information, so you’ll be able to figure out exactly where you are in the pre-retirement process. View upcoming workshop dates and description. Register to attend by calling IPERS at 800-622-3849 today!

News from State Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) Providers 
Please see the latest information, tools, and educational opportunities from various RIC providers below.



A new year, a new perspective on retirement
When planning your New Year’s resolutions, consider your retirement savings goals. Here are some sample resolutions to get started.

Resolution #1: Define your retirement dream. Will you want to travel? Will you continue to work part-time? Consider what you’d like to do in retirement and what the associated expenses might be. Contact an Empower advisor if you want help.
Resolution #2: Fund your retirement dream. If you want a hefty nest egg, the best place to start is with the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) program. Your contributions are matched up to $75 each month. You have the option to save pretax and Roth to help you meet your goals.
Resolution #3: Stay on target. How much should you be saving each month? Empower has tools available online to show projections of what your current and future savings rates will help you afford. Small increases over time can add up to big savings in the long run. 

Questions about saving for retirement or the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club program? Call Empower at 800-743-5274 or request help from an Empower advisor in your area.

New Year’s resolutions
Studies show that less than 10% of people actually keep their New Year’s goals. This year, it’s time to break that trend.

Make a New Year’s resolution that sticks 
Enroll in the Iowa Retirement Investors’ Club (RIC) and start saving for your future. Horace Mann is one of the retirement providers. Keep that New Year’s resolution and enroll today!

Already enrolled?
Think about increasing your retirement plan contribution. Your future self will thank you! Log into your account today. For questions about your retirement plan, call or make an appointment with your Horace Mann representative.

Invest in yourself and your future
Every year, the IRS announces the annual contribution limits for retirement savings accounts including 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans and IRAs, as well as for Health Savings and Spending Accounts.
If you are contributing less than the limit to your Iowa Retirement Investors' Club (RIC) Retirement Plan account, consider increasing or changing the amount you save now or at any time during the year. Visit for the latest contribution limits for all tax-deferred accounts and income thresholds for 2022.
How much are you contributing to your financial future? Remember, it’s up to you.

Limits by Age Group 2021 2022
General limit age 49 and under $19,500 $20,500
Age 50 and older catch-up Up to an additional $6,500 Up to an additional $6,500


Return to Top

Education Opportunities

Thirty-Hour Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Training Offered
Join us in person (Hoover Building, Training Rooms 5 and 6) January 24-27, 2022, for a comprehensive 30-hour OSHA training course. This four-day session will cover how to locate and apply OSHA standards, policies, and procedures to help you create a culture of safety in your workplace. You will enhance your skills in navigating OSHA regulations, improve ongoing safety health programs, conduct in-house OSHA training, increase recognition of common violations, and expand hazard abatement options. A completion card certified by OSHA is provided to those who attend. 
Simply login to the LMS today to reserve your spot! Don’t forget PDS now offers over 90 on-demand, online safety courses through the LMS for State agencies and employees.

Enhance Your Skills with Featured PDS Courses
Be sure to check out these featured courses offered by PDS:

  • Project Management Fundamentals - January 20, 2022 - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., in person

Do more with less! Designed specifically for those who are actively managing projects, this class takes an in-depth look into the processes, knowledge areas, inputs, and outputs you need to manage projects effectively and successfully. This is a high-energy hands-on class with a balance of Product Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and application, along with best practices passed down by the pros. Walk away with critical essentials for getting a project done regardless of size or complexity.

  • Ethics of Leadership & Influence - February 10, 2022 - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

This course is designed for new Managers and Supervisors. Topics include ethical leadership and influence, organizational ethics, and leading and developing a savvy organization. Participants will have an opportunity to examine their ethical awareness and political savvy approach to leadership.

  • Managing Stress and Workplace Accountability - February 11, 2022 - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Do you feel as if you're too busy to enjoy your own life? Are you ready to examine what is important to you, and how to make time for things that matter most at home and at work? This course provides employees with a variety of strategies to help them spend more time on their priorities, resulting in a newfound peace of mind. Group coaching is offered as part of this very interactive workshop. 

  •  Thriving on Change - February 15, 2022 - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Change is hard, but it is also vital to the success and longevity of any organization. Learn how to navigate change and lead your team through it successfully. This course breaks down the essentials of change leadership and transition management, making them relatable and memorable. Change is an opportunity to set the bar higher - so why merely survive it when you can thrive? Sign up today and set up yourself and your organization for post-change success!

 Sign up for these and other courses online today! Log in to Okta at to access the Learnsoft LMS application. For assistance, refer to these simple step-by-step instructions. If you have additional questions, reach out to your Training Liaison or the PDS inbox.

Performance & Development Solutions (PDS) Training

  • Virtual PDS Instructor-Led Courses
    Many classroom courses have been updated to  a virtual format. Courses will run as scheduled, and a 14-day cancellation policy applies. PDS limits class size to 18-20 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. If classes exceed the limit, new dates will be added and participants will be rescheduled as needed. Check
    out current course listings.
  • PDS On-Demand Courses
    Does your daily schedule make attending classes difficult? On-demand courses can be completed at any time. Many are policy related and may be required training. See these class listings at On-Demand Course Options.
  • New Horizons Virtual and On-Demand Computer Courses
    Computer training courses are offered by New Horizons. Please contact for information on availability and State pricing for New Horizons classes.

Return to Top


HRExpress is a publication for State of Iowa employees. Please print a copy to post or share with co-workers who may not have access to a computer. For prior editions, visit the HRExpress webpage. If you have questions or suggestions for future content, please contact us at

Thank you!