Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Jan. 10, 1997

Benefits plans are handpicked

by Linda Charles
The majority of the faculty and staff eligible for the new benefits program seemed to have studied their options and customized their benefits packages, said Johnny Pickett, assistant vice president for business and finance.

"A significant number of people picked different benefits packages from what they had before," she said. "It appears that people paid attention to the information and carefully considered their options."

The new benefits program offered faculty, P&S staff and supervisory staff expanded medical, dental, life and disability insurance options. New insurance cards and booklets describing the details of the plans will be mailed this month.

The new plan's most popular medical insurances were the traditional indemnity and HMO plans, with 1,601 employees picking the indemnity plan and 1,320 opting for the HMO plan.

A newly offered POS (point of service) medical plan was chosen by 945 employees. The POS operates much like an HMO, offering managed care through a network. The POS also gives individuals the option of choosing doctors outside the network.

The catastrophic plan, which covers major illnesses but requires employees to pick up more of their routine medical costs, was chosen by 10 employees. Fifty-one employees opted for no medical coverage.

The majority of employees (2,849) selected the basic dental coverage offered in the past, while 936 employees opted for an expanded dental plan. An additional 127 employees chose not to have a dental plan.

The majority of employees (3,648) decided to continue their same life insurance benefit (twice their salary in case of death), while 234 chose not to buy life insurance through the university. Another 1,086 opted for some form of expanded life insurance and 740 selected life insurance for their dependents.

The majority of employees (3,271) opted to continue in the same disability insurance program, while 348 employees opted for a plan that offers lower benefits.

"We gave people more choices and they used them to create benefits packages that fit them better," Pickett said.

The new basic life insurance and disability plans went into effect Jan. 1. New health and dental coverages, as well as supplemental life and dependent life coverages, go into effect Feb. 1. Paychecks on Jan. 31 will reflect deductions for the basic life, disability, medical, dental and flex plans. The Feb. 28 paycheck will reflect deductions for supplemental and dependent life plans.

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