Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
November 19, 1999

Benefits program offers latitude

by Linda Charles
Iowa State employees have good benefit options, but understanding them can be "very, very confusing," Carla Espinoza told a crowd of 30 people attending the last of three P&S education forums Nov. 8.

ISU benefits tend to be flexible, with many decisions of how the benefits can be used made at the department level -- especially in cases where some sort of leave is involved. This causes some to view ISU benefits as "inconsistent" across the campus, Espinoza said, but this latitude allows ISU's benefits program to accommodate people.

Iowa State's benefit options include medical and dental insurance, sick leave, vacation, retirement options, employee assistance program, tuition reimbursement, training and development, wellness program and childcare services.

Employees should ask human resource services staff questions about their benefits and work directly with their departments when time off is required, such as for pregnancy or family medical leave. Espinoza emphasized that it is important to let the department know as soon as possible when such leave is anticipated and to work closely with the department in determining how it will be taken.

ISU employees will have the chance to change their benefits packages during the open enrollment period, through Dec. 3. Changes to the medical or dental plans take effect Feb. 1, 2000, while other changes to the benefits package will take effect Jan. 1, 2000.

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Revised 11/17/99