Dec. 8, 2011

Year-end news from human resource services

by Paula Van Brocklin

As the end of another year approaches, it's time to make some benefits decisions. Here are a few items the human resource services (HRS) staff suggests you consider before Dec. 31.

Flexible spending accounts

All 2011 flexible spending account (FSA) claims must be filed by April 30, 2012 (eligible expenses must be incurred by Dec. 31). Miss the deadline and you'll lose any unclaimed money that was deducted from your paycheck to cover qualified expenses in 2011, per Internal Revenue Service rules and ISU policies. You don't have to wait until the end of the year to file reimbursement claims.

Wellmark currently is the university's FSA administrator and will continue to process 2011 claims through April 30, 2012. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, ASIFlex will administer Iowa State's FSA claims. Employees who wish to have their claims direct deposited or automatically filed with ASIFlex will need to complete new authorization forms. ASIFlex will send welcome packets to new members, which will include the forms. A link to the forms also will be available on the HRS benefits website in January.

You may access 2011 reimbursement claim forms online through Wellmark. First-time users need to click on "New User" and create a username and password. Questions regarding claims should be directed to Wellmark at (800) 624-2755.

Act now to get long-term care insurance

ISU's provider of long-term care insurance, John Hancock, no longer will offer new long-term care insurance contracts after Dec. 31. If you already have long-term care coverage through ISU, nothing will change; your coverage will remain active. If you don't have coverage and you'd like to apply, you'll need to do so by Dec. 31. Applications submitted after that will be denied.

Employees may purchase long-term care coverage on their own. For more information, visit the Senior Health Insurance Information website, which offers a list of Iowa companies licensed to sell long-term care insurance.