Human Resource Services

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My Benefits | During Open Enrollment

During Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment happens each Fall in the October/November time frame. During this time frame, benefit eligible employees are allowed to make changes to their benefits. This is the only time of year where changes can be made without a qualified life event. Any changes that are made go into effect January 1 of the upcoming year.

Human Resource Services sends out notifications via email, Inside UNI, as well as posts information on our website regarding Open Enrollment Information. This includes when open enrollment starts, ends, and may include premium changes, plan changes, or important instructions on how to enroll in or change benefits. Late enrollments will not be accepted.


2-3 Months Prior

  • Now is a good time to be thinking about what changes you might want to make during Open Enrollment. Create a checklist of items that you might be considering, the following items could be considered:
    • Health, dental, and vision insurance
    • Health Care or Dependent Care Flex Spending
    • Voluntary Term Life (VTL)
    • Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan
    • Life Insurance Beneficiaries
  • For more information on: health, dental, and vision coverage, voluntary term life and accidental death & dismemberment, flex spending, and beneficiaries, please see the detailed sections below.
  • Review all of your options to determine what plan works best for you, your spouse/partner, and possible dependents.
    • To see what plan would work best for you and your soon-to-be spouse/partner and possible dependents visit our website.
    • Are you married? Is your spouse/partner employed? Do they qualify for health, dental and/or vision coverage through their employer? If so, you will want to compare those options to the UNI plans to see what plan works best for you and your family.
  • Human Resource Services offers many Open Enrollment information sessions. Be sure to sign up for a session through MyUNIverse.

1 Month Prior

  • 1 month prior to the end of open enrollment you should have a general idea of what changes you want to make to your insurance plans.
  • Do you know what changes you plan to make? Don’t wait, submit your changes through the Benefits Self-Service System.
  • Did you review your Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan?
  • Are your life insurance beneficiaries up to date? You can change your beneficiaries at any time of the year, but now is a good time to review them.

January 1st

  • It's the beginning of a new year, and a new year for your benefits. The changes you made in Open Enrollment take effect on January 1st. You will not be able to make any changes to these plans until the next Open Enrollment period, unless a qualified life event  occurs.

Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance

If you are enrolled in Health, Dental, or Vision insurance and make no changes during open enrollment, your elections will stay the same. If you wish to enroll in any of the plans, or make changes to a different plan, you must make changes during this time to go effective January 1.

Flex Spending

Employees must enroll each year in health care and dependent care flex spending. Instructions will be included in the open enrollment information sent out by Human Resource Services. Failure to elect these benefits in the open enrollment time frame will result in waived coverage for the following year. There are no exceptions for the missed enrollment, and no late enrollees will be accepted.

Voluntary Term Life (VTL) Insurance

Eligible employees can elect/increase/decrease or de-enroll from voluntary term life for themselves, their spouse or their children during open enrollment. For those increasing their coverage, Principal Life Insurance allows increases of $20,000 without medical underwriting. If you increase your election by more than $20,000 you will receiving a survey from Principal and will be asked to complete it for their review.

Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan

If you are currently contributing, or would like to enroll, in a tax-deferred annuity plan you may do so during open enrollment. The calculations are based on a calendar year and the new amount will be effective with the January paycheck. A person can change their contribution amount at any time during the year as well, however, it will just have to viewed as a monthly contribution at that time rather than a yearly contribution.

Keep Beneficiary Information Up-to-date

Each year it is good practice to review your life insurance and retirement beneficiaries during open enrollment. Beneficiaries can be changed at any time of year, but this may be a good time to review and update if necessary.

This is also a good time to review any personal information such as address change or phone number. If you make a change to your health plan during open enrollment, you may require new health ID cards, and we need to have your most up-to-date information on file to ensure receipt of those cards.