Human Resource Services

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My Benefits | I am Having a Baby

I Am Having a Baby

A Qualified Life Event - Information and Support for Faculty and Staff

Having a baby allows you to make changes to your insurance plans as it is a qualified life event.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • Contact Information for Leaves & Accommodations

    Melissa Ward
    Leave & Accommodations Coordinator
    (319) 273-6164

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed by Congress and went into effect on August 5, 1993. The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year to eligible employees for certain personal and family medical reasons.

Nursing Mothers and Lactation Room

The University provides six private lactation rooms for mothers to use to express milk. Lactation rooms are located in Gilchrist Hall, Bartlett Hall, Maucker Union, Schindler, and the Child Development Center in Nielsen Field House.

Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance

You can enroll in coverage or add dependents to your health, dental, or vision insurance within 60 calendar days of having a baby. You also have the option to change from one plan option to another, or change plans all together. If you do complete a midyear change in plans, any deductible amount or amount towards your maximum out-of-pocket will transfer to your new plan. Coverage will be effective the date in which the baby is born. If making a plan change or enrolling for the first time, the coverage for the employee and any other covered family members will be the first of the month after the baby was born. Any other changes to your plan must be made during the open enrollment period.

Pregnancy Support

For pregnant women covered on one of UNI's health insurance plans, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield offers a free Pregnancy Support Program. Among the services offered is one-on-one support from an Advanced Care Nurse that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

800-552-39930 ext. 3727 to request a call from an Advanced Care Nurse.

Additional Free Teeth Cleaning

Pregnant women on UNI's dental plan are eligible for one additional free teeth cleaning through Delta Dental’s Enhanced Benefits. An additional teeth cleaning provides benefits to both the baby and the mother.

Preventive Eye Exam

Vision changes are common when pregnant, please remember that if you are covered on one of UNI’s health insurance plans that you receive one covered eye exam per calendar year.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) – Health Care and Dependent Care

You can change or enroll in an FSA due to a qualifying life event. Your deductions will start the month after the election is made but you are able to submit for reimbursement for claims from the date the baby was born.

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 due to the birth of a child. The premium for VTL includes accidental death and dismemberment insurance and can be calculated for each coverage amount by viewing page four of the Group Voluntary Term Life Coverage document. If elected, coverage for the baby will begin the day they are born.


If you need to update your life insurance beneficiaries due to a qualifying life event, please use the UNI Works System.

For IPERS beneficiaries, please log into the IPERS website to update.

To update your TIAA beneficiaries, please log onto the TIAA website to update.

Verifying Dependents

Effective July 1, 2024, due to a recent audit, all employees having a qualified life event and making any changes to their family health and/or dental coverage must verify all dependent relationships by providing corresponding legal documentation.

Examples of documentation:

  1. Spouse - marriage certificate, common law spouse affidavit
  2. Domestic Partner - notarized domestic partner affidavit
  3. Child - birth certificate which includes parents names, court order, or guardianship paperwork

Since this impacts all life events, including open enrollment, we are notifying employees now so documentation can be easily provided when required. At the time of your life event, you can securely upload to UNI Works or bring into the Human Resource Office at Gilchrist 025. All documentation needs to be viewed by HRS staff, but no documentation will be retained after the initial review (i.e., if provided electronically, it will be purged). Do not send any personal documents through email as this is not secure.

Child Care

UNI Child Development Center

The UNI Child Development Center (CDC) is a child care and instruction resource for the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Northern Iowa located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The CDC is a part of the College of Education.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The university's EAP program is administered by Employee and Family Resources and provides several resources on how to find care, as well as how to choose care for your child/ren. Our EAP can provide a personalized search and referrals. Employees are able to work with a Work-Life Consultant that will conduct a search in the requested area for child care providers that meet the criteria requested. Employees will receive a personalized report based on the search results. For further assistance call EAP at 800-327-4692.

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral (Iowa CCR&R)

If you are needing child care outside of your home, Iowa CCR&R is a free local program that will work with families to find licensed child care. This program provides families with information to make informed choices and refers families to child care providers that are most likely to meet their specific needs.

The Parent Referral Hotline (855-244-5301) connects you with a specialist to offer referrals for in home child care or daycare centers.

Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services

Many of us can face challenges every day that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions. Visit our Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services webpage for services that may be useful to you and/or your family.

Post-Partum Support

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

While typically seen as a positive life event, having a child is a major life change. EAP services can assist you during this time in transition, including if you are experiencing baby blues or post-partum anxiety and/or depression. EAP also provides Work-Life services that can assist in a variety of new parent needs including locating lactation support, and providing a new parent toolkit and materials that can be mailed to your home address.

Paid Time Off

Sick Leave

Faculty and staff may use accrued sick leave for the medically necessary period immediately following the birth of a child (typically 6-8 weeks). This time should be recorded sick leave on the employee's monthly timecard.


Staff members may use vacation to remain in paid status due to leave for the birth of a child. Faculty members do not accrue vacation.

Tax Information

You may also need to update your tax information. This can be done by logging into UNI Works, selecting Benefits and Pay from the Menu, Pay, then Tax.

Benefit Enrollment

  • When You Can Make Changes to Your Benefits

    Annual Open Enrollment

    If you do not make any changes during open enrollment your coverage selection will remain the same.

    More Info: Open Enrollment

    Qualifying Life Event

    You may also enroll, waive, or change your coverage selection based on a qualifying life event.

    More Info: Qualifying Life Event

  • How to Make Changes to Your Benefits

    UNI Works

    UNI Works is designed to help you enroll, make changes, and view your current benefit elections, dependents and beneficiaries all in one location. When logging into UNI Works, select Benefits and Pay from the Main Menu.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1Q: If I am not currently covering anyone else on my health insurance, can I add them at this time?

    Having a baby allows you to make changes to your insurance plans as it is a qualified life event. The baby's coverage will start on the date of birth, anyone else being added to the plan will have their coverage start the first of the month that the baby is born.

  2. 2Q: What if I don’t have the baby’s birth certificate or Social Security Number (SSN), can I still submit my requests in Benefits Self-Service?

    Yes, however, we will not send any information to our insurance vendors until we have seen the birth certificate and have a SSN to submit.

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