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The 411 on Benefits Choice FY17

clock outside Old Union

Grades in? Check!

Vacation plans set? Check!

Now, was there anything else I needed to do before the end of May?

Ah, yes! Benefits Choice … err … Open Enrollment … err … Benefits Choice.

The annual event (with many nicknames) for Illinois State University employees to enroll in benefits is upon us. If you are like most faculty/staff, you might have brushed aside a communication or two for what needs to be done. In the event that you are in this pool (and there haven’t been enough warm days to be in any other pools yet), here is a quick rundown of dates and actions.

  • May 1 through May 31: Online enrollment changes/options are open in iPeople. If you are a benefits-eligible employee, you will need to log in, review your information, and submit any changes before May 31 if you want them to take effect July 1. 
  • Saving money in the new fiscal year pre-tax for medical bills? Dependent care? Often referred to as “flex spending”: You will also need to select this option online before May 31 even if you want your amount to remain the same as last year. This is a mandated opt-in for which you will have to choose the plan and specify an amount. Remember to calculate the amount that you will contribute per pay period before logging on to iPeople. You will simply need to know how many pay periods you have in a year (think about whether or not you have base pay in the summer) and then take your overall goal amount and divide it by that number of periods.
  • Switching health plans? Opting out? Enrolling dependents? Now is the time to make those elections, but remember you have to have the health insurance to get the dental insurance.
  • Donating time to the sick leave bank? An idea that started in one of our administrative offices sometime around 1980 became a policy whereby employees who qualify can donate a day of sick leave for use by those who find themselves in need. Donating also qualifies you for using donated time later in the event that you would need it.
  • Life insurance changes? Often popular during this time, but do remember to check for additional paperwork that might be required for changing coverage.
  • Life event happening for you during this time? Birth? Marriage? Other? We have you covered there, too. Just simply call the Benefits Office to get started at (309) 438-8311.

Too short of a list? Are you wondering what else might be happening during this month in regards to Benefits Choice? A little more information is here on the Human Resources website, or you can email hrbenefits@ilstu.edu or stop in to the office in Nelson Smith Building 101 during regular University business hours, Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Good luck with your selections/elections and have a great summer!

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