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Benefits Change to High Quality Jobs and Enterprise Zones Programs

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board has recently acted to change the benefit requirements for businesses to be eligible for direct financial assistance and tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs and Enterprise Zones Programs. The proposed requirements have been modified to more accurately reflect current market conditions.

Benefits specialist firm, David Lind and Associates, conducted the Iowa Employer Benefits Study. The study is a compilation of benefit plans offered by over 950 Iowa employers and provides a comprehensive marketplace analysis of benefits. The results of this study were utilized to help develop and enact the new policy that reflects “best practices” and the changes we’ve seen in the benefit trends.

The following is a brief overview of the changes that have taken effect January 1, 2013:

  • Requires only medical coverage. The requirement for dental coverage has been eliminated.
  • Three deductible levels have been established, each based on the total number of Iowa employees at time of application:

A 250+ Iowa employees

B 50-249 Iowa employees

C 2-49 Iowa employees

To be eligible to receive state financial assistance or tax credit benefits, applicants must offer sufficient benefits to each FTE permanent position. “Sufficient benefits” and “sufficient benefits credit” are defined in rule 261—173.2(15,15G,83GA,SF344). An employer may select one of the following options to meet the sufficient benefits requirement:

Option 1

80% Single Coverage

Option 2

50% Family Coverage

Option 3 

 Monetary Equivalent

Pay 80% of premium costs for a standard medical plan, single coverage.

A - $750 maximum deductible (250+)

B - $1,250 maximum deductible (50-249)

C - $1,750 maximum deductible (2-49)


Pay 50% of premium costs for a standard medical and dental plan, family coverage.

A - $1,500 maximum deductible

B - $2,500 maximum deductible (50-249)

C - $3,500 Maximum deductible (2-49)

Provide medical and pay the  monetary equivalent of Option 1 or Option 2 in supplemental employee benefits.


Benefits Counted Toward Monetary Equivalent

  • Medicl coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Pension
  • 401(k) (company's average contribution)
  • Short-/long-term disability insurance
  • Child care services
  • Other nonwage compensation


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