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April 13, 2017

TO:             NIU Faculty and Staff

FROM:       Liz Guess, Director, Insurance and Employee Benefits

RE:             Important Information Regarding Upcoming FY2018 Benefit Choice Period

The annual Benefits Choice period is scheduled to begin on May 1, 2017.  As this date is approaching, Human Resource Services would like to provide you with the following important recommendations as you prepare for the open enrollment period.  At this time, we do not have any definitive information regarding benefit changes for FY2018.  Once this information is available, it will be shared with the campus.  Please continue to monitor your campus email for future announcements from Human Resource Services regarding the Benefit Choice Period.                          

New Online Enrollment System

Last fall, Central Management Services (CMS) introduced a new online benefits enrollment system called MyBenefits Marketplace.  This web based platform allows new and existing employees to view, enroll, or make changes to their state insurance coverage.  This year, all benefit choice changes will have to be processed on the MyBenefits Marketplace website.  No paper enrollments will be accepted.  If you have not already accessed the State’s new enrollment website, you are encouraged to log in, review your information, enter your email address for state benefit alerts, and familiarize yourself with the website prior to the Benefit Choice period. 

Registering on MyBenefits Marketplace for the First Time

  • Go to MyBenefits Marketplace at and click Login (upper right of screen)
  • Look for the small text "Logging in for the first time? Register" and click Register (lower right of screen)
  • Answer the Self Registration questions
    • Last four digits of your Social Security Number
    • Date of birth
    • Last name
    • First two letters of your first name
    • Mailing address zip code
    • Enter the CAPTCHA code and click Continue
  • Create your unique secure password and click Continue
  • Click View login ID to view your CMS-issued Employee ID Number (EIN) and save this number for future logins. Click Continue
  • Create and confirm your challenge questions (to be used if you forget your password).  Click Continue
  • Accept the CMS disclaimer.  Click Continue
  • Securely document your LOGIN ID, password and EIN for your records

Using MyBenefits Marketplace (After Initial Login)

  • To login, use your CMS-issued Employee ID Number (EIN) and password.
  • Once logged-in, the main screen will display a summary of your current coverages and their associated costs.  You may also click on either “View All” or “Self Service Tools” – “View my elections” to see more expanded personal, enrollment and dependent information.

Set Up Your Email for State Benefit Alerts

  • It is recommended that you update your email address with My Benefits Marketplace as this will be the fastest method of receiving information about your state benefits. 
  • To update your email address from the Home screen, click on “Self Service Tools” and then “Update my email”.  You may enter more than one email address.  It is recommended that you use your official address as your preferred email address to ensure you receive timely notification of benefit updates.  

Important Reminders

  • The FY2018 Benefit Choice Period is May 1 – May 31, 2017, with coverage changes effective July 1, 2017.
  • Flexible Spending Account plan elections do not automatically carry over each year.  Employees that participate in the Medical Care Assistance Plan (MCAP) and/or Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) must complete their enrollment in the online system this year to continue participation for FY2018.
  • Human Resource Services will hold informational/interactive sessions on campus during the month of May to review any benefit changes and assist employees in making their online elections.  Additional details regarding these sessions will be announced later this month.
  • Although the MyBenefits Marketplace website is also accessible via smartphone or tablet, Human Resource Services would like to remind employees without computer access that there are computers available in both Human Resource Services locations (1515 W. Lincoln Highway and Swen Parson 110).

Additional Assistance

For assistance with your state benefit plans, including problems logging into the system, resetting your password, and processing online changes, please contact the MyBenefits Marketplace Service Center:

MyBenefits Marketplace

Toll free number:  1-844-251-1777
TTY/TTD toll free number:  1-844-251-1778
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. CST 

PO Box 467846
Atlanta, GA 31146 

Questions can be directed to Maya Wilk-Siuba at 753-6036 or Renee Bechtel at 753-8230.