Many events in your work or personal life can impact your benefits. Several of the benefit programs require that you enroll within a specified period of time. Employees have 30 days from the date of a qualifying life event to enroll or make changes in their health, dental, vision, and reimbursement accounts OR 30 days from their eligibility date to enroll in the health, dental, vision, and reimbursement accounts. Click on any of the links on the left for more information.

Qualifying Life Events: 30 Days

If you experience a qualifying life event you may make changes to some of your Duke benefits within 30 days of the event. Any change you make must be consistent with your qualifying event. For example, if you marry you may add your new spouse to your Health Care Plan, but you may not enroll in the Dental Plan if you had not been previously participating.

Employees contributing to a dependent care reimbursement account can update their election if there is a qualifying life event such as a change in the childcare provider or cost of coverage, as long as the update is consistent with the change. Therefore, if you are not able to use daycare, before/after school care, summer camp, etc. you may be able to adjust or stop your deductions. Likewise, employees are able to enroll in a dependent care account when daycare is needed, as long as enrollment allows you to work or to look for work. Visit the Duke@Work self-service portal and select the Qualifying Life Event Enrollment link under Manage Your Benefits to get started. Please call the HRIC at 919-684-5600 if you have questions.

Other qualifying life events include, but are not limited to:

  • Marriage or divorce,
  • Birth or adoption (or placement for adoption) of a child or obtaining legal guardianship,
  • Death of a covered dependent,
  • Loss or gain of group insurance coverage for you or a covered dependent (coverage must not be an individual policy), and
  • Change in health insurance eligibility for the employee or a family member due to a relocation of residence or work place.

If you experience a qualifying life event and would like to update your benefits selections, you must log into Duke@Work and complete an online qualifying life event form within 30 days of the event. You are required to provide appropriate documentation of this event. Documentation may include a birth, marriage, death certificate, divorce decree, or proof of loss or gain coverage. For more information, please see the Life Events website or contact Human Resources at (919) 684-5600.

Newly Eligible: 30 Days

Your first opportunity to enroll in benefits is during your first 30 days of eligibility. For many, the eligibility date is their date of employment, which is usually the first day at work, or it is the date of transfer into a benefits eligible position. During this 30 day time period, you should decide on your health*, dental and vision insurance and whether to enroll in the reimbursement accounts. If you miss this deadline, then your next opportunity to enroll or make changes to your health, dental, vision, and reimbursement accounts is during the annual open enrollment period. The only other time you can make changes to these plans is if you experience a qualifying life event. Generally, health benefits are effective the first of the month following your benefit eligibility date. 

Also, within 30 days of your eligibility date, you need to make decisions on Supplemental Life Insurance, Voluntary Short-Term Disability Insurance, and Voluntary Long-Term Disability Insurance. If you miss the deadline, you must provide evidence of insurability to enroll in these plans.

You may enroll in the 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan at anytime.

*Note: Faculty and staff eligible for an employer contribution towards health insurance will receive it effective for coverage the first of the month after the date of employment or eligibility. 

Open Enrollment

If you fail to enroll during the 30-day eligibility period and experience no qualifying life event, you cannot enroll until the next annual open enrollment period. Duke employees will be notified directly of an upcoming open enrollment period before it begins.