Enrolling & Making Changes in Benefits Policy

Duke provides benefits to eligible university and health system staff and their eligible dependents. Several of the benefit programs require staff to enroll within a specified period of time or wait to make changes until the annual open enrollment period. There are deadlines associated with making changes to benefits based on three (3) different events: (1) during the annual open enrollment period, (2) enrolling in benefits as a newly eligible staff member and (3) based on changes to a staff members’ family or employment circumstances (referred to as "qualifying life event"). Enrollment in other benefits may occur throughout the year based upon eligibility.

Policy Details

Newly Eligible: 30 Days

The first opportunity to enroll in benefits is during the first 30 days of eligibility. During this 30-day time period, staff should decide on health, dental, vision insurance and basic life beneficiary designation and whether to enroll in health or dependent care reimbursement accounts. After 30 days, the next opportunity to enroll or make enrollment changes in these benefits will be during the annual open enrollment period or if a staff member experiences a qualifying life event.

Also, within 30 days of the eligibility date, staff should make decisions on supplemental life insurance, voluntary short term disability insurance, and voluntary long term disability insurance. After the 30-day time period, staff must provide evidence of insurability to enroll in these plans.

Qualifying Life Events: 30 days

If staff experience a qualifying life event, they may enroll or make changes to some of their Duke benefits within 30 days of the event. Any change must be consistent with the qualifying event. For example, adding a dependent to health insurance coverage following the birth of a child. Qualifying events include such things as:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption (or placement of adoption) of a child
  • Death of a covered dependent
  • Loss or gain of eligibility for insurance coverage for staff or a covered dependent
  • Change in spouse's employment status
  • Change in health insurance eligibility due to a relocation of residence

If staff experience a qualifying event, they must submit an online request via the Duke@Work employee self-service website to update their benefits enrollment. Staff will need to upload a copy of supporting documentation, such as a birth, marriage, or death certificate, or divorce decree. For assistance requesting a change to benefits enrollment related to a qualifying life event, please contact the Human Resources Information Center at 919-684-5600.

Open Enrollment

All Duke staff who are eligible for benefits will have the opportunity to enroll or make changes in their health, dental, vision and reimbursement account benefits during the annual open enrollment period. Duke staff will be notified directly of an upcoming open enrollment period before it begins. Staff may enroll in many of Duke’s other benefits any time throughout the year. These benefits include: 403(b) retirement plan, supplemental life insurance, universal life insurance, disability insurance, personal accident insurance, and personal casualty insurance (renters, automobile, and homeowners insurance).

For a complete listing of benefits offered by Duke, please see Duke Benefits.

BenefitNewly Eligible (within 30 days)Annual Open EnrollmentQualifying life Event (within 30 days)Anytime
Health Insurance (all plans)XXX 
Dental InsuranceXXX 
Vision InsuranceXXX 
Reimbursement AccountsXXX 
Personal Accident Insurance   X
Long-term Care InsuranceX
Coverage guaranteed if sign-up occurs within 30 days of eligibility
Supplemental Life InsuranceX
Reduced underwriting guidelines if sign-up occurs within 30 days of employment
Personal Casualty Insurance   X
Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings (Hourly-Paid)   X
Once per pay period
Faculty/Staff Retirement Program (Monthly-salaried)   X
Once per pay period
Voluntary Short-term and Long-term Disability   X
Coverage does not require proof of good health if enroll within first 60 days of eligibility

NOTE: Some benefits that are paid for 100 percent by Duke do not appear on this chart, since participation is automatic and no changes are necessary.

Reviewing Pay Check Stubs

Staff should regularly review their pay check stubs to ensure that the benefit deductions are correct. Some benefit-related deductions cannot be retroactively changed. Therefore, if something is missing or incorrect, the staff member must notify Benefits within a week of the issuance of the paycheck.

Policy types

Benefits Policies


Benefits Policy