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Health Insurance

Health Insurance Requirement

All students are required to maintain adequate medical insurance during their enrollment at Duke University. You must complete either the enrollment or waiver process within the open enrollment period. Failure to do so will result in a delay in coverage or a charge for insurance you do not need.

Duke offers a Student Medical Insurance Plan (SMIP) designed to meet the needs of students who have no insurance or who have inadequate insurance coverage in the Durham, NC area. Please review your coverage. While it may be acceptable for a waiver, it may not provide the kind of security and coverage provided by our student plan, which is tailored to a Duke students specific needs.

If you are an international student holding an F1 or J1 visa, enrollment in the SMIP is mandatory.

The Duke SMIP is underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of North Carolina. Student insurance plans with BCBS are identified as Student Blue.

Open Enrollment and Waiver Period

Fall Semester

If you do not enter your decision by September 14, you will be automatically enrolled in the DUKE SMIP for the period from August 1 until July 31. If you are enrolled by default, the insurance charge will remain on your Bursar account, and you will not receive your enrollment ID cards until after September 14. If you do not enter your decision and are automatically enrolled, you WILL NOT be able to waive.

Spring Semester

Spring open enrollment begins November 15. Spring matriculates, please log in to your Gallagher account to enter your decision to waive or enroll in the plan.

A prorated charge for the student insurance plan will be placed on your tuition bill/Bursar account. This charge and coverage by the plan may be waived if you provide adequate proof of coverage under another health insurance plan. The waiver criteria is listed below. Please note that by paying the insurance charge on your Bursar account, it does not automatically enroll you in the plan at that time. Please confirm enrollment through your Gallagher account.

Need to Enroll or Waive?

Please complete the enrollment or waiver process through the Gallagher student portal here.

Insurance Change Request Form

Please complete and return this form prior to 5pm on January 31, 2024 to adjust your enrollment.

The US healthcare system is most likely much different than your own. Make sure you are prepared with health, vision, and dental insurance before your arrival.

Watch Video

Understand how deductibles, coinsurance and copays work in health insurance.

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Students may petition to waive the SMIP through their Gallagher account if the following criteria are met:

  •   The student does not hold an F1 or J1 visa.
  •   Plan must be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA Compliant)
  •   The claims administrator of the plan is based in the United States, has a U.S. telephone number and address for submission of claims, and the insurance policy has not been issued outside the U.S.
  •   The policy is not a traveling policy.
  •   The plan provides unlimited emergency and non-emergency routine health care and mental health benefits in the Durham, NC area, including at Duke Medicine. (In order to meet these criteria, your plan must provide in network benefits at Duke Health facilities for the following services: Primary Care Doctors office visits, Specialty office visits, Preventative care office visits, Lab services, X-rays, and imaging)
  •   The plan provides inpatient and outpatient mental health care (with at least 30 visits per year) with chemical dependency benefits that are comparable to the coverage provided by the Duke SMIP.
  •   The plan provides unlimited coverage for prescription medication.

Common Errors experienced during enrollment:

  • ID number issue (student ID vs Duke Unique ID)
  • Student unable to log in when using their Duke Unique ID
    • Double check the ID number and date of birth entered, both must match our system in order to create an account
    • Recently registered students may take time to show up on a roster.
      • If the Duke unique ID number and DOB are correct and they have recently registered the student should try again in a week.
      •  If the student has not recently registered, they should contact our team at studentservices@jcbins.com
  • Students should have their health insurance ID card with them when completing the waiver
  • Students reaching out for assistance should include their Duke Unique ID and full name so we can assist them easily.

In addition to waiver approval by the automated system, please note that all waivers may be audited. If the waiver submitted does not meet the waiver criteria, you will be enrolled in the SMIP.

For questions regarding Eligibility, Enrollment or Waivers, please reach out to 866-931-5275 or email the team at insurance@studentaffairs.duke.edu.

The annual cost of coverage for all eligible students for the 2024-2025 plan year is $3,461.64.*

For dependents, the annual premium rates are as follows:

  • Add Spouse, $3,168.60* (in addition to the student premium)
  • Add Child(ren), $3,529.20* (in addition to the student premium)
  • Add Family, $6,697.80* (in addition to the student premium)

A portion of the cost of the SMIP is retained by Duke University to pay for administrative costs incurred by the University and for reserve funds. Any portion of the cost of the plan retained by Duke University is encumbered solely for the purpose of funding plan expenses or the equitable and non-discriminatory benefit of plan participants.

*Rates pending regulatory approval.

The Duke SMIP continues to provide excellent benefits at a valuable cost.

The plan has received a platinum tier rating under the Affordable Care Act rating system.

All out-of-pocket costs (coinsurance, copayments, and deductible amounts) will apply to the out-of-pocket limit. In addition, all students will be charged the same rate regardless of age.

Summary of Plan Benefits

If you are enrolled in SHIP and paid the premium, you'll be covered. Your plan also provides you with 24-Hour Worldwide Travel Assistance, which includes services ranging from a lost passport to helping with emergency medical assistance or arranging emergency medical evacuation or repatriation of remains. It’s important to contact Geoblue (855-445-1301) before making arrangements on your own. Otherwise, these services will not be covered.

Other information about seeking medical care abroad:

  •   Always keep your SHIP ID card with you.
  •   Save a copy of the plan brochure and/or bookmark your student health website.
  •   If you get sick while abroad, you will likely need to pay for your care first and then submit bills for reimbursement. Your covered expenses will likely be considered an out-of-network expense.
  •   Before you submit claims for reimbursement, have the itemized bill(s) translated into English.
    Also include a letter informing the claims administrator you already paid for the healthcare service
    and need to be reimbursed.

·   Write your name, ID number, address and school name on your bill(s). This will help the claims
company process your reimbursement request correctly and promptly.

We understand Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been challenging and confusing!

  • Students should not worry about losing their current coverage since the Duke SMIP meets the PPACA’s standards 100%.
  • The Duke SMIP previously and currently maintains a no pre-existing condition waiting period policy to make sure our students receive the best possible health care coverage.  
  • Eligible dependents to be covered under Duke SMIP should be enrolled by August 30 (Fall enrollees) or January 30 (Spring Enrollees). 
  • Duke SMIPs provides coverage at 100% for preventive care services in accordance with the PPACA.  
  • For further details, please go to bcbsnc.com/preventive or download a detailed Benefit Booklet for the Duke SMIP at studentbluenc.com/#/duke under “plan benefits”.

Helping Students Afford Dental Care

Members of the Duke SMIP have access to the Basix Dental Savings Program, which saves students up to 50% of the cost of general dental care and 20% of the cost of specialty care. The Basix Dental Savings Program is not insurance, rather it is a network of dentists that provide dental services at negotiated rates to students enrolled in the SMIP.

In Raleigh/Durham, there are 53 contracted general dentists and specialists. We also have a provider in Morehead City to serve students studying at the Duke University Marine Lab. We have thousands of providers contracted in other parts of North Carolina and in most other populous states members of the SMIP can access when home during breaks or pursuing study/research.

How to use the Program

Using the Program is straight forward, the student simply:

  • Finds a contracted dentist on our website: www.basixstudent.com. The rates the dentist accepts are shown so the student can “shop”.
    • The SMIP ID card is used as identification for the dentist (if the dentist wishes, they may also call BCBS to confirm the student is enrolled in the SMIP).
  • Pays the provider for the care received at the time of service at the negotiated rate.
    • Because the Program is not insurance, there are no claim forms, annual maximums, benefit limitations and conditions or other plan provisions.

Dental insurance is offered to Duke Students and their dependents.

We are pleased to announce a new Dental plan for the 2023/24 school year! Duke has partnered with Aetna Student Health to provide an enhanced dental plan for students. The Aetna dental plan provides 100% coverage (up to the policy limits) at Campus Smiles and all In-network providers. This plan can be used nationwide.

Domestic Students

  • Domestic (non-PhD) students must Opt-in to dental coverage. You will not be automatically enrolled.
  • Domestic (non-PhD) students can choose to Opt-in to the Aetna Dental plan by visiting www.gallagherstudent.com/duke. Student Dental Premium will be billed to your student account. You can enroll your eligible dependents online at www.gallagherstudent.com/duke.
  • If you do not wish to enroll in the Aetna dental plan, no action is required. Only students who Opt-in to coverage will be enrolled and billed for the plan.

International Students

  • International students will be automatically enrolled in the Duke dental plan through Aetna unless you Opt-out of coverage by the established deadline.
  • International students are automatically enrolled in the Aetna dental plan. The premium is billed to your student account. You may enroll your eligible dependents online at www.gallagherstudent.com/duke.
  • If you do not wish to be enrolled in the Aetna dental plan, Opt-out of coverage online at www.gallagherstudent.com

Domestic PhD Students

  • Domestic PhD students will be automatically enrolled in the Duke dental plan through Aetna unless you Opt-out of coverage by the established deadline.
  • Domestic PhD students are automatically enrolled in the Aetna dental plan. You may enroll your eligible dependents online at www.gallagherstudent.com/duke.
  • If you do not wish to be enrolled in the Aetna dental plan, you can Opt-out of coverage online at www.gallagherstudent.com

Important Information

  • The Annual cost of coverage is $329.00
  • Coverage effective from August 1, 2024 through July 31, 2025
  • There is no deductible
  • $2,000 benefit maximum 
  • In-network clinic on site at Duke
  • The online enrollment site will be live June 17, 2024 through September 14, 2024.
    Note: enrollment and opt-out applications must be completed and submitted online by 11:59pm on September 14, 2024.
Dental Plan FAQ

Enrollment Exceptions
New students enrolled at the University during the summer term, or students who have lost individual coverage, may enroll in the SMIP through the month of July. Please complete a Duke Exception Form and send to Student Health Insurance at insurance@studentaffairs.duke.edu. Alternatively, you may print the form and fax to 919-681-2874. A charge will be added to your Bursar account for the cost of the plan through the month of July. To ensure that you are enrolled beginning on August 1st, please complete the enrollment process through your Duke Hub account during open enrollment.

Dependent Coverage
Dependents (i.e. spouse and/or children) of eligible students may be enrolled in the SMIP. Any dependents to be covered under Duke SMIP should be enrolled by August 30 (Fall enrollees) or January 30 (Spring Enrollees) by visiting www.studentbluenc.com/#/duke, NO EXCEPTIONS. Payment for dependent premiums will be made directly to Student Blue (Blue Cross). Duke DOES NOT enroll dependents. Please contact Student Blue at 1-888-234-2417 for dependent enrollment questions.

December Graduates 
Will you be graduating in the fall? If so, you will have the option of ending your Duke SMIP coverage with a December 31 termination date. Please submit your termination request to insurance@studentaffairs.duke.edu during Spring Open Enrollment - November 15 through January 31.

If we do not receive your termination request prior to the end of open enrollment, your policy will stay active until July 31, NO EXCEPTIONS

Continuation of Coverage 
We do not offer continuation of coverage, which means your current insurance plan will end July 31. As an option, you can apply for insurance at www.healthcare.gov (domestic students) and geobluetravelinsurance.com (international students) at least 30 days prior to your plan termination date.

Who should I reach out to for additional questions?

For questions regarding Eligibility, Enrollment or Waivers, please reach out to 866-931-5275 or log into the Gallagher portal and click Help Center.

How do I log into the portal to enroll in or waive the Student Medical Insurance Plan (SMIP)?

  1. Visit https://www.gallagherstudent.com/duke
  2. Under “Profile,” click "Log In" and enter your student login credentials.

How do I enroll?

International and PHD Students:

No action is needed as you are automatically enrolled in the student medical insurance plan (SMIP). To view your coverage details:

  1. Go to https://www.gallagherstudent.com/duke .
  2. Follow the login Instructions.
  3. View “Account Details,” found on the lower left side of landing page.

Domestic Students: 

  1. Go to https://www.gallagherstudent.com/duke
  2. Follow the login instructions.
  3. Click on the “Enroll” button under “Plan Summary.”
  4. Follow the instructions to complete the form.
  5. Enrollment confirmation email will be sent.

Please note that students who do not submit a waiver by the September 14, 2024 deadline will be automatically enrolled.

How do I enroll my dependents?

  1. Go to https://www.gallagherstudent.com/duke.
  2. Follow the login instructions.
  3. Click on the “Enroll” button under “Plan Summary.”
  4. Follow the instructions to complete the form to enter and enroll your “dependent spouse/partner” and/or “dependent children.”
  5. Enrollment confirmation will be sent.

You must purchase dependent insurance for the same coverage period as your own coverage; it can’t be for a longer or shorter period than your own. For example, if you enroll for fall coverage, your dependents need to be enrolled for fall coverage; you wouldn’t be able to enroll them for annual coverage. If you enroll for fall coverage and do not enroll your dependents at that time, you cannot enroll your dependents unless a qualifying event occurs.

Note: If enrolling a dependent for the first time in SHIP, documentation needs to be uploaded at the time of submission. For example, a marriage certificate for a dependent spouse or birth certificate for a dependent child.

Waiving SHIP Coverage

Please note:  If you are an international student holding an F1 or J1 visa, enrollment in the SMIP is mandatory.

To be eligible to waive your SHIP, you must be currently enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets Duke University’s waiver requirements.

  •   The student does not hold an F1 or J1 visa.
  •   Plan must be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA Compliant)
  •   The claims administrator of the plan is based in the United States, has a U.S. telephone number and address for submission of claims, and the insurance policy has not been issued outside the U.S.
  •   The policy is not a traveling policy.
  •   The plan provides unlimited emergency and non-emergency routine health care and mental health benefits in the Durham, NC area, including at Duke Medicine. (In order to meet these criteria, your plan must provide in network benefits at Duke Health facilities for the following services: Primary Care Doctors office visits, Specialty office visits, Preventative care office visits, Lab services, X-rays, and imaging)
  •   The plan provides inpatient and outpatient mental health care (with at least 30 visits per year) with chemical dependency benefits that are comparable to the coverage provided by the Duke SMIP.
  •   The plan provides unlimited coverage for prescription medication.

 To submit a waiver:

  1. Go to https://www.gallagherstudent.com/duke
  2. Follow the login instructions.
  3. Click on the “Waive” button under “Plan Summary.”
  4. You will need your health insurance information.

Note: Your insurance information is required to complete the waiver form; you do not need to upload documents at the time of initial submission. You will receive an email notification if additional documents are needed.

If you successfully waived SHIP coverage but decide to enroll at a later date, you can cancel the waiver form after it’s been submitted by following the directions below.

This must be completed prior to September 14, 2024. 

  1. Go to https://www.gallagherstudent.com/duke
  2. Follow the login instructions.
  3. Navigate to “Account Details.”
  4. Click “Click Here to Rescind Your Waiver.”
  5. Click “Rescind My Waiver.”

Note: Once your waiver is rescinded, this action cannot be reversed. You may not edit your form after September 14, 2024.

If I waive, but then lose my coverage, can I enroll in SHIP or enroll my dependents if they lose coverage?

If you waive SHIP and then lose coverage, you can enroll in the plan. Losing coverage is categorized as a Qualifying Life Event. Other Qualifying Life Events include:

  •   Reaching the age limit of another health insurance plan.
  •   Involuntary loss of coverage from another health insurance plan.

You can only add eligible dependent(s) outside of the enrollment period if one of these qualifying events occurs:

  •   You get married
  •   You have a child
  •   You get divorced
  •   Your dependent enters the country for the first time
  •   Your dependent loses coverage under another insurance plan

To initiate the Qualifying Life Event process:

  1. Go to https://www.gallagherstudent.com/duke
  2. Follow the login instructions.
  3. Click on “Enroll-Qualifying Life Event.”
  4. Complete the online form and upload the required supporting document, such as the loss of coverage letter from your prior health insurance company showing your name and the last day of coverage.

Note: Read the form carefully as it contains very specific information on the Qualifying Life Event process.

Once enrolled, can I cancel? Get a refund?

Once you are enrolled in SHIP, you will remain enrolled in the plan for the full coverage period. You have no option to terminate coverage unless you enter the armed forces. In that case we will refund — or your student account will be credited — a pro-rated share of your premium.

Where can I get more information about my plan?

Go to  https://www.gallagherstudent.com/duke

Have changes been made to this year’s plan?

No changes were made to the plan for the 2024–2025 Policy Year.

Am I still covered while traveling? When studying abroad?

With Travel Assistance:

Yes, your plan covers you wherever you are. If you are enrolled in SHIP and paid the premium, you'll be covered. Your plan also provides you with 24-Hour Worldwide Travel Assistance, which includes services ranging from a lost passport to helping with emergency medical assistance or arranging emergency medical evacuation or repatriation of remains. It’s important to contact Geoblue (855-445-1301) before making arrangements on your own. Otherwise, these services will not be covered.

Other information about seeking medical care abroad:

  •   Always keep your SHIP ID card with you.
  •   Save a copy of the plan brochure and/or bookmark your student health website.
  •   If you get sick while abroad, you will likely need to pay for your care first and then submit bills for reimbursement. Your covered expenses will likely be considered an out-of-network expense.
  •   Before you submit claims for reimbursement, have the itemized bill(s) translated into English. Also include a letter informing the claims administrator you already paid for the healthcare service and need to be reimbursed.
  •   Write your name, ID number, address and school name on your bill(s). This will help the claims company process your reimbursement request correctly and promptly.