Policy on Postdoctoral Health Insurance


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Postdoctoral Health Insurance

Policy Statement

The University provides individual health insurance coverage to eligible temporary, full-time postdoctoral appointments under a major medical policy underwritten by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina and managed by Hill, Chesson and Woody. The University department or primary funding source pays for the appointee's premiums and the monthly fee to Campus Health Services, while premiums for coverage of a spouse and/or dependent children are deducted from the appointee's gross pay via Payroll Services.

I. Eligibility

Postdoctoral appointees must meet the following criteria to be eligible for coverage:

  • To be eligible for the Postdoctoral Medical Insurance Plan, the postdoctoral appointee must have a rank code of 27 or 28 and be classified as "temporary full-time" in the University payroll system.

II. Waiver

Eligible individuals electing to waive coverage through the Postdoctoral Medical Insurance Plan must complete a waiver form for the departmental HR Officer to send to Payroll Services and Hill, Chesson and Woody.

III. Other Provisions

  1. Coverage will begin on the postdoctoral appointee's appointment date.
  2. Upon notification of termination by the University, Hill, Chesson and Woody will inform the student of his or her right to continue insurance coverage under COBRA. COBRA notices will be mailed to the postdoctoral appointee's last known address within ten (10) business days of when Hill, Chesson and Woody receives the termination, therefore it is important that all covered postdoctoral appointees maintain their current addresses with Hill, Chesson and Woody. Under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), those students enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill receiving payment for non-employment activities, including scholarships, fellowships, traineeships, or services as an independent contractor, are exempt from statutory FICA deductions. These positions are not services provided by an EHRA or SHRA University employee.

    In addition, student employees deemed as having a predominantly educational relationship with the school (prevailing over any relationship the student has as a University employee), are eligible for FICA exemption.

    In making such determinations, the University will utilize the federal "safe harbor" tests set forth in IRS Revenue Procedure 2005-11 in conjunction with consideration of the facts and circumstances surrounding the student's employment.

    Payroll Services applies the FICA tax exemption based on whether or not the person in question is considered a "student" as defined by his/her eligibility according to this policy, which may vary from other definitions of a student for employment or other purposes.

Reason for Policy

To establish provisions and eligibility requirements for postdoctoral appointees for the purpose of obtaining health insurance coverage.


  1. Postdoctoral medical health coverage does not include Graduate Student Health Insurance Programs (GSHIPs), which are managed through Accounting Services.
  2. Postdoctoral appointees cannot elect to waive the student health fee charge required by all attendees of the University.

Special Situations

Sponsored research funds are generally the primary salary sources for Postdoctoral Research Associates and these accounts will also provide funding for the health benefit if consistent with the terms of the award. Other funds may be used to fund salary and health benefits if consistent with the terms of the funding source.



Frequently Asked Questions


Related Data

For information regarding or relating to the Postdoctoral Medical Insurance Plan, including required forms, review the UNC Postdoc Packet.

Information regarding coverage may be found at the Hill, Chesson & Woody website.


Policy Contact
Subject Contact Telephone Fax E-Mail
Post Doc Health Insurance Payroll Services 919-962-0047   payroll@unc.edu



  • October 13, 2017 - Updated main Payroll phone number.
  • September 8, 2009
  • May 29, 2007
  • June 26, 2006
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Article ID: 131390
Thu 4/8/21 9:07 PM
Wed 1/10/24 12:02 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
10/13/2017 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Associate Dean for Finance and Operations
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
10/13/2017 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
10/13/2017 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
10/13/2018 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
05/16/2005 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
The Graduate School