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Policies and Procedures

Policy 1113 – Postdoctoral Health Insurance

May 16, 2005
Last Updated
October 13, 2017
Responsible University Officer
Director of Payroll Services
Responsible Unit
Payroll Services

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 EPA or SPA 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.



Additional Information

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.


Post Doc Health Insurance Payroll Services 919-962-0047



October 13, 2017 - Updated main Payroll phone number.
September 8, 2009
May 29, 2007
June 26, 2006