Purchase Supplemental Life Insurance at Reduced Rates

Staff and faculty receive special rate for life insurance during special enrollment Oct 28 to Nov. 8

Premium costs for Duke's supplemental life insurance will be reduced and a special enrollment period offered Oct. 28 to Nov. 8.

The new rates, which take effect Jan. 1, 2014, will save employees 21 percent over current rates. For example, a 40-year-old non-smoker can purchase $100,000 of insurance for $4.60 a month, instead of $5.90.

"Financial experts recommend having life insurance worth five to eight times your annual salary to provide financial security for your loved ones in the event of your death," said Saundra Daniels, benefits plan manager for Duke. "With rates getting cheaper, reaching that level of protection is that much easier."

During the special enrollment period, which coincides with open enrollment for medical and health benefits, staff and faculty can use a simplified process to apply for coverage or increase their current level of coverage. If health questions on the application are answered favorably, no medical exam is needed.

Li-Chen Chin, director of Intercultural Programs at Duke, said the new rates will save her a few dollars each month. She enrolled in Duke's supplemental life insurance program in 2008 to protect her husband and their children Sheya, 7, and Sean, 5.

"My husband has his own plan, but our financial advisor advised us that we should both be insured," Chin said. "We want to make sure the people who are important to us are cared for if anything happens."

Supplemental life insurance, offered through MetLife, is part of Duke's flexible benefits options. Staff and faculty who work at least 20 hours per week can purchase or increase existing coverage (if not already at the maximum level) for themselves, spouses, same-sex partners and dependent children.  The benefit offers extra protection on top of the $10,000 basic life insurance Duke carries on all active employees working at least 20 hours a week. 

MetLife will mail information about the special enrollment for supplemental life insurance to employees' homes this month.  Information about the special enrollment is also available online.