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Information for Staff on Health Insurance for Fellows

Units may provide funding for health insurance for SI Programs or non-SI health insurance.

There is no set amount however we may require additional information if the amount for outside insurance is questionable.


Fellows with a tenure of three consecutive months or longer are eligible to enroll in the Smithsonian’s Trust health insurance plan. Eligible fellows that choose to enroll in Smithsonian health insurance must self‐enroll
in Secova and may do so during the following:

• Within 30 days of the start of the fellowship, but not before the first Wednesday after their fellowship begins because updates to Secova are done on Tuesday of each week. Please note that health insurance will be effective on the first day of the fellowship.
• During Open Enrollment Season which takes place mid‐Nov through mid‐Dec of each year. Fellows may also change or terminate their coverage during this period. Enrollments, changes or cancellations submitted during Open Enrollment Season are not effective until January 1 of the following year.
• Within 30 days of a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). Some of the most popular QLEs are fellow purchased non‐Smithsonian health insurance, was recently married and now on spouse coverage, or lost prior coverage. Fellows may enroll or terminate coverage due to a QLE, but must do so in Secova by providing supporting documentation. Most travel insurance does not meet the requirements for health insurance and will not qualify for a QLE.

Fellows who choose to enroll in a SI plan will have health insurance with an effective date as of their fellowship start date. Fellows are responsible for the monthly premium cost as of this date regardless of when
enrollment occurs.

NOTE: Fellows are not eligible for dental, vision, life or flexible spending account plans.

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