New University Policy Governing Health Benefits for Full-Time Postdoctoral Fellows

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the establishment of a new policy governing health benefits for full-time postdoctoral fellows at Columbia University. This policy will be implemented during the open enrollment period in the fall semester of 2016 and take effect on January 1, 2017.

From that date, all full-time postdoctoral fellows working in labs or on research projects at Columbia University will have uniform access to affordable health care regardless of funding source, departmental affiliation, or personal financial resources. Specifically, the new policy allows all full-time postdoctoral fellows to enroll in the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus 80 individual, dependent, or family health care plans at a fixed, University-subsidized rate. Details regarding the policy and frequently asked questions concerning it may be found at Postdoc Fellow Benefits.  Additional information regarding its implementation will be made available as the effective date approaches.

The new plan results from close collaboration between the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Dean at the Columbia University Medical Center, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and Columbia University Human Resources. It also has benefited from contributions by the Benefits Committee and the Research Officers Committee in the University Senate, as well as from faculty and administrators from across the University.  

Guaranteeing that our full-time postdoctoral fellows have access to affordable health care keeps Columbia University competitive in attracting and retaining the very best researchers and scholars in the nation and the world. It ensures that all of our fellows can secure the same benefits, regardless of personal circumstances.

We know that we can count on your support as we move towards the realization of this worthy goal. 


John H. Coatsworth

G. Michael Purdy,
Executive Vice President for Research

Lee Goldman
Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine
Chief Executive, Columbia University Medical Center