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          bullet' Benefits Overview Chart

bullet' Health Benefits
bullet' Dental Coverage
bullet' Time Off
bullet' Office of Work/Life
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Benefits Overview Chart

The following chart was created to provide Postdocs, Faculty, and Administrators a quick overview of benefits for Postdoctoral Officers of Research based on their postdoctoral appointment title: Benefits Overview Chart


Health Benefits

A Postdoc's health benefits can be determined, in large part, by his/her title.

A Postdoctoral Research Scientist/Scholar and any Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow who is a full-time Assistant in the Clinical Department, as an employee, has fringe benefit costs charged to his/her salary and is able to choose among various healthcare plans offered to all other employees at the University. For more information about the various healthcare plans and the monthly pre-tax contribution costs for medical coverage, please visit to the Human Resources website and review the “Benefits Highlights” at http://hr.columbia.edu/benefits.

A Postdoctoral Research Fellow and any Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow* on a stipend is not considered an employee. He/she can enroll in a subsidized health care plan, a UHC Choice 80 blended rate plan, at a fixed annual rate. For more information on the Fellow healthcare plan policy please see the following policy document and FAQs: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/vpaa/docs/postdoc_fellow_benefit_policy_memo_and_FAQs.pdf

The policy will take effect on January 1, 2017 and Fellows will enroll in the UHC Choice 80 blended rate plans during open enrollment in Fall 2016. The enrollment form will be made available to all departmental administrators and will also be listed on the Forms section of the OPA website beginning with open enrollment in Fall 2016. Please note that the enrollment form must be completed within 30 days of a new Fellow appointment by the fellow's departmental administrator. For the Fellows needing to enroll/re-enroll in benefits for the remainder of 2016 should continue to use the 2016 benefits enrollment forms to enroll in Columbia University benefit plans for coverage through 2016. The 2016 benefits enrollment forms can be found on the  forms page of the OPA website.

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Dental Coverage

All Postdocs are eligible for Columbia Dental Insurance, regardless of their health care coverage.

The Columbia Dental Associates Student Dental Plan covers semi-annual oral examinations, x-rays, and prophylaxis. There is a 25% discount on non-covered services. The cost is $180 per year (8/1-7/31). Care is provided by dental fellows.

Enrollment Period: 8/1-1/31

The Aetna Columbia Dental Plan covers routine cleanings, basic fillings, x-rays a certain percentage of major restorative care and Orthodontia care. For more information about what is covered including rates, Postdoctoral Research Scientists/Scholars should visit the “Benefits in Brief” at   http://hr.columbia.edu/benefits/ and Postdoctoral Research Fellows should visit http://hr.columbia.edu/benefits/postdocs.

Postdoctoral Fellows who are appointed by the Medical Center and are enrolled in the Medical Center’s Student Health Services’ Aetna Health Plan also have the option to sign up for the Aetna Advantage Dental Plan (this plan is administered by the Medical Center Student Health Services). Please note that enrollment for this plan occurs each year in September and February.   

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Time Off

Postdoctoral Research Scientists/Scholars and Postdoctoral Clinical Fellows (f/t AiC), earn two days of vacation for each month of appointment, up to a maximum of twenty-three days. They are eligible for all University Holidays. Periods of leave are excluded in determining vacation privileges. Vacation time may not be accumulated beyond June 30 of the year following the one in which it was earned. Unused vacation cannot be translated into monetary pay except upon termination of appointment.

Postdoctoral Research and Clinical Fellows are entitled to the same rights to vacation as postdoctoral research scientists/scholars unless the provisions of the granting agency specify otherwise.

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Office of Work/Life

The Office of Work/Life at Columbia offers a variety of programs and resources to help Columbia faculty, postdocs, research scientists, staff, and students better manage their work and life responsibilities. These resources include the Breastfeeding Support Program, School and Child Care Search Service, Back-Up Care, Housing Information and Referral Service, Spouse/Partner Dual Career Services, Employee Assistance Program, Wellness programs, and more.

The Office of Work/Life put together this document for incoming members of the Columbia community Maximizing a Successful Transition to Columbia University: Things to Consider Before Leaving Home and Upon Arrival

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This is a listing of discounts you can utilize with your Columbia ID or UNI.

Purchasing – Many services such as airlines, car rentals, and computer retailers provide discounts to Columbia affiliates.

CU Arts Initiative – Receive discounts for Broadway shows and movie tickets.

Working Advantage – Provides discounts and reward programs. Sign up for the weekly mailing list to receive updates on local discounts. Columbia’s Corporate ID is 99042065.