Health Benefits and Discounted Transportation for Non-Employee Postdoctoral Scholars at Boston University
From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Boston University is committed to maintaining a supportive and competitive training environment for all of its postdoctoral scholars (postdocs). In 2016, the University Council adopted a Policy for Postdoctoral Scholars that, in part, established health care benefits for postdocs who are non-employees – those who are supported either through fellowships (administered by BU) or receive stipends from external sources for training rather than salary for services.
Effective August 1, 2017, non-employee postdocs are eligible to enroll in the Aetna Student Basic Plan or the Plus plan. Special features of the Plus plan include options for individual or family/dependent coverage, a nationwide network of providers, vision and dental discounts, optional month-to-month enrollment, and no minimum required enrollment. More information about the plan is available in the Aetna Health Insurance Plan for Postdoctoral Fellows document.
To ensure that all postdocs pay a single rate for health coverage regardless of their classification, the Office of the Provost is subsidizing the costs associated with these new plan options. This step will make out-of-pocket costs equivalent between employee and non-employee postdocs. Current rates for the plan options can be found here. To receive coverage for an August 1 effective start date, current non-employee postdocs must contact Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs (email@example.com) by August 10 to sign up. Non-employee postdocs may alternately enroll in one of these health plans effective the first of any month as long as they submit an enrollment form to Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs by the 10th of that month.
In addition to providing cost savings for health care coverage, the Office of the Provost will also subsidize MBTA passes for non-employee postdocs to match the current MBTA subsidies offered to all Boston University faculty and staff. Current rates can be found on the Boston University Parking and Transportation Services website. Interested postdocs should contact Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs to take advantage of this new benefit, which will launch in September 2017 for MBTA passes that begin October 1, 2017.
Please note that all subsidies received through this program are considered to be taxable income and will be reported annually on the postdoc’s 1040 reporting form.
Boston University’s postdoctoral scholars are a valued and vital part of our research community. At a time of heightened competition for the most outstanding researchers, we are pleased to offer these subsidized benefits for all BU postdocs.