2023 Northwestern Postdoc Benefits Guide
This comprehensive program is comprised of the following plans and insurance carriers:
- Medical:BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois HMO, PPO and Buy-Up PPO
- Dental: Guardian HMO and PPO
- Vision: EyeMed PPO
- Life and AD&D: The Standard (automatic enrollment)
- Voluntary Life: The Standard
- Short-Term Disability : The Standard
- Long-Term Disability : The Standard
All Postdoctoral Trainees, regardless of their funding source, are eligible to participate in the benefits program.
Benefits may be offered in different ways, depending on the Postdoctoral Trainee's funding source and the tax restrictions it entails.
All Postdoctoral Trainees have access to the same insurance plans and will no longer need to change insurance if going
on/off an NRSA grant.
ELIGIBILITY FOR NEW POSTDOCTORAL TRAINEES:
All newly appointed postdocs will have their insurance coverage begin on your appointment start date (hire date)
once Gallagher Benefit Services has confirmed your enrollment in the plans.
Postdoctoral Trainees (Employee, NRSA, Paid-Direct, Visiting) Postdoctoral Fellows appointed on at least
a half-time basis are eligible to participate in the postdoctoral benefit plans with include health, dental,
vision, group term and optional term life insurance, long term disability, FSA, and retirement.
Postdoctoral Trainees must hold an appointment that is full-time (2 quarters or 1 semester) for half the academic
year or at least half-time for the entire academic year to be benefits-eligible.
Eligible postdocs have 31 days from their appointment start date to enroll yourself and your eligible dependents
(family members) in the various benefit plans. This timeframe if known as your Period of Initial Eligibility (PIE).
Failure to enroll during your PIE will delay your enrollment until the next Open Enrollment period, which occurs each
year during the month of October.
The major family member eligibility categories for this benefit program are the same family eligibility requirements
as the Northwestern University Faculty and Staff Plans:
- A spouse must be legally married to the eligible employee.
- Surviving Spouse and Chlld(ren) of a Deceased Employee
- An eligible spouse or dependent child of a deceased employee or retired employee is eligible only for health and dental coverage.
- The spouse or dependent child must be enrolled in the University sponsored plan at the time of the employee’s death.
- Dependent child(ren)
- Dependent children include unmarried natural, step, foster, legally adopted children, and any children who are in your custody under an interim court order prior to the finalization of adoption proceedings.
- Your dependent child may be covered under health, dental, vision, and life plans until his/her 26th birthday.
- Any children who are dependent upon you for financial support and maintenance because of disability are covered regardless of age if they were covered by the plan prior to reaching the limiting age.
- You and your same or opposite-gender partner must obtain a civil union in order to qualify for coverage under University plans.
- The partner and their children are eligible for health, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment coverage.
- Insurance premiums will be charged on either an after-tax or before-tax basis in accordance with federal and state regulations and based on your individual situation.
- FSAs may not reimburse an employee for partner medical care or for the care of a partner's dependents unless they are an Internal Revenue Code Section 152 dependent.
If you are currently enrolled, you may be able to enroll a newly eligible family member(s)
if you or the dependent experience a qualifying event. Qualifying events include, but are not limited to:
- Legal Marriage/Civil Union
- Birth of Child
- Adoption of a Child
- Entrance into the United States
- Loss of prior coverage
You have 31 days from the date of the qualifying life event to enroll your eligible family member(s)
by submitting an enrollment form on this site.
Open Enrollment is an annual period of time designated by Northwestern University to allow you to make changes
to your current enrollment that are otherwise not allowed throughout the rest of the year, unless you experience
a qualifying life event. For instance, if you previously waived coverage for yourself and/or any eligible family members
, during the designated open enrollment period, you may enroll both yourself and your dependents if you so desire in the
available plan choices. For any plans in which you enroll, coverage always begins on January 1st. The annual open enrollment
period is usually communicated and takes place during the month of October.
Information for J-1 and J-2 Visa Holders
All Postdoctoral Trainees and their dependents are automatically
covered for medical evacuation and repatriation benefits necessary to satisfy the J Visa Program.
It is not necessary to purchase supplemental insurance to satisfy the J-1 and J-2 Visa requirements.
The Standard Life Insurance program will offer both J-1 and J-2 visa holders the required insurance coverage of:
- Medical Evacuation: $50,000 USD
- Repatriation of Remains: $25,000 USD