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CALS Guidelines on the Funding of Employer Healthcare Costs for Post-doctoral Fellows

In 2015, the college concluded its support of the employer portion of healthcare for individuals appointed as postdoctoral fellows. This change became effective for postdoctoral fellows appointed after January 1, 2015, after which date such expenses were migrated to unrestricted funds held by the department or Principal Investigator as appropriate for newly appointed fellows and for all reappointments that occurred on or after that date. For postdoctoral fellows appointed at the time of the policy change, the college committed to continue to carry the cost of employer healthcare through the term of the appointee's current appointment, with the understanding that at reappointment, any such costs would be covered by the department or Principal Investigator as appropriate.

As background, postdoctoral fellows are eligible to enroll in the Endowed Health Care Plans, even though they are normally not paid positions and receive a stipend through the external foundation or agency. Enabling postdoctoral fellows to access a high quality healthcare plan has been and continues to be a priority as it is recognized that appointment to these titles most often occurs when postdoctoral associates are successfully awarded fellowships that are both prestigious and indicate the ability to sustain one’s own research. The college recognizes that when such transitions occur, there is also normally a substantial benefit to the PI and department, and as such fellowships free up resources to fund additional roles. However, these benefits have a direct associated cost that must be aligned with the unit receiving the benefit, and the PI and department will need to set aside funds to support funding of this benefit. As PI’s and departments consider these appointments, please consult with your Administrative Manager and Benefits Services to obtain the latest guidance for budgeting the costs of such positions.

As an example, the cost for FY21 SP semester and FY22 FA semester is below. This calculation will need to be redone each semester as the minimum NIH salary increases.

FY21, SP semester, cost (January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021): 15.33% of $52,704 = $8,080 –currently $2,020 billed quarterly;

FY22, FA semester, cost (July 1 2021 – December 31, 2021): salary updated to $53,760, at 16.31% for $8,768 annually, approximately $2,192 billed quarterly