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Eligibility for benefits is determined by postdoctoral classification as summarized below.

9132: Research Fellow

9145: Postdoctoral Scholar, Research

Classified as Employees

2017-2018 Benefits Overview



Health Insurance

  • Employee Health Insurance
  • Enrollment required within 30 days of hire date
  • Coverage begins on start date of appointment
  • If your home department is VU, details located at: VU Human Resources
  • If your home department is VUMC, details located at: VUMC Human Resources

The following additional benefits are available:

  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Short-term Disability
  • Long-term Disability
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Health Reimbursement Account
  • Retirement Plan 403(b)

Benefits are provided through either VU or VUMC Human Resources Department:

 Questions? Contact the appropriate human resources department.


9146: Postdoctoral Scholar, Trainee

9134: Research Fellow Trainee

Classified as Non-employees

2017-2018 Benefits Overview
(August 12, 2017 to August 11, 2018)



Health Insurance

Non-employee Health Insurance

Two separate plans are available: VU and VUMC (dependent upon home department of trainee).

VU Postdoctoral Scholar Trainees

Plan Administrator: Gallagher/Insurance Carrier: UnitedHealthcare

  • Postdocs must enroll within 30 days of hire date
  • To enroll: Contact your department staff administrator who must submit a Benefits Action Form (BAF) to Irene McKirgan. Postdocs are not billed directly for health insurance. Your department is billed.
  • Postdocs must enroll dependents within two weeks of the effective start date on the BAF. Postdocs are not billed directly for dependent health insurance coverage. Your department is billed.

Note: Dependents are not automatically enrolled. The deadline to enroll dependents for annual coverage is September 12, 2017 for newly hired and returning postdoctoral trainees to have an effective date of August 12, 2017.

To enroll eligible dependents, go to and click on "Dependent Enroll."

Qualifying Events

Postdoctoral trainees can also add eligible dependent(s) if they experience one of the following qualifying events: (a) marriage, (b) birth of a child, (c) divorce, or (d) if the dependent is entering the country for the first time. If the individual experiences one of these qualifying events, the Dependent Enrollment Form, supporting documentation, and payment must be received by Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk within 31 days of the qualifying event. Forms received more than 2 weeks after the qualifying event will not be processed. Once a dependent is enrolled, coverage cannot be terminated unless the individual loses eligibility. The premium is not pro-rated and you will be responsible for paying the full premium for the coverage period in which the date of your qualifying event occurs.

  • This is an annual policy with four termination dates: December 31, April 30, May 30 and August 11. Note: For 2017-2018, termination can be accommodated other than the end of the quarterly period by crediting a monthly rate.

To terminate coverage: Department administrators must complete a Benefits Action Form (BAF) and submit to Irene McKirgan. Center numbers will continue to be charged until a termination BAF is received.

Detailed information located at:


Annual Gallagher Rates: 2017-2018 *

Non-employee Trainee and Fellows Plan

Annual Rates

Trainee Only




One Child


Two or More Children


Spouse + Two or More Children




VUMC Postdoctoral Scholar Trainees

Plan Administrator: Garnett-Powers/Insurance Carrier: Aetna

Note: The information below is for 2016-2017 rates and plan features. The 2017-2018 information will be posted as it becomes available. 

Detailed information is located at: Garnett-Powers & Associates - The Vanderbilt University Postdoctoral Trainee Benefits Program.


Monthly Garnett-Powers Rates: 2016-2017

Coverage Type 

Benefits Package w/ Dental HMO

Benefits Package w/ Dental PPO

Postdoc only



Postdoc + Spouse



Postdoc + Child







All postdoctoral trainees enrolled in this benefits package are given the option of buying-up into the Aetna PPO 90/70 Health Insurance Plan for a small monthly premium. Many postdocs have asked if their grant/department will pay for the buy-up premiums, if the funds are available. Since the Graduate School cannot be invoiced for postdoc buy-up premiums, you must discuss this option with your respective department. If approved, each department will determine how they wish to handle payment. Please note: If Garnett-Powers does not receive payment for the buy-up premium by the scheduled due dates, the trainee's benefits will terminate and they will not be able to re-enroll until the next open enrollment period in the fall.  Reimbursement/payment of the postdoc premium on behalf of the trainee is to be negotiated between the department and the trainee .

Monthly Aetna Buy-Up PPO 90/70

Coverage Type 

Monthly Buy-Up Premium

Postdoc only


Postdoc + Spouse


Postdoc + Child




Optional Dental and Vision

Both VU & VUMC Postdoctoral Scholar Trainees have the option to enroll in vision and/or dental coverage. Two plans are available to choose from. Health insurance coverage is separate and independent of optional dental/vision coverage.

If a postdoctoral trainee chooses to participate in one of these plans, they are responsible for enrolling and making payments as necessary to the company they select.

For additional information, contact:


  • If you are currently enrolled in the Gallagher 2016-2017 dental plan, you do not need to enroll for 2017-2018.  Unless you stop paying the premium, coverage will continue.
  • Postdocs do not need to be enrolled in Gallagher's health insurance plan to be eligible to purchase voluntary dental & vision coverage.
  • Postdocs can enroll at any time for Gallagher's optional coverage.
  • The vision plan can only be purchased if a postdoc enrolls in Gallagher's dental plan.
  • For more information, click here


Life Insurance

Not eligible

Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)

Not eligible

Short-Term Disability

Not eligible

Long-Term Disability

Not eligible

Flexible Spending Accounts

Not eligible

Retirement Plan

Not eligible