Benefits and Leave Policies

Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows are eligible for the same health and dental benefits as all other Weill Cornell Medical College employees.

Health Insurance

You may select between the following options for health insurance:

  1. Weill Cornell Preferred Provider option
    This is a combined fee-for-service and preferred provider organization arrangement for physician services. This plan is self-insured by the Medical College and claims are processed by Aetna Life Insurance Company. They can be contacted at 1-800-838-7391.
  2. United Healthcare Choice Plus - Managed Care Program
    This is an open access Managed Care Program. You do not need to see a Primary Care Physician to seek medical care. You can see any physician in the United Healthcare Network, including specialists without a referral. They can be contacted at 1-866-633-2446 referencing Group No. 704954.

Please refer to the Intranet site for medical plan comparison details.

Finding a Physician

If you do not already have a primary care physician, it is strongly recommended that you find a doctor before you get sick and schedule an appointment for a physical to build a relationship with a physician whom you can call if and when you become ill. Primary care physicians include: family medicine practitioners, internists, pediatricians, obstetricians, and gynecologists.

The best way to find a physician is to obtain a referral from a friend, your PI, someone in your lab, or your department administrator. Alternatively, you can access the Weill Cornell Physicians Organization referral service online, or by calling 1-877-CORNELL. You may also call one of the Weill Cornell Medical College primary care practices, identify yourself as an employee, and ask who is accepting new patients.

Dental Insurance

Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows are eligible for dental coverage on the first of the month coincident with, or following, their start date. The Dental Assistance Plan is self-insured by the Medical College and claims are paid by CIGNA Dental. Plan provisions can be found on the Intranet site, which you can access using your CWID and password.

Vision Benefit

Eye Med Vision Care is the provider of eye care services. Covered employees and their dependents utilize the wide network of providers for routine eye care and to purchase eyeglasses and/or contact lenses at a significant discount. Annual eye examinations are covered, as well as annual replacement of standard plastic lenses or contact lenses. Frames are covered once every 2 years. For additional information please refer to

Flexible Benefits Plan

The Flexible Benefits Plan enables you to convert a portion of your salary to non-taxable funds to pay for certain benefits-related expenses with pre-tax dollars. This reduces your tax bill by lowering your salary before tax withholdings are computed. You can create a flexible spending account to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses, such as deductibles, co-pays, contact lens, etc. and a separate account for childcare expenses. However, once you elect to put money into the account, it must be spent on unreimbursed health expenses during the calendar year or the money will be forfeited. If you are not a taxpayer there is no reason to participate in the plan.

Short-Term Disability and FMLA (Includes Maternity Leave)

Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows are entitled to 50% of their base salary for up to three months in case of illness or other disability, including pregnancy. Learn more about short-term disability and FMLA by accessing the Intranet site.

Vacation Policy

Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows receive 12 days of vacation a year, accrued at a rate of one day per month. Vacation should be taken before the end date of the appointment as vacation cannot extend salary payments beyond the term of the appointment.

Voluntary Tax Deferred Annuity Plan

This voluntary plan provides a means of tax deferred retirement investment. This serves to reduce your tax bill by lowering your salary before tax withholdings are computed. The institution does not contribute to the voluntary plans. For more information on the various funds available, visit the Intranet site.

Special Offers

To help you participate in the cultural life of the city, discounted tickets are available to Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows for the following:

Movies - Discounted movie tickets may be purchased from Charli in the Graduate School Office (Suite A131) from 4-5 pm daily. Tickets are limited to four per postdoc.

Broadway Shows - Periodically, you will receive emails listing on- and off-broadway shows for which discounted tickets are available. Broadway tickets are usually orchestra seats and are limited to two per postdoc. Please email Charli at if you are interested in purchasing tickets. Charli will submit your request to the ticket broker to determine if tickets are still available for the date and time requested. She will inform you via email if your request was granted and will notify you of when to pick up your tickets in A131.

New York Philharmonic/New York City Ballet - Tickets for the New York Philharmonic and New York City Ballet are also available periodically. You will be notified of their availability via email and should follow the same procedure as with Broadway tickets.

New York Metropolitan Opera - Occasionally, postdocs will be offered discount Metropolitan Opera tickets. These tickets are always group tickets in the Family Circle of the Metropolitan Opera and are limited to two per postdoc.

Asphalt Green Sports Center - Asphalt Green is a beautiful sports center at 91st and York, with wonderful fitness and swimming facilities. Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows may purchase discounted day passes for $5 from Charli. Up to four passes can be purchased every week and are valid for one year.

Also, visit the special offers section of the Intranet for information on additional discounts on recreation, shopping and entertainment.