Services and Benefits

Benefits Update: August 26, 2014


Long Term Disability and Life Insurance Information: Your program administrators will be sending you an email soon with information about what you need to know and do in regards to your new Long Term Disability and Life Insurance benefits. Please read their email carefully and return forms ASAP to John Kunz in Wyman Park, Suite 650.

For your convenience, the forms and relevant informational memos are located here as well:

Update: August 18, 2014

SHP ID Card Update: SHP will be shipping ID cards this week to your local address on record. Please contact Jerry Hicks, John Kunz or Christine Kavanagh if you need your ID number sooner than when your card arrives in the mail.

Benefits Memo to Current/Continuing Krieger and Whiting Postdoctoral Fellows

We are pleased to inform you that the university has successfully negotiated enhancements to your benefits package for the upcoming FY15. A multi-tiered communications plan is in place and will be rolled out over the next two-three weeks, so please stay tuned for emails specifically needing a response from you or divulging new information.

  1. Health Insurance: effective August 15, 2014, postdoctoral fellows will no longer be covered under Aetna, but by SHP (Student Health Plan), which is part of the EHP (Employer Health Plan) administered by Johns Hopkins. It is an adult and family-oriented plan. There is no cost for the postdoctoral fellow’s coverage; however, there are costs for adding a spouse/same-sex domestic partner/dependents.*
  2. Long Term Disability: has been added, postdoctoral fellows will be eligible upon completion of enrollment forms (stay tuned)
  3. Life Insurance: has been added, postdoctoral fellows will be eligible upon completion of enrollment forms (stay tuned)
  4. Dental Insurance and Short Term Disability benefits will remain the same.

An email was sent asking you to complete an SHP enrollment form by Monday, August 4, 2014. Please be sure to do so as soon as you can, as we want to ensure that every postdoctoral fellow experiences no coverage hiccups. Accompanying the form was a complete packet citing rates and a summary of benefits. The PDF packet can be accessed here as well.

Please note: while the cost for dependents under SHP is a marked increased over coverage in previous years with Aetna, SHP is an adult/family plan, and not a student-services based plan. As such, the increase and scope in benefits result in a higher premium. That said, it is appreciated that the cost increase may be no small inconvenience to postdoctoral families. To that end, and to better assist with this increase in dependent costs:

  1. Instead of having to make a single, upfront lump payment, payment has been arranged to be through semi-monthly payroll deductions. These are post-tax deductions.
  2. The HW-PDA is facilitating a peer email forum for sharing the viability of other health care insurance vendors for dependents;
  3. Postdoctoral Fellows can enroll themselves separately by August 4, 2014 and then take two weeks to consider options for their dependents before electing to file any dependent enrollments by August 15, 2014

Anyone with specific coverage concerns is encouraged to contact SHP/EHP directly at  EHP customer services: 410-424-4450.

Emails will follow detailing Life Insurance and Long Term Disability.

We appreciate your patience and flexibility as new processes are implemented. We are optimistic that these enhancements will serve the postdoctoral community better and in a more holistic way.

Health Insurance for Postdoctoral Fellows in Krieger and Whiting

All Krieger and Whiting Schools postdoctoral fellows are eligible to use the Student Health and Wellness Center on the Homewood Campus. In order to do so, postdoctoral fellows are required to maintain adequate health insurance coverage to provide protection against unexpected accidents and illnesses. To this end, postdoctoral fellows are eligible to receive individual coverage administered by SHP (The Student Health Plan), free of charge. If a postdoctoral fellow wishes to purchase additional coverage for family members, this must be done at his/her own expense, or with the financial assistance of their faculty advisor using non-sponsored sources. Domestic postdoctoral fellows may waive the University-sponsored plan. To do so, the postdoctoral fellow must provide evidence of an alternative or comparable policy. All international postdoctoral fellows are required to enroll in the University-sponsored plan to ensure sufficient local coverage.

Enrollment Process: Program administrator will send new postdoctoral fellows an enrollment packet to complete. Once complete, the postdoctoral fellow must submit to the KSAS/WSE Office of Human Resources (form has complete contact information).

Dental Insurance for Postdoctoral Fellows in Krieger and Whiting

All Krieger and Whiting Schools postdoctoral fellows are eligible for annual individual coverage in the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield dental insurance plan. There is no cost to the postdoctoral fellow for this insurance. Unfortunately this plan cannot be extended to spouses/same-sex domestic partners/dependents.

Enrollment Process: New postdoctoral fellows are automatically enrolled.

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP) for Postdoctoral Fellows in Krieger and Whiting

KSAS and WSE postdoctoral fellows are eligible for FASAP services, without charge, as a benefit of their appointments in the Krieger and Whiting Schools. FASAP provides suitable resources to assist fellows with the pressures and difficulties they may encounter over the course of their time at Johns Hopkins. It is our goal to assist individuals  through difficult times and to help them develop a plan to remedy concerns. Some common concerns are stress, anxiety, and depression, substance abuse, life transitions, relationships, productivity, and financial stress. FASAP has offices located at Eastern High School, East Baltimore, and Bayview. KSAS and WSE postdoctoral fellows are also eligible for select Worklife programs, also sponsored by Work, Life & Engagement. These include the Back-up Care and Child Care Referral Programs which assist fellows with emergency care needs and ongoing child care placements. FASAP and Worklife: 443-997-7000 or for assistance or to schedule an appointment.

Worklife programs also provide information about childcare services in the area.  Postdocs are welcome to make use of this service.

Enrollment Process: Postdoctoral fellows are automatically eligible as long as they have an active JHU JHED ID.

Services for Postdoctoral Fellows with Disabilities

Postdoctoral fellows with a disability who may need accommodations at Johns Hopkins University are urged to contact the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) and read this policy.

Short-Term Disability Insurance for Postdoctoral Fellows in Krieger and Whiting

Krieger and Whiting School postdoctoral fellows will be automatically enrolled for short-term disability insurance provided by The Hartford. To activate this benefit, postdocs should contact their local departmental administrator or appropriate HR representative immediately; and contact The Hartford at 800-303-9744. (

Enrollment Process: New postdoctoral fellows are automatically enrolled.

Access to O’Connor Athletic Center

Krieger and Whiting Schools postdoctoral fellows have full access to the O’Connor Recreation Center, free of charge. Postdoctoral fellows can gain entry to the Recreation Center by presenting their J-Card (Hopkins photo ID card) to the front desk. (Note: if the J-Card does not say “Postdoc”, it must be replaced and updated at the J-Card Office.)

Enrollment Process: Postdoctoral fellows are automatically eligible as long as they have an active JHU JHED ID; but must fill out a one-time form in order to activate their membership. The form can be done in-person at the Recreation Center Office during business hours.

Travel Insurance

Any postdoctoral fellow going to another country for Johns Hopkins University business purposes is automatically eligible for ISOS travel insurance and the Johns Hopkins Travel Registry.

Enrollment Process: Postdoctoral fellows are automatically eligible as long as they have an active JHU JHED ID.

Employment and Tax Information

Payroll for postdoctoral fellows is handled through the Student Employment Office. Federal regulations prohibit the Student Employment Office from entering non-US Citizens into the payroll system before a person’s physical arrival on campus. Due to the length of time necessary to process payroll, it can take a few weeks before payroll disbursement becomes normal.

Fellows must check in with their departmental administrators upon arrival to have their electronic I-9 (Employment Authorization) completed along with forms W4 and MW507  for submission to the Student Employment Office.  Anyone with a valid SSN may fill in Section 1 of the I-9 online and must go to SES with their documentation to have there I-9 approved within the first three days of employment.  Anyone who does not have a SSN must have an authorized University representative at SES complete the I-9 on their behalf.  Non-resident aliens need to complete the JHU Foreign National Information Form (FNIF) while US Permanent Residents are not required to complete the form. The FNIF is used by the JHU Tax Office to ensure that earnings are taxed appropriately and must be furnished to the JHU Tax Office upon arrival. A copy of the form also needs to be supplied to the departmental administrator for the purposes of making sure payroll is entered properly into the JHU payroll system.

Departments are responsible for submitting hours and pay rate information to Student Employment. Neither the department nor the Student Employment Office can answer any tax or tax withholding questions. Postdoctoral fellows are subject to specific tax filing guidelines by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and may also be subject to filing state taxes. As a guide through this process the IRS provides Publication 970, which spells out all tax obligations for students.

Career Services

The Career Center offers comprehensive confidential services to postdoctoral fellows. Services include: resume, CV, and cover letter critiques; assistance with interviewing, networking and searching for a job; career counseling for exploration of values, interests, and skills; workshops, employer information sessions, and a career resource library. Postdoctoral fellows have access to all of these services through J-Connect, the Career Center’s job-search database. J-Connect has information on upcoming career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and can schedule an appointment with a career counselor.

Office of International Students and Scholars (OISSS)

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services supports international students, scholars, postdoctoral fellows and faculty associated with the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University.  Through a variety of services and programs, OISSS staff members work to ensure that the legal, cultural, and other special needs of our international communities are met so that these individuals can achieve their academic and personal goals. Postdoctoral fellows are responsible for maintaining valid visa status while employed at Johns Hopkins University, and are encouraged to communicate and meet with OISSS representatives throughout their tenure to confirm compliance.

Campus Ministries

Johns Hopkins University Campus Ministries promotes and supports spiritual development, theological reflections, religious tolerance and social awareness among post-doctoral fellows, students, faculty and staff within the university community.

Campus Events

From movies to seminars to sports events to dance classes, there is always something going on at Homewood. Make sure you are on the list for Today’s Announcements and double check the calendar daily. Most activities are free and open to all.

Intramural Sports

Participants must be current Homewood and Peabody students, postdocs, faculty, staff, or Hopkins affiliate with a valid membership to the O’Connor Recreation Center and must show proper identification in order to participate. Participation may incur a fee/costs.

Spectator Sports

Johns Hopkins has over 20 competitive athletic men’s and women’s teams, ranging from fencing to lacrosse. Many games/matches are available and free to watch.  Postdoctoral fellows can visit the Hopkins Sports website for the game/match schedules and for contact information for tickets. In addition, Baltimore is home to the Orioles and Ravens.

University Publications

There are a number of University-wide and divisional-specific publications. Postdoctoral fellows can cisit the Johns Hopkins News Network website for a full listing of available publications.

Original: July 20, 2014

Updated: July 30, 2014