Health Insurance Policy

Postdoctoral Fellows – Health Insurance Policy

(revised 01/05/2021)

Massachusetts law requires all state residents over the age of 18 to obtain health insurance. The policy is effective for any postdoc who joins the Harvard Chan School on or after October 1, 2013. As of this date, verification of adequate health insurance will be required as a part of the appointment process for new post-docs

All newly-appointed Harvard Chan School postdoctoral research fellows (postdocs) must have health insurance coverage that meets the Massachusetts minimum coverage (see Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC) Requirements). Postdocs who are not on the Harvard payroll and thus not eligible for Harvard University employee health insurance, must complete the Confirmation of Health Insurance Coverage Form to confirm their health insurance coverage before their appointment will be processed by the Office of Faculty Affairs.

The following are helpful links regarding benefits:

Health insurance plans that externally-funded postdocs may want to purchase include:

In general, if a postdoc’s health coverage is not provided by an employer or other funding source, the sponsoring faculty member should be responsible for reimbursing the postdoc up to $2500 per year for the purchase of health insurance. These reimbursements are considered income by the Internal Revenue Service, and may be taxable.

Payments given to nonresident aliens for U. S. tax purposes will have taxes withheld unless the individual qualifies for, and is granted, a tax treaty benefit that reduces or eliminates tax withholding. In the absence of a tax treaty benefit, the withholding rate depends on the type of visa held.  For F, J, M, and Q visas, the withholding rate is 14%; for all other visas, the withholding rate is 30%. Information on payments to foreign nationals can be found at