health care coverage for postdocs &c. in the usa

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health care coverage for postdocs &c. in the usa

Post by Guest » November 17 2007

[Taking time out from the job search and paper-finishing mode here. Moderators should feel free to delete this post if they consider it too off-topic. I kind of just want to vent.]

Sorry to get all socialist on you folks for a moment, but I've just discovered that my institution (KICP at University of Chicago) has changed its healthcare plans for postdocs. The change has been for the worse.

What it essentially means is that we are switched from "PPO" to an "HMO", which means that unless we see doctors that are part of the company's "network" we are no longer covered for medical care. If you or your spouse or kids are seeing a doctor for ongoing treatment who's not in the network, you will not be covered.

Medical care in the US is a wretched thing, and we as academics are generally very lucky. It is expensive to provide us care, and that money has to come from somewhere.

Even if you don't expect to need medical care for many years – and I hope you don't – I just wanted to encourage you to ask future employers up front about the nature of their medical coverage, and to take it into consideration when questions of salaries come up. You may never need it, but by choosing an institution that provides well, you are promoting the security of not only yourself, but also your colleagues.

As far as I can see, that's really the only way for us to apply pressure to institutions to maintain our standards of care. (I guess I'm a bourgeois capitalist after all.)

Simon

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Re: health care coverage for postdocs &c. in the usa

Post by Guest » November 18 2007

I take this as indication that CosmoCoffee might benefit from having a "career, social & other misc. issues" forum.

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