Healthcare and Insurance

University Health Services (UHS) and University Mental Health (UMH) at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine provide reduced cost healthcare. The insurance plan postdocs are provided is called the Student Health Program (SHP). A summary of student benefits can be found on the JHUSOM website

Student Health Program (SHP)

SHP is a comprehenisve health insurance plan that Johns Hopkins provides for postdoctoral fellows…even though it says “student”.

SHP is administered by EHP (888-400-0091), or the “Employer Health Program,” and managed by the registrar's office. For enrollment and eligibility questions contact the benefit's desk at 410-614-3301 or

All full-time postdoctoral fellows in the SOM, their spouses and dependent children must be covered by health insurance. Fellows may waive coverage for their spouses and children if they are covered by an alternative plan which meets the minimum standards established by the SOM; you must submit a waiver form which can be found on the student insurance page under “SHP Waiver Form” to the Registrar’s Office.

Postdoctoral fellows must enroll in SHP at the registrar's office within 30 days of starting at Hopkins.

Changes in enrollment can be made during the open enrollment period or as a result of a qualified “life event” provided an application is made within 30 days of the qualifying life event.

Note: Breast pumps and contraceptives are covered at 100% for the student plan, beginning July 1, 2013, as a result of the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

The basics of your health insurance

1. INDIVIDUAL premiums for ALL JHUSOM postdoctoral fellows are paid by their preceptor at $283/month.

The cost for a spouse/partner or one child is $414/month; the cost for family coverage is $648/month and are to be paid by the JHUSOM postdoctoral fellow unless the department, or preceptor, is willing to cover the health insurance cost for a spouse and/or dependent children.

JHUSOM Departments willing to cover 
the health insurance cost for a spouse and/or dependent children are found HERE (Link coming soon).

2. $100 deductible per year (July 1 - June 30) for an individual and $300 per year for a family. This is the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance starts. (Out of pocket means..paid by you)

3. $3000 out of pocket maximum per year, “worst case scenario number,” for an individual and $9000 per year for a family.
4. SHP covers 70-100% of most medical needs after you satisfy the annual deductible. A summary of most of the benefits and services available under SHP are listed on the student insurance page under "Medical Benefits at a Glance." A list of services that are NOT covered can be found on the same website under “SHP Summary Plan Description” starting on page 32.

5. You are covered worldwide and can see a physician of your choice. You can self-refer to specialists within the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.

6. You will pay less if you see an in network provider ( Example: A primary care office visit is covered at 80% if you see an in network provider but is only covered at 70% if you see an out of network provider.

7. If you are getting blood drawn use the 550 Phlebotomy lab (550 N. Broadway, Room 112) to save some $

8. Emergency room care: an emergency exists if immediate treatment is needed as a result of a sudden or serious illness or injury; a delay in treatment could jeopardize the patient’s life, health, or ability to regain maximum bodily function.

In an emergency medical situation, you should go to the nearest medical facility with an emergency room for immediate care.

If you receive care in an emergency room for a condition that is not a true emergency the visit will NOT be covered by the SHP unless you have been referred to the ER by your physician. Please ask your physician’s office to document the referral by contacting EHP within 72 hours. If in doubt about an ER visit call the UHS physician on-call (410-955-4331) BEFORE you go to the ER to ensure the visit will be covered.

For a detailed summary of your health benefits, you can access the student insurance benefits page, and download the "Summary of Benefits for Fellows and Students" booklet or you can get a hard copy from the registrar's office. 

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, searches for alternative insurance coverage for a spouse and/or dependent children should begin with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange or Enrollment in the health benefit exchange program begins October 1, 2013 with insurance coverage beginning January 1, 2014. 

Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance is provided to all full time postdocs, you are automatically enrolled, and is administered by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Detailed plan information is available online through the SOM registrar's website.

To find a provider, go to

This coverage is for the postdoc only and is NOT available to the spouse/domestic partner or dependent children.

Vision Benefits

Postdoctoral fellows are allowed one FREE eye exam/contact lens evaluation per plan year at the Wilmer Institute Comprehensive eye service.

Please NOTE you may only use the Wilmer Institute Comprehensive eye service for this.
Make an appointment at one of the following locations:

Johns Hopkins Hospital (410-955-5080)
Greenspring station (410-583-2800)
Columbia (410-910-2330)
White Marsh (443-442-2020)
Bel Air (410-399-8443)
Bethesda (240-482-1100)
Identify yourself as a postdoctoral fellow when making the appointment.

The Wilmer Institute Comprehensive Eye Service also provides the following discounts: 
25% off the regular retail price for all prescription eyeware frames, lenses, and lens treatments. 
10% off all non-prescription sunglasses. 
5% off a minimum purchase of 4 boxes of disposable or planned replacement contact lenses.

Bills for routine eye exams/contact lens evaluations, and an explanation of benefits, should be forwared to the UHS Benefits office (Blalock 144) for prompt payment by that office.

Prescription Coverage/Benefits

Participants in the SHP are covered by Caremark Prescription Services. SHP in-network pharmacies are available online at under “Find a Pharmacy.”

We have a 3 tier co-pay prescription plan (There is NO deductible for pharmacy benefits).

Tier 1: Generic Drugs ($10/30 day supply)
Tier 2: Preferred Brand Drugs ($20/30 day supply)
Tier 3: Non-Preferred Brand Drugs ($35/30 day supply)
Some specialty medications are NOT covered

If you feel comfortable with a generic, never hesitate to ask your physician for a generic drug. Often the pharmacy can also provide information on the differences in these drugs.

The Monument Street Pharmacy offers a $5 discount per visit if you show your SOM ID.

University Health Services (UHS)

UHS is the on campus clinic for students AND postdocs. UHS provides adult primary care medical services, includingmedical checkups, the evaluation and treatment of most acute and/or chronic medical conditions, annual exams and age-appropriate immunizations. UHS does NOT provide the Hep B vaccine (which is only provided by Occupational & Environmental Health) or travel immunizations. These basic services are FREE for all postdocs; however, you will be billed for laboratory work (ie. Blood tests).

More information can be found here:

Individuals enrolled full-time in the SOM are required to enroll in UHS. The $450 annual fee is paid by your preceptor.

Dependent children are not eligible for UHS services, but spouses/same-sex domestic partners who are covered by SHP may also use UHS.

UHS does not accept walk in appointments, but generally schedules appointments very quickly.

Current Hours are Monday-Friday 8am-5pm with evening hours on Tuesday and Thursday.

Call for appointments 410-955-3250

UHS is located at its new location: 933 N. Wolfe Street, JHMI campus, East Baltimore.

If you have an urgent health care problem after UHS is closed call the UHS physician on-call: 410-955-4331 or go to Patient First ( which accepts EHP/SHP.

University Mental Health (UMH)

UMH is part of UHS and is responsible for providing psychiatric and psychological assistance to both students AND postdocs. For clarification, psychologists are trained to provide mental health therapy through counseling and psychotherapy, while psychiatrists have a medical degree and can pair counseling with a drug based therapy.

If you feel that you need help for a mental health condition, the services at UMH are available to you as long as you are a full time SOM post-doctoral fellow. Spouses/domestic partners enrolled in SHP can also use UMH.
The UMH program psychiatrists are full or part-time faculty members in the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry providing outpatient treatment.
Based on the recommended treatment plan, you will be seen as many times as is medically necessary to be treated for your condition.

Appointment wait times vary but may take up to 2 weeks.

All Services are FREE and Confidential

Call for appointments or emergencies 410-955-1892

UMH is located at 401 N. Caroline St.

Faculty And Staff Assistance Program (FASAP)

For faster access to a psychologist, help with work related conflicts, or an acute problem, contact FASAP; a counseling service available to all SOM postdoctoral fellows and their immediate family members.

FASAP provides FREE and Confidential mental health services.

FASAP services include identification, assessment and diagnosis of personal, family, school, and work-related problems, brief problem resolution and consultation, preventive and educational sessions, support and discussion groups, referrals to appropriate and accessible services and resources.

Call for an appointment 443-287-7000

Use the 24 hour emergency number to call the psychiatric resident on call 410-955-5964

FASAP is located at 550 N. Broadway, suite 507.

Comparing Postdoctoral Fellow Insurance Plans at the TOP research medical schools

The following links guide you to the cost of Health Insurance Premiums for postdoctoral fellows at the BEST research medical schools in the country:

Note: Schools with * belong to the 13 Consortium Medical Schools

10) University of Washington (unavailable)
    Benefits require 100% University contribution on behalf of ALL postdoctoral scholars (employees, fellows and paid-directs)
25) Mayo Clinic Medical School (unavailable)

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