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Unpaid Leave of Absence and Health Coverage Options

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Sec 3. Leave Policy: Unpaid & Paid Absences

The leave policy for Postdoctoral Scholars (postdocs) is in place to provide equitable leave and to meet individual requirements while complying with state and federal law. This is an excerpt from the full leave policy explained in the DoResearch Guide.

A. Unpaid Absences

 1. Personal Leave of Absence

  • If a personal leave is approved, the faculty sponsor may continue paying for the institutional cost of medical, dental, and vision insurance. Otherwise, the postdoc is responsible for the total cost of these insurance plans. The PI remains responsible for the disability premium during an approved, unpaid LOA. Departments and postdocs must make arrangements to pay health benefits with the Postdoc Benefits Office before the leave.
  • Postdocs on an approved unpaid leave of absence (LOA) may request to drop their medical, dental, and vision benefits for the duration of their leave under certain circumstances:
    • All postdocs may drop their dental and vision coverage for their unpaid LOA.
    • Postdocs who remain in California during their unpaid LOA must maintain medical insurance for the duration of their leave, and the insurance must meet California‚Äôs requirements. Proof of new insurance must be submitted to Postdoc Benefits within 30 days of the leave approval, or they will be reenrolled and charged the monthly premium.
    • Postdocs who remain in the US but outside of California during their unpaid LOA must maintain medical insurance per the requirements of the residing state. If the state has no requirements and the postdoc chooses to drop Stanford medical insurance and remain uninsured during their leave, they assume all financial liability for their medical services. 
    • Postdocs who leave the US during their unpaid LOA may opt to drop medical insurance and remain uninsured when outside the US. They assume all financial liability for medical services received during the leave.  
    • The postdoc is responsible for maintaining appropriate medical insurance per state (and/or visa) regulations during an unpaid LOA.
    • Postdocs can re-enroll in the medical, dental, and vision plans when they return from the unpaid LOA.