Benefits for Faculty Positions

With the exception of government mandated benefits that apply to all faculty and are outlined at the end of this brochure, all other benefits summarized below are provided to full-time faculty only at Barnard College.

Health Care

The complete Barnard health care program for faculty has four components: Medical Services, Drugs, Dental, and Flexible Spending.  Health care benefits begin on the first day of the month following 30 days of employment.

Medical Services:

The Cigna Open Access Plus Plan provides medical benefits with the flexibility of using either network or non-network providers.

In most cases, the Open Access Plus Plan provides 100% coverage less a modest co-payment for some services such as prescriptions and office visits.  Since care under this option is provided by Cigna's extensive network of doctors, there are no deductibles nor are there any claim forms.  This is called “in-network.”

On the other hand, the Open Access Plus Plan can function as traditional indemnity insurance, allowing the participants to use doctors of their own choosing with reimbursement subject to the usual controls such as annual deductibles and reasonable and customary limitations.  The claimant must complete claim forms.  This is called “out-of-network.”

In addition, employees may choose between three Cigna plan options, all of which allow in-network and out-of-network coverage.  Plan A is offered to employees at a modest cost.  Plan B requires a larger employee contribution, but it has a lower deductible and out-of-pocket maximum for out-of-network providers.  Plan C is a High Deductible Health Plan which is available with a Health Savings Account partially funded by Barnard.  Plan C has the lowest employee contribution.  Dependents may be carried on all plans with an employee contribution.

Cigna insures both same sex and opposite sex domestic partners.  Employees interested in this coverage should contact Human Resources at (212) 854-2551.


On the Cigna Plan A and Plan B Prescription Program, the employee pays $15 for generic,  $25 for brand drugs and $50 for preferred brand drugs at participating pharmacies.  Under the Plan C Prespription Program, the employee pays $10 for generic, $25 for brand name drugs, and $50 for preferred brand drugs at participating pharmacies.  A mail order program is available for maintenance drugs under all medical plan options.


Aetna Freedom of Choice (FOC) Dental Maintenance Organization, is available at a cost of $23.50 per month for individual, $44.52 per month for individual plus one and $71.43 per month for family coverage.  The plan allows employees to switch monthly from the DMO to the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).

Flexible Spending:

The Barnard College Flexible Spending Account enables full-time, participating employees to pay for their unreimbursed health and/or dependent care expenses with pre-tax income.  The health and dependent care plans are administered by Allegiance, a division of CIGNA.  Employees can contact customer services with any questions regarding covered expenses at 1-877-424-3570.


An annual eye exam can help manage your overall health and wellbeing. It can spot the early signs of serious health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, so you can be treated sooner, rather than later. EyeMed makes it easy for you to visit one of their participating doctors in their network for your annual eye exam. You will also have access to the top six national retail chains as in-network options, including LensCrafters, Sears Optical, Target Optical, JC Penny Optical, and most Pearle Vision locations. EyeMed provides an annual eye exam at no cost and an allowance for frames or contacts once every 12 months. Coverage for non-network services are limited.

Employee Assistance Program

We are pleased to announce our new Employee Assistance Program through Humana (formerly known as "Harris Rotherberg International, Inc."). We encourage your participation in this program and take advantage of the available resources provided. This program is available to you at no cost.  You may contact Humana at 800-448-4358 or at


Additional Considerations:

Adjustment of Coverage - Subsequent to initial enrollment, additions to, or adjustments in coverage may occur only during open enrollment periods (usually the first calendar month of the year) or if there has been a life status change such as marriage, birth of a child, or loss of a spouse’s job.  Dependents may be dropped from coverage at any time.

Termination of Coverage - Termination provisions for unmarried dependent children, students and non-students age 26 and above vary under the several plans (medical/drug, dental and flexible spending) that make up the complete health care program.  Specific information is available in the individual plan documents. Finally, for faculty whose employment is terminating, coverage ends on the last day of the month in which their final working day falls.

COBRA and Conversion Privileges - Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, faculty who terminate employment under conditions other than gross misconduct may elect to remain in the group medical plans, at their expense, for 18 months from their termination date, or 29 months if termination is due to disability under certain conditions.  The faculty member must notify ADP COBRA Services, 1-800-526-2720 or of such election within 60 days of termination and must make insurance payments retroactive to the first date of COBRA coverage within a period ending forty-five days after such election.  Subsequent payments must be made monthly.  In addition, eligible dependents covered by the plans may remain in the group for a period of up to 36 months if continuation coverage is due to the death of the faculty member, divorce or legal separation, or loss of eligibility due to reaching maximum plan age or becoming entitled to and applying for Medicare.

Disability Insurance

Long Term Disability Insurance:

Long Term Disability coverage is provided by CIGNA.  This coverage is available after one year of service.  However, this waiting period will be waived upon certification of coverage under a group long term total disability plan with the faculty member’s prior employer if coverage was in effect within 30 days of the Barnard date of hire.

After a waiting period of 180 days, the policy will pay 60% of the disabled faculty member’s salary up to a maximum of $5,000 per month for the period of total disability.  These payments will be reduced by any benefits payable from Social Security and/or Workers Compensation.  Benefits continue up to age 65 if the disability commences prior to age 60.  If the disability commences after age 60, the period will depend on complex provisions the details of which are available from the Office of Human Resources.

In addition, CIGNA will make appropriate contributions to the faculty member’s Basic Retirement Annuity (see below) during the period of total disability.

Life Insurance

Faculty members are covered by a CIGNA group term life policy that includes an Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) rider.  The face amount of the faculty member’s coverage equals two times their annual base salary rounded up to the next highest thousand dollars.  The most important feature of the AD&D rider is that it provides the beneficiary (ies) double the face amount of the policy if the covered faculty member dies as a result of an accident.

Additional Considerations:

Inception - The life insurance benefit begins on the first day of the month following completion of one full month of employment.

Beneficiaries - Faculty members designate the beneficiary (ies) and may change that designation at any time.

Seniors - For active faculty over age 65, the amount of life insurance will be reduced in compliance with current plan provisions.  The plan provides for additional reductions after age 70.

Retirement Plans

Barnard College provides two retirement plans: the Basic Retirement Annuity Plan and the Supplemental Retirement Annuity Plan.  Both of these plans may be administered by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF) or Fidelity Investments.

Basic Retirement Annuity:

Eligibility - Contributions to the Basic Retirement Annuity plan are made by Barnard. All eligible faculty at the rank of Assistant Professor or above begin participation immediately.  Those eligible faculty below the rank of Assistant Professor will begin participation on the January 1st or July 1st following their two-year anniversary date.  However, faculty with two years of full-time service at an institution of higher education during the 24 month period directly preceding their date of employment as a full-time faculty member at the College may begin participation in the plan immediately.  Faculty are requested to notify the Human Resources Department if this exception applies.

Contributions - Effective February 1, 2019, for faculty below the rank of Full Professor, the College contributes 7% of gross annual salary (faculty hired through searches beginning on or before January 31, 2019, may receive 9%).  For Full Professors, the College contributes 10% of gross annual salary (faculty hired through searches beginning on or before January 31, 2019, may receive 12%).

Supplemental Retirement Annuity:

Full-time faculty may also elect to put additional money away in a tax-deferred annuity.  These contributions are made pre-tax and require that the faculty member execute an authorizing Salary Reduction Agreement, which is available from the Human Resources Department.  Faculty members can elect to contribute any amount up to an allowable maximum set by regulation and calculated by TIAA-CREF in each specific case.  There is no waiting period.  The plan includes a loan provision.  Details are available from the Office of Human Resources.

Tuition Assistance

Eligible dependent children of full-time faculty may receive full undergraduate tuition to Barnard or Columbia for a maximum of eight semesters within six years.  In addition, for schools other than Barnard or Columbia, Barnard pays an amount equal to 25% of its own tuition, or up to 100% of the other institution’s tuition, whichever is less, for dependent children of full time faculty hired after December 31, 1983.  Children of deceased, full-time faculty and faculty who retire from the College may also be eligible.  Eligibility is for Fall and Spring semesters only.  Further information is available through the Office of Human Resources.


 Refer to the Faculty Handbook for information about other types of leave.

Commutation Benefit Program

The College offers employees the opportunity to use pre-tax dollars to pay certain commuting costs.   Employees who join the program can exclude up to $255 per month pre-tax for the purchase of Metrocards and transit passes.  For those who drive or car-pool, the program can be applied to the lesser of the actual authorized parking costs or $255 per month.  Complete details on the commutation program are available from the ADP website or 1-800-654-6695.

Mandated Benefits

There are four mandated programs available to all Barnard faculty and employees.  These are:

Family and Medical Leave:

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires that eligible employees be given up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave during any 12 month period for the birth and first-year care of a child; the adoption or foster placement of a child; the serious medical condition of the employee’s spouse, child, or parent; or the employee’s own serious medical condition.  Both the employer and the employee have certain rights under the act.  The Human Resources Department can be contacted for further information.

Social Security:

Social Security is a federal program of retirement, disability, survivor and health related benefits covering most staff.  Contributions to Social Security are shared by the College and the employee.

Worker’s Compensation: 

Income protection, medical benefits and survivor benefits are provided for job related illnesses and injuries.  This mandated coverage is provided to the college by CHUBB and is independent of the health care coverage provided by Cigna.  For this reason, among others, any job related injury or illness must be reported immediately to the responsible supervisor, department chair or director and to the Human Resources Department.

Unemployment Insurance:

Staff and faculty who become unemployed through no fault of their own and are able and available to work, but unsuccessful in finding employment, may be eligible to receive a weekly benefit.

Voluntary Benefits:

Barnard offers faculty and staff several voluntary benefits packages.  Further information is available from Human Resources.

Backup Care:  Through Bright Horizons, the College offers discounted Backup Child and Elder Care services for those times when an employee would otherwise miss work to care for a loved one.  The program is designed to provide up to 20 visits annually either in a childcare center (Copays: $15/child or $25 for 2 or more children) or in a private residence ($8 per hour) when regular care for a child or dependent adult is unavailable on a temporary basis. Employees can visit the website at or call 877-BH-CARES (877-242-2737) or 800-557-0847 for more information.

MetPay: Offers discounted insurance rates for auto and home through Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.  Call 1-800-GET-MET8 for further information and a no-obligation quote.

Chase Banking:  Chase checking and savings with no balance required, fee waived banking, when you set up direct deposit.  Benefits include debit card, on-line banking, credit cards, access to mortgage and home equity loans and other banking services.

Health Club Membership: Faculty and staff can secure discounted health club memberships through GlobalFit Corporate Fitness.

New Employees are urged to review and understand their first pay stubs to assure themselves that their elections of benefits have been correctly recorded.  Questions may be referred to Human Resources Department.

More comprehensive information is available on all these matters through the Human Resources Department.  In the event of any discrepancy between this web site and the underlying plan documents, the underlying documents shall govern.  The College may modify benefits at any time without prior notice.

Healthcare While Traveling

Domestic Travel (including Canada, Mexico and U.S. Possessions)


If you are traveling domestically or are in a temporary domestic residence, medical services for medical emergencies and urgent care will be covered as an in-network benefit. Cigna requires notification within 24 hours of an emergency hospital admission. All urgent care requires pre-certification.   

Routine Medical Care

If you are traveling domestically or are in a temporary domestic residence and decide to seek non-emergency medical care, any covered services will be processed in-network if you use a Cigna physician.  If you use a physician not affiliated with either network, the charges will be processed as an out-of-network benefit up to the Usual, Customary and Reasonable Charges, subject to coinsurance and deductibles.

Please note:  Cigna policies and procedures, including precertification for some procedures, remain in effect, so you should continue to seek appropriate referrals and precertification as necessary when using a Cigna physician.  If you obtain care without appropriate referrals for a Cigna in-network service, any covered services will be processed under your out-of-network benefit up to the Usual, Customary and Reasonable Charges, subject to coinsurance and deductibles.  If you want to use a Cigna physician, a referral is not required but precertification for certain procedures is still required.  If you have questions about referrals and precertification, please phone the Cigna customer service number on the reverse side of your membership card.

International travel (except for Canada, Mexico and U.S. Possessions)


If you are traveling or in a temporary residence abroad, medical services for medical emergencies and urgent care will be covered as an in-network benefit.  Cigna requires at least 24 hours notification after an emergency hospital admission.  All urgent care requires pre-certification.   Please refer to the Urgent and Emergency Care While Traveling brochure for details. 

Routine Medical Care

Cigna is not licensed to insure for routine, non-emergency medical care abroad.  You will not be reimbursed for the costs of any routine care that you incur while abroad.  If you are planning to live and work abroad on a grant or sabbatical leave, please be aware that health coverage through Cigna is limited to emergency care.  You may wish to explore well in advance of your trip whether routine healthcare is available through institutional or governmental plans in the host country.  In addition, Barnard now offers Gateway Premier international medical coverage; information is available in Human Resources.  Anyone wishing to explore this option should make an appointment with HR no less than one month before leaving the U.S.

Prescriptions are not covered by your insurance while you are traveling or living abroad.  To assure that you have adequate quantities of any medication before you travel, phone Cigna's Customer Service at 800-244-6224 (available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week, except Thanksgiving and Christmas) and request a “vacation override renewal.”  You will then need to pick up this prescription at your local pharmacy before your trip.

Lastly, anyone traveling abroad for the College should complete an application for evacuation insurance with C.M.I., which provides coverage for evacuation services should you need to return to the U.S. for a medical emergency.  Applications should be completed no later than 3 weeks in advance of leaving the U.S.


Should you have any questions about medical services while traveling or in a temporary residence, we suggest you phone Cigna directly at the 800 number on the back of your insurance card.   If you are traveling or in residence abroad, please refer to the Urgent and Emergency Care While Traveling brochure for details.  You may also, of course, phone Human Resources at 4-2551.

Emergency International Insurance

The College now maintains a policy with WorldNet International Insurance to provide certain kinds of protection to both faculty and administrators pursuing international educational activities.   This insurance can provide for emergency medical evacuation and other kinds of emergency assistance.   A web link explaining the benefits is provided below.   If you anticipate being out of the United States for international study or work please contact Human Resources at extension 4-2551 with the date of your departure and which country you will be traveling.

It is important to note: This is not medical insurance.   Emergency medical care while traveling is covered under the Cigna medical plan.

If you have enrolled in WorldNet International coverage and need to activate it while traveling, the contact information follows:

For medical evacuation, repatriation or other assistance services call Worldwide Assistance at 1-800-368-7878 (inside the U.S. or Canada) or call direct or collect to 202-659-7815 (from outside the U.S.) or email

When you call, please be prepared with the following information:

1) name of caller, phone #, fax# and relationship to insured;

2) insured's name, age, sex and the policy number for your insurance plan, which is GLMN00175341

3) a description of the insured's condition;

4) name, location and telephone of the hospital or other service provider; and

5) other insurance information including health insurance, worker's compensation, or auto insurance, if the insured was involved in an accident.

(REV. 07/01/16)