Benefits at MSK

Benefits at MSK


All paid, full-time graduate staff are eligible to participate in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) benefits program. You choose the benefits that best meet the needs of you and your family. The cost is shared between you and MSK. Most contributions toward your share of the benefits are paid with pretax dollars, which means they will be deducted from your pay before payroll taxes are applied.

Click here to learn more about benefits for Clinical Trainees, including:

  • Medical (includes prescription coverage)
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) — for healthcare and dependent care
  • Health Savings Account — if enrolled in the UnitedHealthcare Consumer Driven Health Plan (UHC CDHP)
  • Health Plan (UHC CDHP)
  • Life Insurance
  • Long-term Disability (LTD)
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Retirement Savings Plan (Note: You can contribute and invest. MSK does not make contributions to this plan.)
  • Wellness Programs

When do benefits take effect?

Once you make your benefits elections, your elected/waived medical coverage will take effect the 1st day of the month, coinciding with or following your first day of training, based on whether your training begins on the 1st of the month. (Example: If your first day of training is July 1, your benefits will be effective on July 1. If your first day of training is July 15, coverage will be effective August 1.)

If your first day of training is after the 1st of the month, you will be assigned temporary medical coverage for the duration of that month until your benefits choices take effect at the start of the next month. If you are reporting for orientation prior to your first day of training and wish to arrange interim medical coverage, you may contact the HR Resource Center.

When do you make your benefits elections?

You must enroll in or actively waive benefits within 31 days from your first day of training. You will learn how to enroll during orientation. You can’t make your elections before your training start date, but you can visit the MSK Benefits page to explore your options.

Who is eligible for coverage?

In addition to covering yourself, you can choose to cover your eligible dependents under your medical, dental, vision, and AD&D coverage. Eligible dependents include:

  • Your spouse (opposite- or same-sex)
  • Your domestic partner (opposite- or same-sex)
  • Your children (including your domestic partner’s children), until the end of the calendar year in which they reach age 26

Work/Life & Recognition

MSK’s Work/Life & Recognition Department can connect you with resources to help you balance your career with life’s hurdles as you care for yourself and your children, parents, partners, and even pets. Here’s a sample of what we have to offer:

  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Childcare and eldercare
  • Adoption assistance
  • New York City school finder
  • Staff Appreciation Week
  • Employee discounts

Time-Off Policies and Procedures


House staff are provided a minimum of 1 week (5 business days) of vacation/paid time off annually. Additional paid time off is set by each Training Program Director, consistent with institutional policies. Trainees should contact their departmental GME Coordinator for specific details regarding program vacation/paid-time-off guidelines, including instructions on how to request and schedule vacation time.

Sick Leave (Including Pregnancy and Childbirth)

Sick leave is provided when an employee becomes ill or is injured and, as a result, is unable to work. House staff are provided 56 hours of sick and/or safe time per calendar year under the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA). If this leave causes a trainee’s time in a program to fall short of the program requirements, the Program Director may respond as outlined under Satisfactory Completion of Training Program Requirements.

Short-Term Disability

When an extended illness or injury causes absence from work for more than 7 consecutive days, MSK’s short-term disability plan provides for the continuation of regular salary for up to 26 weeks. In order to receive continued pay, leaves must be reviewed and approved by MetLife, MSK’s disability administrator. The short-term disability benefit is 100% of pay for 13 weeks, followed by 85% of pay for an additional 13 weeks. As per the Notification Procedure, trainees must coordinate a leave through their Program Director and MetLife (this includes absences related to pregnancy).

Salary continuance lasts for up to 26 weeks during a 52-week rolling-back period and may not be taken intermittently or in increments of less than 1 workweek, except in cases where MetLife and your department have approved you for an eligible reduced work schedule.

Staff remaining in housing will be required to maintain rent payments. In situations of documented disability, short-term disability will be maintained for a maximum of 26 weeks or until the conclusion of your appointment, whichever is less.

Short-term disability runs concurrently with other types of leave that you may be eligible for, including the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Short-term disability does not cover leave time taken to bond with a newborn (following the disability period) or newly placed adopted or foster child.

MSK’s GME Paid Parental and Caregiver Leave for Full-Time House Staff

Benefits-eligible full-time house staff receive up to 6 weeks of fully paid leave for the following covered events:

  • Birth, plus care and bonding with a newborn child
  • Care and bonding with an adopted or foster child
  • Care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition

The 6 weeks of caregiver leave for a relative includes the 56 hours of ESSTA time mentioned above. ESSTA time runs concurrently with time away for a caregiver leave of absence.


LifeCare is a comprehensive information and referral service that offers personalized information and confidential referrals on a wide range of work/life issues. For example, LifeCare may:

  • Prescreen and locate care providers, daycare centers, nursery schools, and educational resources.
  • Provide referrals for moving companies, mortgage brokers, Realtors, storage facilities, childcare, and home services.
  • Create a relocation report filled with information about the areas you’re considering, including demographics, income levels, schools, and crime statistics.

MSK Employee Wellness Program

You are our greatest asset, and we care about your well-being. At MSK, you’ll have access to a wide variety of wellness opportunities, most of which are offered at no cost to you. Your family is also eligible for some portions of the program. Learn more about MSK’s Employee Wellness Program.

For questions, please contact the HR Resource Center at (646) 677-7411 or [email protected].