Skip to main content

Dependent Enrollment

Dependent Enrollment

Dependent enrollment in SHP is optional and must be renewed on an annual basis during the open enrollment period. To enroll a dependent in SHP, the student must already be enrolled in SHP. For open enrollment deadlines, and to see rates for dependent coverage, please refer to our Rates and Dates page.

Dependent Eligibility

Dependents that may be eligible for enrollment in SHP are:

  • Lawful Spouse/Domestic Partners
    • Domestic students – Documentation in the form of a domestic partner certificate, civil union certificate, or marriage license must be provided.
    • International students – A copy of the dependent’s visa showing arrival date in the US and either a marriage license or a form documenting household register must be provided.
  • Unmarried children of the student including biological children, stepchildren, and foster children up to age 29, who are not self-supporting, and who reside with you or for whom you are court-ordered to provide insurance. A birth certificate will be required.

How to Enroll Dependents

Enrollment in Cornell's student insurance plans is maintained through Gallagher Student Health. To enroll dependents, log in to Gallagher's website:

Log in here to enroll dependents

Once logged in, click "Enroll" and you will see an option for dependent enrollment.

To ensure your dependent enrollment is processed, you will need to upload supporting documentation (examples: birth certificate, marriage license, etc.) as proof of the dependent relationship. After completing the enrollment through Gallagher Student Health, you will also receive an email from SHP to pay for your dependent coverage. If no payment is made within 30 days, the dependent coverage will be voided and any claims incurred will be billed to you.

Enrollment of dependents must occur during the open enrollment period unless the dependent has experienced a “qualifying life event” such as:

  • Birth
  • Reaching the age limit of another health insurance plan
  • Loss of health insurance through a marriage or divorce
  • Involuntary loss of coverage from another health insurance plan

Dependent coverage cannot be bursar billed. Beginning with the 2023-24 academic year, we will invoice for dependent coverage on a semester basis. Payment for dependent coverage must be made via debit or credit card. SHP does not accept checks. Dependent enrollment requests during the fall open enrollment period or the fall semester will result in two invoices, one for fall and one for spring. Requests made during the spring open enrollment period (for new students beginning in the spring term only) and the spring semester will result in one invoice. Charges for coverage beginning late due to qualifying life events will be pro-rated to the month in which they are effective. Dependent coverage established during the open enrollment period must have the same start date as the student coverage.

If you are experiencing issues with receiving email communications from Gallagher Student Health, log in to Gallagher Student Health and check the My Messages section on the dashboard. All email communications from Gallagher Student Health are available in this section.

Other Insurance Options

While SHP is one choice of coverage for dependents, there are other comparable options for dependent coverage through the New York State health insurance exchange. For example, Child Health Plus, a New York State program for children, and the Essential Plan offers coverage with low monthly premiums for those who qualify. Note: International students should consult the Office of Global Learning's Public Charge page before enrolling dependents in State health programs.

Student Health Benefits staff members can help you review your options so you can select the insurance coverage that is best for you and your family. Please contact us.

You may also contact the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County for information about private insurance options in the Ithaca area.