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SHP Plus

2023 - 2024 Enrollment Request Deadlines for SHP Plus
▪ Returning students: April 30, 2023
▪ New students: May 20, 2023

If you missed the above deadlines, contact our office at for additional enrollment opportunities.

Student Health Plan Plus

Cornell's Student Health Plan Plus (SHP Plus) provides health, dental, and vision coverage to Cornell students actively enrolled in NYS Medicaid.

Students enrolled in SHP Plus are enrolled in two plans simultaneously: a Cornell student health plan administered by Aetna Student Health, and Fee-for-Service (aka "regular") Medicaid provided by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

Plan highlights

  • Has no annual fee/premium for students (the premium is fully covered by New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
  • Has no cost-share (e.g., copays and coinsurance) resembling Medicaid (no charge for medical care, mental health care, and routine dental and vision care when seeing an Aetna-participating provider).
  • Provides coverage 24 hours a day, anywhere in the United States and worldwide.
  • SHP Plus members have the same access to the Aetna provider network as regular SHP members do, except there are no copays or cost-sharing charged.
  • Includes dental and vision benefits
    • SHP Plus covers emergency, preventive, and routine dental care, plus routine oral surgery, medically required orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics. The plan also covers routine vision care and examinations, and prescribed lenses and frames (with a $250 maximum allowance for frames). There is no copay when seeing a participating provider.
    • For Ithaca-area SHP Plus dental and vision providers, please contact our office at


You are eligible to participate in SHP Plus if you are:

  • A full-time registered Cornell University undergraduate, professional, or self-paying graduate student actively enrolled in Medicaid in New York State. 
  • If you believe you are eligible for NYS Medicaid or want to switch your out of state Medicaid plan to New York, you can determine eligibility and enroll through the NYS of Health at or by calling their help line at 855-355-5777.
  • Must be residing in New York State during the academic year.
    • If you are studying abroad, you may be eligible to maintain your SHP Plus enrollment.

If you have questions about enrollment in or eligibility for Medicaid, please contact us at

Dependents: SHP Plus is a student only plan. Dependents are not eligible to enroll in SHP Plus or regular SHP.


SHP Plus enrollment deadlines differ from SHP. For more information on enrolling in SHP Plus, send an email

You will be asked to complete a survey authorizing Student Health Benefits to access your personal identifying information (including name, date of birth, and social security number). This information will be sent to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) to verify your enrollment status in New York State Medicaid. In addition, you will need to provide proof of your active NYS Medicaid enrollment. (A copy of your NYS Benefits card or screen shot of active enrollment from your personal NYS of Health portal are perfect.)

If you are approved by NYSDOH, we will enroll you in SHP Plus. Enrolling in SHP Plus (administered by Aetna Student Health) will result in your disenrollment from your current Medicaid Managed Care plan. This may result in a change of in-network Medicaid providers.

Once enrolled, it will be your responsibility to maintain active NYS Medicaid enrollment.

If you lose NYS Medicaid eligibility, you will need to provide proof of enrollment in alternate health insurance coverage that meets Cornell’s requirements or you will be enrolled and billed for Cornell’s Student Health Plan (SHP).

SHP Plus students who take a leave of absence will no longer be eligible to maintain their SHP Plus coverage.

2022-2023 Plan documents

SHP Plus Summary of Benefits and Coverage (pdf) – 6-page chart explaining your SHP Plus benefits
SHP Plus Certificate of Coverage (pdf) - 130 page document with complete details about SHP Plus
*For an accommodation for this PDF, please contact

*Opt in to receive plan information by email rather than by mail (to be done annually).

Prescription coverage

OptumRx administers SHP Plus pharmacy benefits. There is no charge for generic and brand prescription medications when using a participating pharmacy (including the Cornell Health Pharmacy).

Refer to the information under "ID cards" above to create your OptumRx account, and get your ID card. Log in to your account through or the OptumRx app to learn more about your prescription coverage, drug pricing, and to find participating pharmacies.

OptumRX Formulary
OptumRX Premium Formulary Exclusions
OptumRX Preventive Care Medications
*For an accommodation for this PDF, please contact

SHP Plus shares many features with regular SHP. For more information on the following topics, visit the links below.

ID cards

COVID-19 testing/treatment

Finding participating providers

Using SHP Plus Abroad


1095-b Tax Form Filing