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SHP Plus

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 world.
  • Includes coverage in the national network with any Aetna participating provider.
  • 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.


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

  • A full-time 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.
  • A New York State resident.
  • Enrolled in (or eligible for) Medicaid in New York State (If you have questions about enrollment in or eligibility for Medicaid, please contact us at 607-255-5467 or

International students: In rare cases, international students may be eligible for NYS Medicaid, but are strongly advised to consult with Global Cornell before applying.

Dependents: Student dependents (spouses, partners, children) are not eligible to enroll in SHP Plus.


SHP Plus has different enrollment deadlines than SHP.  For more information on enrolling in SHP Plus, send an email or call 607-255-5467 to request information.

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) in order 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).

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