Skip to main content

Using Your Student Health Plan

You can use SHP at any in-network or out-of-network medical or mental health practice that accepts insurance in the United States. SHP contracts with Aetna Student Health’s provider network. To find out if a provider is in Aetna’s network, go to the Aetna Student Health Website and search by provider name, type or location. Seeing an in-network provider is a lower cost option than seeing an out-of-network provider.

SHP is a PPO plan and you do not need a referral to see a provider. Some services however do require prior authorization. Please consult the Certificate of Coverage to learn which services require prior authorization. *For an accommodation for this PDF, please contact

To find a pediatrician, or other provider of healthcare to children in SHP’s network, you can use Aetna's Provider Search tool. Cornell Health’s Students with Children webpage has additional resources and information.

Please review the Certificate of Coverage prior to receiving services for details on your benefits and cost share obligation.  Covered benefits covered may be subject to cost-sharing (deductible, co-payment, or co-insurance).

Aetna Member Resources

Download AetnaHealthSM from your device's app store for tools and resources to help you manage your benefits and save money. Through the Aetna HealthSM app you can:

  • Access plan information and claim Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements
  • Find providers
  • Track your health care spending has additional resources.

Finding Participating Providers

When seeking medical or mental health care anywhere in the United States, you will usually pay less out-of-pocket by seeing an Aetna participating (or "in-network") provider / facility.

Click here to access Aetna’s Directory of Health Care Professionals.

SHP also provides coverage for non-participating providers, usually with a $400 plan year deductible and then a 30% co-insurance. See our summary of benefits for more information.

Prescription Coverage

Instructions on getting your prescription ID card

When using a participating pharmacy, SHP members generally have a $12 copay for generic drugs, and a $40 to $60 copay for brand and specialty drugs.

Log in to your account through or the OptumRx app to learn more about your prescription coverage, drug pricing, and to find participating pharmacies.

Prescriptions Requiring Prior Authorization

  • Look up the name of your prescription drug in the OptumRX Formulary below.
  • If there is a PA (prior authorization), QL (quantity limit), or ST (step therapy) in the Notes column, consult with your prescribing provider about how that might affect your pharmacy prescription.
  • If there is an E (excluded) in the Notes column, that means the drug is not covered by OptumRX. Refer to the OptumRX Premium Formulary Exclusions document for preferred alternatives for excluded medications, and consult with your prescribing provider about changing your pharmacy prescription.
    *For an accommodation for this PDF, please contact

Questions about your prescription coverage?

Log in to and go to "Drug Pricing." You may also call OptumRx customer service at 1-866-868-1677.

OptumRX Formulary (Effective through 12/31/23)
OptumRX Premium Formulary Exclusions (Effective through 12/31/23)
OptumRX Preventive Care Medications (Effective through 12/31/23)

OptumRX Formulary (Effective 1/1/24)
OptumRX Premium Formulary Exclusions (Effective 1/1/24)
OptumRX Preventive Care Medications (Effective 1/1/24)

Pharmacy Benefits for COVID-19 (Effective 5/12/23)

*For an accommodation for this PDF, please contact

Gym Reimbursement

SHP offers limited reimbursement for gym membership. To make a claim for gym reimbursement, you must provide verified documentation of at least fifty visits in a six month period. Please see the Wellness Section of our Certificate of Coverage for more  information.

When you have the required documentation, you may log into the Aetna member site to make a claim.

Cornell’s Student Health Plan includes access to Aetna’s network of providers in the United States and abroad, as well as access to providers of telemedicine. For more information on how to use SHP at various locations and how to find providers, visit the links below.

Using SHP at Cornell Health in Ithaca

Using SHP During Study Abroad

Using SHP for Telemedicine Appointments

Using SHP while Studying In Absentia

Using SHP for COVID-19 Testing and Treatment