Insurance After Graduation

Cornell’s Student Health Plan (SHP) and Student Health Plan Plus (SHP+) are only available to enrolled Cornell students (and, for SHP members, and their eligible dependents. The SHP/SHP+ plan year is August 1 to July 31.

  • If you graduate from Cornell at the end of the spring semester, your SHP/SHP+ coverage will end July 31. 
  • If you graduate from Cornell at the end of the fall semester, your SHP/SHP+ coverage will end January 31.

SHP members: Beginning during the 2020-2021 plan year, graduating students may extend their SHP coverage for three months into the next plan year (August 1 – October 31). Please email us to learn how to extend your coverage.

Insurance options for graduating students

For graduating students, it is important to have health insurance that covers you wherever you will be living. 

Some students may be starting employment or entering another academic program through which health insurance is provided. Additionally, U.S. students under the age of 26 would be eligible for coverage under a parent's insurance plan, as loss of SHP/SHP+ coverage is a qualifying life event allowing you to enroll in health insurance outside of the yearly open enrollment period.

Graduating students for whom these options are not available should visit your state’s health exchange website to purchase insurance. To purchase health insurance on the exchange, graduates will need to provide proof of residency (e.g. a local address, prior year tax information, and social security number). 

Important: Health insurance purchased through the exchange CANNOT be secured in advanced of the SHP/SHP+ plan end date. To purchase insurance via the exchange prior to July 31, you will need to cancel your SHP coverage (SHP+ members: please email us to cancel your coverage). 

All plans on the exchange have tax credit eligibility depending on the applicant’s income. Some income thresholds will make the applicant eligible for a Medicaid or an Essential plan. Both of these plan types have the lowest cost-shares associated with the plan in recognition of the limited access to disposable income.

New York State residents: 

If you plan to live in New York State after graduation, please note that New York State does not allow the purchase of short-term insurance plans on the exchange. (A short-term plan is a health plan for a limited number of months.) 

If you are seeing insurance through, you will need to enroll in a full-year plan. 

If you gain employment after enrolling in a full-year plan, typically you will be eligible to enroll in the company’s group insurance policy and can cancel the health exchange plan. Alternatively, you may choose to retain your purchased plan and not opt into your employer group plan.


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