2020-2021 SHP+ Plan Information

COVID-19 testing/treatment

SHP+ provides coverage for plan members who require testing and/or treatment for COVID-19. See details on our Health Plans page.

SHP+ overview & enrollment

Cornell's Student Health Plan Plus (SHP+) is administered by Aetna Student Health, with oversight from Cornell's Student Health Benefits office. 

Visit our main Student Health Plan Plus page for a general overview of SHP+'s benefits, and to learn about eligibility and enrollment.

    2020-2021 Plan documents

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

    ID cards

    You should carry your ID cards with you at all times. ID cards are not automatically mailed to you. You must take action to get your ID cards. 

    • Download and print your Aetna ID – Select Cornell University as your school. As an alternative to printing your card, you can also download the AetnaHealthSM app to view your ID card on your mobile device after you have logged in.
    • Download and print your OptumRx pharmacy ID card – After you download your Aetna ID card, create an account on OptumRx's website or mobile app to access your pharmacy card (you will need the W+ ID number from your Aetna card to do so). Please see the OtpumRX welcome letter for more detail.

    Coverage dates

    • Annual: August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021
    • Spring semester only: January 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021 (available only to new spring admits)

    No annual costs

    SHP+ has no annual fee / premium for members. The premium is fully covered by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)

    Members also have no copay or coinsurance when seeing a participating provider for care. (See below).

    Finding participating providers 

    Plan members have no copay when seeing an Aetna participating (or "in-network") provider / facility for medical and mental health care, routine dental and vision care, and prescription medications. This includes care at Cornell Health on Cornell's Ithaca campus. (Note that referrals are not required for specialty care.)

    Dental and vision coverage

    SHP+ 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 $200 maximum allowance for frames). There is no copay when seeing a participating provider.

    Prescription coverage

    New for 2020-2021: SHP is now partnering with OptumRx for 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 OptumRx.com or the OptumRx app to learn more about your prescription coverage, drug pricing, and to find participating pharmacies. 

    About the switch to OptumRx:

    As of August 1, 2020, SHP began partnering with OptumRx for pharmacy benefits. Cornell’s Student Health Benefits Advisory Committee recommended the change during the 2019-2020 academic year due to Aetna’s rapidly increasing prescription rates. Moving to OptumRx for prescription coverage enabled Cornell to avoid an additional 8% increase in the SHP premium this year. 
    Because of the switch to OptumRX, there may be changes to your prescription medication coverage. To check for coverage changes:

    • Look up the name of your prescription drug in the OptumRX Formulary
    • 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. 

    See additional instructions here (pdf).

    Questions about your coverage changes?

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

    Gym reimbursement

    SHP+ membership includes a gym reimbursement for up to $100 per six-month period; with up to an additional $100 per six-month period for a spouse of partner. Students are responsible for showing proof of membership and proof of attendance, and submitting a claim form to Aetna to receive the benefit.

    Using SHP+ abroad

    SHP+ provides medical coverage and travel assistance services for you when you are outside of the United States. All benefits are available to you at the participating provider care level. Learn more at Using SHP+ Abroad.

    Aetna member resources

    Register with Aetna Navigator, Aetna's secure member's portal, for tools and resources to help you manage your benefits and save money. By logging into Aetna Navigator, you can:

    • Access plan information and claim Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements
    • Estimate the cost of common health care services and procedures 
    • Research the price of a drug and learn if there are alternatives
    • Take advantage of discount programs and services including: Aetna's Smoking Cessation Program; the Beginning Right Maternity Program; vision services; health and exercise programs and equipment; chiropractic visits; nutrition services; and more

    Your tax 1095-B tax filing form

    In compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s Individual Shared Responsibility provision, all individuals covered under the Cornell Student Health Plan are required by law to furnish a taxpayer identification number to Cornell, either as a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN). 

    We use the taxpayer identification number when we submit completed 1095-B forms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on behalf of all individuals who were enrolled in a Cornell Student Health Plan (SHP or SHP+) during that year. This reporting requirement verifies that plan members had insurance that provides minimum essential coverage. (The ACA requires that everyone have minimum essential coverage, or qualify for an exemption, or you may be required to make a payment on your federal income tax return.)

    Providing your SSN / ITIN to the university

    Please make sure that the University Registrar has your SSN or ITIN on record: Log in to your Student Center account to check that your SSN/ITIN number is listed correctly.

    If you have not yet provided the Registrar with your SSN / ITIN, please do so by December 31 using one of the following methods:

    • In person - Visit the Office of the University Registrar, located at B7 Day Hall, and bring a copy of your original social security card or taxpayer/ITIN letter and two forms of identification.
    • By fax - Fax a copy of your original social security card to 607-255-6262. Include your full name, 7-digit Cornell ID number, dates of attendance at Cornell, email address, and phone number where we may reach you.

    If you do not have an SSN or ITIN, please refer to this website for assistance.

    International students: We understand that international students and their families who are not receiving fellowship payments or wages will not be eligible to apply for a ITIN or SSN, and therefore will not be able to supply this tax identification number to the university. If this is your situation, you may ignore this information.

    Requesting your 1095-B form from Student Health Benefits

    1095-B forms are not automatically mailed to students as they are not required for filing your federal tax return.

    However, if you would like a copy of your 1095-B form for your state tax return or your own records, you may request a copy from Student Health Benefits. Please visit our Your 1095-B Form webpage for instructions.