Enroll in SHP

Visit Student Health Plan to learn about SHP and its benefits to those studying in Ithaca, New York City, and anywhere in the United States or abroad.

Student enrollment

Academic-year students: full-time

Students enrolled in a full-time (non-distance learning) Cornell program are automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) each year to ensure that they have health insurance that meets the university's requirements. (Exception: Some students are eligible for SHP-Medicaid instead of SHP.)  

Automatic SHP enrollment takes place each June for the following academic year, and each December for students starting the following spring semester. You will receive information from our office at the start of this process each year.

Academic-year students: part-time

Students who are not studying full time may be eligible to enroll in SHP. Please contact our office to learn more, and to access the enrollment application. The open enrollment deadline is September 30 for fall students, and February 28 for new entering spring students. 

Students who wish to enroll mid-year

Students who initially waived SHP may enroll in the plan mid-year ("petition to add coverage") if they experience a qualifying event. Qualifying events include:

  • Reaching the age limit of another health insurance plan
  • Loss of health insurance through a marriage or divorce
  • Involuntary loss of coverage from another health insurance plan

(A qualifying event does not include seeking enrollment to gain access to a benefit that was exhausted under their current private insurance plan.) 

If you have experienced a qualifying event and would like to enroll in SHP, log in to the Gallagher Student Health website [Cornell University student login] [Cornell Tech student login] and complete a "Petition to Add" form, found in the "Student Plan Information" section. Please submit the form directly to Gallagher.

Summer students

Domestic students taking credits during the summer months are not automatically enrolled in SHP. International students who are not already enrolled will be enrolled automatically. Please see Cornell's health insurance requirements for summer students. After reviewing the requirements, refer to Summer SHP Enrollment if you wish to purchase SHP for the duration of your summer program.

Enrolling dependents

Students who enroll in SHP may also enroll ...

    Lawful spouse/domestic partners:

  • Domestic students – the relationship must be documented by a domestic partner certificate, civil union certificate, or marriage license
  • International students – the relationship must be documented by a copy of the dependent's visa (showing arrival date into the United States) and either a marriage license or a form documenting household register

    Unmarried children:

  • Includes biological children, stepchildren, and foster children up to age 29, who are not self-supporting, and who reside with you (or for whom you are court-ordered to provide insurance)
  • A birth certificate for each child must be provided

How to enroll dependents

Enrollment in Cornell's student insurance plans is maintained through Gallagher Student Health. To enroll dependents, log in to Gallagher's website: 

Then click on "Dependent Enroll" under "Student Access" in the left-hand menu bar. 

    Enrollment deadlines: 

  • For students enrolling in the fall semester: September 30
  • For students entering Cornell for the spring semester: February 28
  • Late registrants: within 30 days of registration 

If you have a dependent who experiences a significant life change that directly affects their insurance coverage (such as a loss of coverage from a prior plan, marriage, divorce, or reasons beyond a person’s control), the deadline to enroll in SHP is 31 days after the significant life-changing event.  

Other insurance options for dependents

While SHP is an excellent choice for many dependents, there are some other options for dependent coverage through the state health insurance exchange. For example, Child Health Plus, a New York State program for children, offers coverage with low monthly premiums for those who qualify. Note: International students should consult with Global Cornell before enrolling children in Child Health Plus. 

Student Health Benefits staff members can help you review your options and select the best coverage to fit your family's needs. We invite you to call us as 607-255-6363, email us, or visit us at Cornell Health, Level 4. 

You may also contact the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County for information about private insurance options in the Ithaca area.