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.

  Please see STUDENT ENROLLMENT information below for ...


Student enrollment


Full-time academic-year students

Students enrolled in a full-time (non-distance learning) Cornell program must have health insurance that meets the university's requirements. To ensure that all students have insurance, students are automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP)  (Exception: Medicaid eligible students can enroll in SHP-Plus instead of SHP.)  

Automatic SHP enrollment takes place each July for the following academic year, and each December for students newly starting the following spring semester.

Annually, students must either confirm enrollment on SHP or waive.

  • Students needing to stay enrolled should confirm their enrollment through Gallagher Student Health.
  • Students who do not wish to stay enrolled must submit a waiver application annually to demonstrate that they have alternate insurance that meets Cornell's requirements (eligible students only). 

You will receive information from our office at the start of this process each year.


Part-time academic-year students

Students who are not studying full time may be eligible to enroll in SHP. Please login to Gallagher Student Health and confirm enrollment.

The open enrollment deadline is August 31 for fall students, and January 31 for new entering spring students. 


Academic-year 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, login to Gallagher Student Health and complete an online "Petition to Add" form.  


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.

Students going on a Leave of Absence 

Students enrolled in the 2020-2021 SHP plan year (August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021) who go on a LOA mid-plan year may retain their SHP coverage through the end of the plan year (through July 31, 2021). Students who go on a LOA between May–July, 2021 may extend their coverage for three months into the next plan year (August 1 – October 31, 2021).

Please visit our Leave of Absence page to learn how to extend your coverage. 

Graduating students

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). Learn more about insurance options for students after graduation.