Waive Your SHP Enrollment


Automatic SHP enrollment: Each year, students enrolled in a full-time (non-distance learning) Cornell program are automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) as part of university policy requiring all students to have quality health insurance. (Exception: Some students may be eligible for SHP+)

Waiving SHP: Eligible students who have alternate health insurance that meets Cornell's requirements may apply to waive their SHP enrollment. Students who retain their own insurance must submit a waiver application annually.

Waiver applications are NOT accepted from ...

Before submitting a waiver application ...

  1. Confirm that your health insurance meets Cornell's requirements (non-New York state-based HMOs not accepted)
  2. Make sure your plan compares well with the Student Health Plan (SHP) and provides the coverage you want and need:
  3. Ithaca students: Understand that if your waiver is approved, you will pay a Student Health Fee (gives you the same pre-paid access to care at Cornell Health as SHP members have, with a $10 copay for appointments)

Submitting a waiver application

The SPRING 2020 DEADLINE to submit a waiver application is December 31, 2019.

A $100 late fee will be charged for waiver applications received after the deadline. Waiver applications will not be accepted after January 31, 2020.

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  • First-time applicants: You will be asked to provide information to demonstrate that your plan meets Cornell's requirements.
  • Returning applicants: If your plan information hasn't changed, just confirm that your plan is the same. 

You will be informed whether your waiver application is approved. If your application is not approved, you must stay enrolled in SHP, and will be responsible for paying the premium. (See "Appealing your waiver denial" below if you believe your application was denied erroneously.)

Cornell's waiver application process is maintained through Gallagher Student Health. If you have questions about the waiver process or application, you may contact them 24/7 at (844-691-4005). You may also contact us at 607-255-6363 or studentbenefits@cornell.edu during office hours.

Premium refund if you waive after you're billed

Fall students are billed for the SHP premium in mid-July. Students starting in January are billed in mid-December. If you waive SHP after you are billed, the premium will be refunded to your Bursar account

NOTE: If you use any of your SHP benefits before your waiver application is approved, we will not be able to give you a premium refund for the months your plan was in use. 

In-progress waiver / appeal applications

If your waiver or appeal application is still being processed or is listed as "pending," you are technically still enrolled in SHP. Be sure to review the most recent information you've received about your waiver status, and take any action requested. If your waiver is approved, the premium will be refunded to your Bursar account within 5-7 business days.

Appealing your waiver denial

If you believe your plan meets Cornell's requirements and your waiver application was denied in error, please email us so we can send you an appeal form.


Please contact Student Health Benefits at 607-255-6363 or studentbenefits@cornell.edu. We're here to help!