Waive Your SHP Enrollment

Insurance requirements & COVID-19 distance learning 

Cornell's current insurance requirements and waiver process are based on the assumption that students will be attending in-person classes in Fall 2020. If distance learning extends into the fall semester, these requirements will change slightly (see details).

Annual waiver process

Automatic SHP enrollment: Each year, students enrolled in a full-time 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.

Fall 2020 dates & deadlines

  • Continuing students may submit a waiver application now through July 31.
  • New students may submit a waiver application between June 30 and July 31.

Before submitting a waiver application ...

  1. Confirm that your health insurance meets Cornell's requirements (non-New York state-based HMOs not accepted)

  2. Understand that waiver applications are NOT accepted from:
    • International students, who are required to maintain their SHP enrollment (with a few exceptions)
    • Fully funded graduate students, who have SHP provided as a benefit of their program
    • Student Health Plan Plus (SHP+) enrollees, who do not need to waive SHP

  3. Make sure your plan compares well with the Student Health Plan (SHP) and provides the coverage you want and need (TIP: Compare your plan's Summary of Benefits and Coverage with SHP's Summary of Benefits and Coverage) ​​​​​​

  4. 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 most visits)

Submit a waiver application

Cornell's waiver application process is maintained through Gallagher Student Health*.

Log in to Gallagher's website using your Cornell NetID and password, then click on the yellow "WAIVE" button to submit your waiver application. The deadline to submit a waiver application is July 31.

>> Log in here to submit your waiver application

  • 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.)

If you have questions about the waiver process or application, you may contact Gallagher Student Health 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 fall-semester SHP premium in mid-July. Students starting in January are billed for the spring-semester SHP premium 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!