Students Going on a Leave of Absence

Student Health Plan (SHP) members who go on an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) during the academic year have the option to maintain, cancel, or extend their insurance coverage, depending on the date of their LOA. Student Health Plan Plus (SHP+) members may purchase SHP insurance during their LOA.

All students going on Leave of Absence are eligible to cancel their SHP coverage without a cancellation fee. A University approved Leave of Absence can be a personal or health leave of absence

Your SHP coverage will not automatically be canceled or refunded when on leave of absence. To cancel, you must submit a termination request through Gallagher Student Health. Termination requests will be reviewed and if approved, coverage will end the last day of the month in which the request is submitted. If applicable, you will receive a prorated refund.

SHP will review registration status for students enrolled in SHP and periodically send notifications regarding eligibility to cancel SHP due to a change in eligibility. You are eligible to cancel for leave of absence prior to receiving a communication from SHP provided you can provide documentation for your University approved leave of absence.

Special considerations while on Leave of Absence

  • It is your responsibility to review and understand Cornell resources available to you while on LOA. See: During a Health Leave of Absence | Cornell Health

  • SHP Plus may not be maintained while on leave of absence. SHP Plus members are eligible to purchase SHP while on LOA. Go to Gallagher Student Health and complete a PTA.

  • Your coverage will only remain in effect for the months of payment received.

  • You are eligible to cancel your coverage by submitting a termination request through Gallagher Student Health.

    • You may submit a termination request on or after SHP's knowledge of the leave date.  For leave effective dates processed in the same plan year, the leave date is defined as the latter of the leave of absence effective date or the date on which the leave of absence is processed by the University Registrar.  Please see Policy 7.3:  Processing and Reporting Changes in Student Enrollment Status Under Title IV.  The leave of absence effective date and processing date must be within the same plan year.

    • Coverage will end on the last day of the month in which the termination request is submitted.

    • Pro-rated premium refunds will be issued for termination requests submitted by April 30.

  • SHP is not allowed to bursar bill students on leave of absence.

    • It is your responsibility to check your bursar bill for any SHP charges.
    • SHP charges on your bursar bill after your leave of absence effective date means you were still a registered student at the time of billing. Please see below eligibility actions according to your leave date.

    • SHP will ONLY refund spring bursar charges in full for leave of absences received and processed by the University Registrar prior to the start date of the spring term.

Options for SHP members taking a LOA

(see options for SHP+ members, below)

As a student on leave, you are eligible to maintain your SHP coverage. Please refer to the below options associated with your leave date.  These options are for students are initiating a leave of absence and who have been engaged in academic studies.  These options do not apply to leave renewals.

Students who take a LOA between August 1 & August 31 may choose to:

  • Maintain your SHP coverage through the end of the fall semester (through 1/31) [default if you do not take action]
  • Maintain your SHP coverage through the end of the plan year (through 6/30/22) by completing the requested information in this continuation form. SHP will then invoice you for the amount due. If you do not pay the coverage invoice within 30 days, your coverage will end on January 31.
  • Cancel your coverage without a cancellation fee by submitting a termination request through Gallagher Student Health. Indicate LOA as the reason.
    • Continuing students who begin a leave of absence between August 1 and 31 will be responsible for the August premium even if the plan is canceled due to the submission of a termination request.
    • New students that never began their studies at Cornell will not be responsible for the August premium.
  • Your leave of absence effective date must be between August 1 and August 31.  For leave of absences processed by the University registrar in August with an effective date prior to August 1, please see the options in the section for leave of absence dates between April 1 and the end of the plan year.

Students who take a LOA between September 1 & December 31 may choose to:

  • Maintain your SHP coverage through the end of the fall semester through (1/31) [default if you do not take action]
  • Maintain your SHP coverage through the end of the plan year (through 6/30/22) by completing the requested information in this continuation form. SHP will then invoice you for the amount due. If you do not pay the coverage invoice for spring coverage within 30 days, your coverage will end on January 31.
  • Cancel your coverage without a cancellation fee by submitting a termination request through Gallagher Student Health. Indicate LOA as the reason.

Students who take a LOA between January 1 and March 31 may choose to:

  • Maintain your coverage through the end of the plan year (6/30/22) if you have been bursar billed for spring. [default if you do not take action]
    • Reminder: Pay your bursar bill to prevent your account from being transferred to collections.  There is a collection fee of $200, plus a $25 service charge in addition to finance charges of 1.25% per month on the unpaid balance.
  • If you have not been bursar billed for spring, you may maintain your SHP coverage through the end of the plan year (through 6/30/22) by completing the requested information in this continuation form. SHP will then invoice you for the amount due. If you do not pay the coverage invoice within 30 days, your coverage will end on January 31.
  • Cancel your coverage without a cancellation fee by submitting a termination request through Gallagher Student Health. Indicate LOA as the reason.

Students who take a LOA between April 1 and July 31 may choose to: 

  • Maintain your SHP coverage through the end of the plan year (for plan year 20-21 this is 7/31/21) [default if you do not take action]
  • Cancel your coverage without a cancellation fee by submitting a termination request through Gallagher Student Health.
    • No premium refund will be issued for cancellations after April 1. See Cancellation policy.
  • Purchase an extension of SHP coverage for three months into the next plan year (through 10/31).
  • You are not eligible for enrollment in SHP for the upcoming academic year.
  • Note:  if the leave of absence effective date is prior to August 1st and the leave is processed August 1st or later, the effective date will be used to determine eligibility for the extension.

How to cancel your SHP coverage

To request a cancellation of your SHP coverage due to leave of absence, please submit a “Termination of Coverage” application through Gallagher Student Health, the manager of Cornell's SHP enrollment process.

  1. Log in to Gallagher Student Health using your Cornell NetID and password.
  2. In "Account Details" under "Plan Summary," click the "Terminate Coverage" link.
  3. Complete the termination form, choosing your appropriate termination reason.
    • Indicate leave of absence as the reason.
    • Submit the form.

If you elect to cancel your plan, your coverage will end on the last day of the month you submit your cancellation request. Once the cancellation is processed, SHP members will receive a prorated refund of the SHP premium.

Options for SHP+ members taking a LOA

To be eligible for SHP+, students must be enrolled as a full-time Cornell student (see more about SHP+ eligibility). SHP+ members who take a LOA will have their SHP+ coverage discontinued after 30 days (coverage will end on the last day of the month during which the 30th day falls). 

To maintain their Cornell health insurance, SHP+ members may choose to purchase SHP coverage during their LOA. Please complete the requested information in this continuation form to maintain your SHP coverage. SHP will invoice you for the amount due. If you do not pay the coverage invoice within 30 days, you will not have SHP coverage after your SHP+ coverage ends.