Cornell requires all students to have quality health insurance (see Cornell Requirements). The following information explains how these requirements apply to students on Cornell's Ithaca campus.
Automatic Student Health Plan (SHP) enrollment
Each year, full-time registered students are automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) to ensure that they have health insurance that meets the university's requirements.
Automatic SHP enrollment takes place each June for the following academic year, and each December for students starting in the spring.
- Students who are eligible for and enroll in Cornell's Student Health Plan – Medicaid (SHP-M) are exempt from the annual SHP enrollment process.
- Summer students and Continuing Education students have different requirements.
- Part-time students (those taking fewer than 12 credits) and non-degree full-time students are exempt from the annual SHP enrollment / waiver process (please contact us with any questions).
SHP is a platinum-level plan designed with input from Cornell students to support your health care needs at Cornell Health, in the Ithaca area, and anywhere else in the United States and abroad. Learn more about SHP's benefits.
Eligible students who have alternate health insurance that meets Cornell's requirements may apply to waive their SHP enrollment. For academic-year students, the waiver application period begins in June and ends on July 31. For spring entrants, the application period begins in December and ends on December 31.
Students must submit a SHP waiver application annually to demonstrate that their insurance meets the university's requirements. Learn more about waiving SHP.
- International students are required to maintain their SHP enrollment (with a few exceptions).
- Fully funded graduate students have SHP provided as a benefit of their program, and do not need to waive.
Student Health Fee
Ithaca students whose SHP waiver applications are approved pay a Student Health Fee. The health fee gives students the same pre-paid access to care at Cornell Health as SHP members have (most visits / services have a $10 visit copay), and helps support public health initiatives on campus.
Additional coverage (optional)
- SHP-M: Some students may be eligible for Cornell's Student Health Plan – Medicaid (SHP-M). (Students who enroll in SHP-M are exempt from the annual SHP enrollment / waiver process, and do not pay the Ithaca Student Health Fee.)
- Dental & vision coverage: Students may also choose to enroll in Cornell's Dental Plan and / or Vision Plan, whether or not they enroll in SHP. (Note: SHP-M enrollment includes dental and vision coverage.)
- Enrolling dependents: Students with partners or families can enroll dependents in SHP, or in Cornell's Dental Plan and / or Vision Plan (students must be enrolled in the respective plan before enrolling spouses, domestic partners, or children).