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Eligibility to Waive

Some students are eligible to waive coverage in SHP, while others are required to remain enrolled. See below for more information.

Domestic Students

(If you are a PhD student with funding which includes SHP, this does not apply to you. Please see PhD Student Waiver Eligibility below)

Domestic students, including students at both the Ithaca campus and NYC Tech, are eligible to waive SHP coverage if they have coverage which meets university requirements. Please see “how to waive” for more information. Waivers must be requested every academic year.

Special Notes:

  • Continuing regular academic year students electing to enroll in summer courses are not automatically enrolled in SHP as they already have active waivers on file or existing SHP enrollment.
  • Early start (PSP) students are enrolled in SHP at the beginning of their program and may complete a waiver request for the subsequent academic year which may be applied to their summer SHP enrollment. See the rates and dates page for special deadlines for these students.
  • Students enrolled in degree seeking programs that are not taking a full course load must also enroll in SHP or, if eligible, request a waiver.
  • Domestic students in the School of Continuing Education are not automatically enrolled in SHP unless they meet the 12 credit requirement for fall or spring term or 6 credit requirement for summer.

International Students

International students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) are automatically enrolled in SHP and are not eligible to waive this coverage.

Cornell’s Student Health Benefits Advisory Committee established this requirement to:

  • Ensure that international students have access to affordable health care anywhere in the United States.
  • Mitigate the effect of aggressive marketing from providers of inadequate insurance plans as well as the complexities and expense of health care in the US.

Exceptions may be granted to international students who are covered by a US-based, employer-sponsored, group health plan which also meets the requirements of coverage. Please contact studentbenefits@cornell.edu for details no later than June 30th for the upcoming academic year.

PhD Students

PhD students are generally automatically enrolled in SHP and not eligible to waive. Most PhD students receive funding to cover the cost of SHP enrollment as part of their overall compensation.

If your program does not provide funding for SHP and you have existing coverage that meets university requirements, and you wish to waive SHP, please contact studentbenefits@cornell.edu no later than June 30th of the upcoming academic year

Students In Absentia

In Absentia students are must still either enroll in SHP or maintain coverage which meets university requirements, and will be automatically enrolled in SHP unless they complete a waiver. In addition, you may be required to enroll in SHP due to the requirements of your program, funding status, or international status. Please contact our office if you require assistance processing your waiver application while In Absentia.

  • While students In Absentia are still required to maintain coverage provided by a US-based plan, this plan does not need to provide coverage on campus as long as it meets the requirements of coverage where the student is located.
  • International students (i.e.: students from outside the United States) who are also studying outside the United States are automatically enrolled in SHP and generally not eligible to waive. Exceptions may be granted for students who are studying in their home country and have existing coverage there—please contact studentbenefits@cornell.edu for more information.
  • Domestic students with In Absentia are subject to the same requirements as other study abroad students as described in the section below.

Executive Students

Students in executive MBA and MPA program designed for people who are concurrently employed are not automatically enrolled in SHP and therefore not required to waive coverage. If you are enrolled in an executive academic program and would like to elect SHP coverage, log in to Gallagher Student Health during the open-enrollment period.

Studying Abroad

  • Domestic students (i.e.: students from the United States) who are studying abroad are automatically enrolled in SHP, which provides excellent international coverage, or they may choose to waive if they have health insurance which meets Cornell’s requirements.
  • International students (i.e.: students from outside the United States) who are also studying outside the United States are automatically enrolled in SHP and generally not eligible to waive. Exceptions may be granted for students who are studying in their home country and have existing coverage there—please contact studentbenefits@cornell.edu for more information.