Health Insurance Policy
All students who are enrolled in a degree or certificate seeking program at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) are required to have applicable health insurance coverage. International students must take the WCM provided coverage and are not permitted to waive. Domestic students can have coverage through the WCM provided plan or enrollment in an equivalent plan. At the start of each academic year, all applicable students are automatically enrolled and charged for the WCM Student Health Insurance plan.
For rates, please see the individual program Tuition and Fees pages.
Reimbursement for at home COVID-19 tests
Over the counter at home test kits purchased after January 15, 2022 may be eligible for reimbursement through OptumRx.
This benefit is only available through OptumRx. For more information on what tests are eligible for reimbursement, visit OptumRx.
Group: PURCSHP, Bin: 610011, PCN: IRX, MemberID: (This is your Aetna W ID number)
Domestic Student Waiver Information
WCM defines a domestic student as one of the following:
- U.S. citizen
- Naturalized U.S. citizen
- Permanent resident
- Refugees or asylees.
All domestic students with equivalent health insurance coverage through a non-WCM plan will have an opportunity to waive up until the waiver deadline of June 30th each academic year. If you are a new student, you must waive by the end of the month before your start date! Students will receive details regarding the waiver period in May of each year via their WCM email accounts.
If you have comparable coverage and your waiver is approved, the charge on the student’s account will be automatically removed within ten business days of the waiver approval date.
- To see if your plan is comparable, please use the Plan Comparison Checklist.
For more information regarding the waiver process and the requirements please view the Frequently Asked Questions in Gallagher Student Health.
If you have comparable coverage and you meet the eligibility requirement but missed the waiver deadline, you will still be able to cancel your insurance plan with WCM. However, please understand in addition to the applicable monthly premium(s) you will be responsible for a $110 cancelation fee which will be applied to the student account when the health insurance charges are removed.
International Student Waiver Information
International Students are non-U.S. citizens that are in attendance on the following visas:
and/or are listed in our student information system with a citizenship status of:
- Nonresident Alien
International students are not allowed to waive the WCM provided coverage and will be enrolled automatically. If you have questions or concerns about this process, please contact Student Accounting at email@example.com.
- 2021 - 2022 SHP Certificate of Coverage (pdf) – 129-page document with complete details about SHP
- 2021 - 2022 SHP Summary of Benefits and Coverage - chart explaining your SHP benefits
- OptumRX Prescription Coverage Access (website) - Create a login to access benefit information
- Preventive Care Medications (pdf) - OptumRx
- Your 2022 Formulary (pdf) - OptumRx
- 2021 - 2022 Premium Formulary Exclusions (pdf) - OptumRx
- 2022-2023 SHP Certificate of Coverage (pdf) – 128-page document with complete details about SHP
Information for Individuals with Active Coverage
Cornell's Student Health Plan (SHP) is administered by Aetna Student Health, with oversight from Cornell's Student Health Benefits office.
Your Student Health Plan information will be available on Aetna starting July 1.
Through the portal you can:
- Access your Member ID Cards
- Locate a provider
- View the available benefits
- Submit/view claims
To access Gallagher to waiver or enroll, click here.
- Annual: July 1 – June 30
The annual rate for coverage is $7,320. For details on the applicable charges on your
Copays & coverage
Your coverage is applicable at the Student Health Services.
Typical copays at participating ("in-network") providers:
- $25 for routine medical visits (tests and procedures will cost more)
- $50 for urgent care visits (tests and procedures will cost more)
- $10 for mental health visits
Emergency care (any provider):
- $100 copay for emergency room visits
- No copay for medically necessary ambulance transports
Refer to your 6-page SHP Summary of Benefits and Coverage for coverage details for other services, procedures, and tests.
Or, log in to the Aetna Member website for cost estimates for common procedures, diagnostic tests, and office visits. Please be sure to understand your deductible, and other cost share obligations prior to receiving services.
Finding participating providers
When seeking medical or mental health care anywhere in the United States, you will get the best coverage by seeing an Aetna participating (or "in-network") provider / facility. (See copays above.)
Visit Find Participating Providers for details and instructions.
SHP also provides coverage for non-participating providers, usually with a $400 plan year deductible and then a 30% co-insurance.
Download and print your ID card by creating an account on OptumRx's website or mobile app. You need to obtain your Aetna card to get your member ID prior to creating your account with OptumRx. Cards are not automatically mailed to you, so you must take action to get your card. Remember to carry your card with you at all times.
Using SHP While Abroad
All registered travelers on Cornell-related international travel are fully covered - at no cost to the traveler - under Cornell's accident, sickness, and emergency care insurance plan. Please visit the Office of International Affairs website for details.
SHP provides medical coverage and travel assistance services for you when you are outside of the United States. All benefits are available to you at the participating provider care level.
During Personal of Recreational Travel Outside the US
Students traveling outside of the United States should secure their own travel assistance plan to use for urgent and emergent medical and mental health needs; to find a doctor or health care facility; or for assistance with medical evacuations or guarantees of payment applicable to their travel location. Some travel assistance plans may offer primary coverage. Gallagher Student Health provides some options for travel assistance plans.
Supplementary SHP Coverage Abroad
In most cases, you will have to pay for care in full at the time the service is provided, and then submit a claim for reimbursement. Be sure to receive an itemized bill and a receipt, including the date of service, diagnosis, and the dollar amount for the visit. You may then submit a claim for reimbursement to Aetna Student Health. Your Aetna Policy # can be found on your insurance card.
For benefits covered by SHP, your cost-share will be at the In-Network provider rate (see your Summary of Benefits and Coverage and Certificate of Coverage for details). Prior authorizations are not needed to receive health care outside of the U.S. *For an accommodation for this PDF, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aetna will reimburse you for charges for covered benefits according to the participating provider care benefit level, minus any applicable co-payments, and will mail you a check directly.
To contact the Aetna Student Health Claims Administrators when you are outside of the United States, please call 617-218-8400 (collect calls are accepted).
Aetna member resources
Register with Aetna Navigator, Aetna's secure member's portal, for tools and resources to help you manage your benefits and save money. By logging into Aetna Navigator, you can:
- Access plan information and claim Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements
- Estimate the cost of common health care services and procedures
- Research the price of a drug and learn if there are alternatives
- Take advantage of discount programs and services including: Aetna's Smoking Cessation Program; the Beginning Right Maternity Program; vision services; health and exercise programs and equipment; chiropractic visits; nutrition services; and more
Plan coverage for COVID-19 testing / treatment
Home Test Kit Reimbursement
Home test kits may be eligible for reimbursement through OptumRx if the test was purchased after January 15, 2022. For more information on what tests are eligible for reimbursement, visit OptumRx's website.
MemberID: (This is your W number which is the same as your Aetna W number)
SHP is currently providing the following benefits for plan members who require testing and/or treatment for COVID-19.
Effective through June 13, 2022:
- 100% coverage in-network laboratory tests to diagnose the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
- 100% coverage for visits to diagnose the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the following locations, including through telehealth: an in-network provider’s office, an in-network urgent care center, any other in-network outpatient provider setting able to diagnose the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), or an emergency department of a hospital for COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing and the associated visit that accompanies that testing
- Copayments, coinsurance, or annual deductibles may be imposed in accordance with the applicable policy or contract for any follow-up care or treatment for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including an inpatient hospital admission, as otherwise permitted by law
More detail on coverage for testing:
COVID-19 testing will only be covered by SHP if a student meets clinical criteria for testing and the testing is recommended and ordered by a licensed provider. If a student is asymptomatic and is seeking testing for return to work, school, general health surveillance, self -surveillance, or self-diagnosis, SHP will NOT cover those tests. See information from the CDC about antibody testing.
Will SHP cover the Cost of COVID-19 diagnostic testing under any circumstance?
Aetna will cover, without cost share, diagnostic (molecular PCR or antigen) tests to determine the need for member treatment.* This includes to direct-to-consumer/home-based diagnostic or antigen tests. Aetna’s health plans generally do not cover a test performed at the direction of a member’s employer in order to obtain or maintain employment or to perform the member’s normal work functions or for return to school or recreational activities, except as required by applicable law.
Aetna will cover, without cost share, serological (antibody) tests that are ordered by a physician or authorized health care professional and are medically necessary. Aetna’s health plans do not cover serological (antibody) tests that are for purposes of: return to work or school or for general health surveillance or self-surveillance or self-diagnosis, except as required by applicable law. Refer to the CDC website for the most recent guidance on antibody testing.
This policy for diagnostic and antibody testing applies to Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans.**
* Aetna will follow all federal and state mandates for insured plans, as required.
** Disclaimer: Regulations regarding testing for Aetna Medicaid members vary by state and, in some cases, may change in light of the current situation. Providers are encouraged to call their provider services representative for additional information.
Information for Enrollment
If you waived WCM’s coverage at the beginning of the year and you experience a loss of health coverage, you are able to elect to enroll in WCM’s coverage starting the month your previous coverage ended.
To access the form, login to your LEARN account and select the following:
- Financial Aid & Billing tab from the top navigation bar
- Click on the Student Health Plan (SHP) button
- Login to Gallagher
- Select the 'Enroll - Qualifying Event' under the 2021-2022 plan forms.
If you do not see the form, you may not be eligible for the service. You can contact Student Accounting at email@example.com with any questions.
If you are participating or will participate in the plan, you have the option to enroll your dependents at an additional cost. The required documents for enrollment are outlined below.
- Lawful spouse/domestic partners:
- Domestic students – the relationship must be documented by a domestic partner certificate, civil union certificate, or marriage license
- International students – the relationship must be documented by a copy of the dependent's visa (showing arrival date into the United States) and either a marriage license or a form documenting household register
- Unmarried children:
- Includes biological children, stepchildren, and foster children up to age 26, who are not self-supporting, and who reside with you (or for whom you are court-ordered to provide insurance)
- A birth certificate for each child must be provided
To Enroll yourself with Dependent(s) or Enroll your Dependents:
If you wish to enroll yourself and/or your dependents in coverage, you will be able to intiate this request by submitting the 'ENROLL - Qualifying Life Event' from in the student health portal by following the directions below:
- Login to LEARN and navigate to the Financial Aid & Billing tab.
- Click on the orange Student Health Plan (SHP) button and login again once the new page pops up.
- Under the 2021-2022 Cornell University SHP, click on the ‘ENROLL- Qualifying Life Event’
If you need assistance, please contact Student Accounting at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Dependent Health Insurance Rates:
Please see the individual program details under the Additional Fees section for the months you are charged per term. Also, if you are a PhD Student, please see here for more information on the amount your program may cover.
For any child dependents enrolled, you will be charged the premium for the first two children. There is no additional premium charged for more than two child dependents enrolled.
Dependent Health Insurance Rates
|Charge||Monthly Rate||Annual Rate|
|Spouse/ Domestic Partner Premium||$610||$7,320|
|Total Spouse/ Domestic Partner Insurance Cost||$635||$7,620|
|One Child Premium||$610||$7,320|
|Total One Child Insurance Cost||$635||$7,620|
|Two or more Children Premium||$1,220||$14,640|
|Total for Two or more Children Insurance Cost||$1,190||$15,240|
Information for Graduating Students
If you are graduating or separating from WCM, you (and your dependents) are no longer eligible for coverage from Weill Cornell Medicine. The coverage will expire on the last day of the month in which you exit/terminate/graduate.
If you paid out of pocket for your coverage, the insurance charges will be prorated and you will be reimbursed for any credit left on your account. As addresses are subject to change, we strongly recommend that you sign up for direct deposit to receive the credits directly to your bank account. Direct Deposit instructions can be found here.
Cornell’s Student Health Plan (SHP) is only available to enrolled WCM students and their eligible dependents. The SHP plan year is July 1 to June 30.
Your coverage terminiation date will depend on your individual program dates.
- If you graduate from the MD program in the spring semester, your SHP coverage will end June 30.
- If you graduate from the PhD program, your SHP coverage will end on the last day of your stipend termination month.
- If you graduate from an MS program in the spring semester (PHS, MSPA, MSCB, MSCEP, MSBIO), your SHP coverage will end May 31.
- If you graduate from an MS program in the summer semester (PHS, MSPA, MSCB, MSCEP, MSBIO), your SHP coverage will end August 31.
- If you graduate from an MS program in the summer semester (PHS, MSPA, MSCB, MSCEP, MSBIO), your SHP coverage will end December 31.
Continuation of Coverage
You and your dependents have the option to continue your coverage for 90 days (no more or less) past your coverage termination date. If you want to continue coverage, you must fill out and submit the Coverage Extension Form and make the full payment of $1,905 before the coverage can be extended.
Coverage Extension Instructions
- Login to LEARN and navigate to the Financial Aid & Billing tab.
- Click on the orange Student Health Plan (SHP) button and login again once the new page pops up.
- Under the 2021-2022 Cornell University SHP > Plan Details > Other Forms, select the Coverage Extension.
More information about this policy can be found on page 99 of the Certificate of Coverage.
Other Insurance options for graduating students*
For graduating students, it is important to have health insurance that covers you wherever you will be living.
Individuals in the United States who will not be entering another academic program, or an employee sponsored plan (i.e., health insurance offered through an employer), should visit to your state’s health exchange website to purchase insurance. To purchase health insurance on the exchange, graduates will need to provide proof of residency (e.g. a local address, prior year tax information, and social security number).
Important: Health insurance purchased through the exchange CANNOT be secured in advanced of the SHP plan end date. To purchase insurance via the exchange prior to your termination/graduation date, you will need to terminate your SHP coverage.
All plans on the exchange have tax credit eligibility depending on the applicant’s income. Some income thresholds will make the applicant eligible for a Medicaid or an Essential plan. Both of these plan types have the lowest cost-shares associated with the plan in recognition of the limited access to disposable income.
New York State residents:
If you plan to live in New York State after graduation, please note that New York State does not allow the purchase of short-term insurance plans on the exchange. (A short-term plan is a health plan for a limited number of months.)
If you are seeing insurance through nystateofhealth.ny.gov, you will need to enroll in a full-year plan.
If you gain employment after enrolling in a full-year plan, typically you will be eligible to enroll in the company’s group insurance policy and can cancel the health exchange plan. Alternatively, you may choose to retain your purchased plan and not opt into your employer group plan.
*To be eligible for another insurance you will need to submit to them a 'Verification of Coverage' letter which includes your enrollment termination date for the plan. This letter is available through the 'Student Health Plan (SHP)' link on the Financial Aid & Billing tab of LEARN. The letter is available on the Plan Summary box for the specific plan year.
Current full-time students
- Full-time students may only cancel their SHP coverage if they can demonstrate that they have alternate insurance that meets WCM's requirements for coverage.
- The cancellation will take effect on the last day of the month preceding the start date of the new coverage identified on the supporting documentation.
- A $150 cancellation fee applies for all cancellation request.
- Students who cancel their SHP coverage will still be responsible for the Health Service fee.
Once your SHP coverage is cancelled, you will receive a prorated premium adjustment on your student account for the unused months of your plan. Please note:
- No premium refunds will be made for months during which SHP is used (i.e. claims from any provider have been submitted and paid).
- No premium refunds will be made for plans cancelled after April 30.
Coverage for dependents
Any dependents (spouse, partner, children) enrolled in SHP will have their plan coverage terminated effective when your plan coverage ends.
Leave of Absence Policy
Degree-Seeking students who are eligible for insurance coverage and go on an approved leave from WCM have two options:
- Terminate any of their elected student insurance coverages (health, dental or vision) on the last day of the month in which the leave is initiated (default)
- Continue their elected student insurance coverages (health, dental or vision) until the end of the specific enrollment period/academic year*
Students who wish to continue their elected student insurance coverages are responsible for 100% of the premium. Program Funding is NOT available to a student while on an approved Leave or Extended Curriculum (MD-PhD only). As a result, the elected coverage will be charged to the student’s account. Payment needs to be submitted by the student within 30 days of the official leave approval in order to be considered for a coverage extension. If payment is not received by the deadline, coverage will be terminated on the last day of the month in which the leave started.
If the student is still on leave when the next academic year starts, then student will only be auto enrolled for the new plan year on the first of the month in which they return from leave. If the student elected to continue health benefits when he/she initially went on leave, the benefits coverage will terminate at the end of that academic year and the student will not be eligible for coverage by SHP until the student has returned from leave.
*if you go on leave within 90 days of the end of the enrollment period, you can elect to keep your coverage for an additional 90 days.
Returning From Leave
Any Weill Cornell Medicine student who returns from a LOA and did not participate in the insurance waiver/enrollment period at the start of the academic term will be auto enrolled in the Student Health Plan (SHP) and billed accordingly. If the student has their own, comparable coverage, they will be required to submit the insurance termination request through the Gallagher Student Health portal to ensure that their coverage meets WCM coverage requirements and their term charges are adjusted as expected.
If the student does not submit the insurance termination request within 30 days of the return date of their leave (as recorded in the student information system), they will be responsible for each month’s premium until the form is submitted.
1095-B Tax Form
In compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s Individual Shared Responsibility provision, all individuals covered under the Cornell Student Health Plan are required by law to furnish a taxpayer identification number to Cornell, either as a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN).
The taxpayer identification number is used for Cornell University to submit completed 1095-B forms to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on behalf of all individuals who were enrolled in a Cornell Student Health Plan during that year. This reporting requirement verifies that plan members had insurance that provides minimum essential coverage. (The ACA requires that everyone have minimum essential coverage, or qualify for an exemption, or you may be required to make a payment on your federal income tax return.) Please notice that if students do not have a tax identification number on file in LEARN, then they will not receive a 1095-B.
- This form is to obtain or verify your SSN or TIN to ensure the WCM record is reflecting this information correctly.
Students receive a copy of their 1095-B forms at the beginning of the spring semester. Forms are not required for completion of your federal tax return. However, some students use their form to complete their state tax return, or to keep for their own records.
If you would like to receive another copy – or a corrected copy – of your 1095-B form, please send your request by email to email@example.com (and include "WCM 1095-B request" in the subject line).
- Your request must include your full name, your student ID, an email or phone number where you can be reached, and the address where you would like the 1095-B sent.
- If you would like the form emailed, please provided an email address and indicate you prefer to receive your 1095-B via email.
Requests will be processed by the Cornell Student Health Plan within 30 days of the receipt of the request.
Please note the address provided for your 1095-B mailing is for the Student Health Plan only and will not change your address on file with Weill Cornell Medicine. If you would like to update your address with Weill Cornell Medicine, please do so in LEARN by completing a Personal Information Update.