Student health insurance requirements
All registered students can use Cornell Health’s services, no matter what insurance they have.
Insurance billing for Ithaca students (NEW for Fall 2021)
Cornell Health bills students’ in-network health insurance plans as the primary payer for medical and psychiatry services received on campus (counseling services are excluded from insurance billing). We are currently negotiating to be in network with most major insurance carriers (more detail will be available soon).
Out-of-pocket costs at Cornell Health: For all students studying on the Ithaca campus, remaining costs (copayment, coinsurance, & deductibles) for most services are capped at $10, even if your insurance plan denies a claim. (See details on our Cost for Service page.)
Please note that students (or a parent, if they are the policy holder) may receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) from their insurance company indicating that these remaining costs (copayments, coinsurance, deductibles) are due for services received at Cornell Health. In most cases, Cornell Health covers these costs automatically (see our Cost for Service page for details) and the student / parent is not responsible for the charge(s).
Exclusions: This subsidized care does not apply to pharmacy, travel medicine, immunizations other than the flu and COVID-19 vaccination, and services outside of Cornell Health (for example: lab tests that must be sent to an external lab). This means students are responsible for any costs that their insurance doesn't cover.
Visiting students and non-students
Cornell students visiting from other campuses and some non-students are eligible for a limited scope of services (see Who We Serve for details).
If Cornell Health is in network with your insurance plan, we will bill and submit claims directly to your plan, and you will be responsible for remaining costs (copayment, coinsurance, & deductibles).
- Cornell Health is in network with: all Aetna plans, the Empire Plan (NYSHIP), and TRICARE. We are currently negotiating to be in network with most major insurance carriers (more detail will be available soon).
- Cornell Health's pharmacy is in network with: Aetna US Healthcare, Advance Pharmacy, Advance Rx, Advance PCS, Caremark, Cornell Student Health Plan, Express Scripts, FL Rx. Medimpact, and OptumRX.
- If we are not in network with your insurance: you will be asked to pay or Bursar your charges at the time of care. We can provide you with a receipt so you can submit a claim to your insurance company for possible reimbursement (Cornell Health’s tax ID number is 15-0532082). Please note: It may take 3-5 business days for all charges associated with your visit to appear in your statement (e.g. lab tests ordered during your visit may generate further charges if they are sent to outside labs or if they necessitate follow-up testing). If you obtain a printed receipt from a Cornell Health cashier before then, it may not reflect all charges.
- Medicare and Medicaid: We are not able to bill directly to Medicare or Medicaid, but we can help connect you to participating providers. If you choose to receive care at Cornell Health, you will be responsible for the charges. If you need lab tests, x-rays, or other special procedures, please let your clinician know so we can make arrangements for you to have them done at Cayuga Medical Center, which does participate with Medicare and Medicaid.
- Workers Compensation: Cornell Health does not participate with workers compensation insurance. (Students: Your medical provider can assess your injury / illness and refer you to a community provider for care; please tell both the receptionist and your provider if you are seeking care for a work-related injury. Faculty & staff: You should seek care with a community provider that accepts workers compensation insurance.)
- Automobile No Fault claims: Cornell Health does not participate with and cannot submit claims to No-Fault for medical or physical therapy services.
Students have four options for paying for Cornell Health charges [see Cost for Service]:
- Automatic Bursar billing (default payment method)
Your costs will be automatically applied to your Bursar bill, unless you instruct us differently. For your convenience, you may leave Cornell Health without stopping to see a cashier. (Charges will appear on your Bursar bill with a generic description – such as “Cornell Health services” or “Rx” – that will not reveal any confidential health information.)
- Online payment (optional)
If you prefer that charges not be applied to your Bursar bill – for privacy or other reasons – you may request to pay online by logging in to myCornellHealth.
- Pay by phone (optional)
You may also call our Billing Office at 607-255-7492 to pay by debit/credit card over the phone.
- Pay in person (optional – pharmacy charges only)
At the cashier desk in the Pharmacy, you may pay for pharmacy charges by personal check or debit/credit card. NOTE: We are NOT able to accept cash payments.
Accessing bills through myCornellHealth
You can view and print billing statements – and access your appointment history and other information – by logging in to Cornell Health’s secure patient portal, myCornellHealth (Cornell NetID required). Please note that it may take 3-5 business days for all charges associated with a visit to appear on your statement.
I'm concerned about confidentiality. Will my bill contain information about my care that may be seen by others?
All information about your health and health care at Cornell Health is confidential. However, please be aware of the following:
Cornell Health Bursar charges:
Cornell Health visit and pharmacy costs are automatically applied to your Bursar account, unless you request to pay online (through myCornellHealth), by phone (607-255-7492), or in person at the pharmacy cashier desk (pharmacy charges only). Charges will appear as “Cornell Health services” on your Bursar bill and will not include any information about the type of service you received, or any personal health information.
Charges billed to your insurance (& how to request a “pause for privacy”):
Cornell Health bills students’ insurance plans (SHP, SHP+, or in-network private insurance) as the primary payer for medical and psychiatry services. (Counseling services are excluded from insurance billing.)
When charges are billed to your insurance, your insurance plan’s explanation of benefits (EOB) statement will contain some brief information about your visit, including a “diagnostic code” that is required by insurance companies to process reimbursements. For students who are on a parent’s or guardian’s insurance plan, the policyholder (parent/guardian) is the EOB recipient and may see that information. SHP / SHP+ members: You are the primary policyholder for your plan and the sole recipient of your EOBs.
When privacy is a concern, you can request a “pause for privacy” from your Cornell Health provider to have your insurance billing delayed by 30 days. Some insurance plans have provisions for adult dependents to receive their own EOB when covered by a parent’s / guardian’s plan. You should use the time afforded by this 30-day pause to contact your insurance company and ask about the possibility to arrange to receive your EOBs separately from the primary policyholder, before Cornell Health submits the claim for your service.
If your insurance plan does not support separate EOBs, please provide written documentation from your plan to Cornell Health’s billing office within 30 days of your service at Cornell Health (Cornell Health Billing Office, 110 Ho Plaza, Ithaca, NY 14853 or email@example.com). In these cases, Cornell Health will not submit claims for these services and will subsidize all medical and psychiatry care after your $10 visit fee, as applicable.
Releasing confidential information: If you want Cornell Health to share information about your care – including details about expenses or bills – with a parent, partner, spouse, or anyone else, federal law requires us to get your written permission every time information is released. Some exceptions exist for students with pre-existing chronic health conditions that require extended treatment. Visit our Confidentiality & Patient Rights page for details.
Questions or concerns: If you have any concerns about the confidentiality of your health care, please speak with your health care provider or with a Billing Office staff member (607-255-7492 or firstname.lastname@example.org) who can help you make choices about your bills to protect your confidentiality.
If I get birth control pills and put the charge on my Bursar bill, what will it say on my bill?
All descriptions that are posted on the Bursar bill are very general. For instance, birth control pills would show as “Pharmacy” on your Bursar bill (and as “Rx” on your invoice/bill from Cornell Health). Charges for medical / sexual health visits are listed as "Cornell Health services."
My Bursar bill shows a charge for a date when I wasn’t even at Cornell. What is this charge for?
The date on the Bursar bill is the date Cornell Health sent the charge to the Bursar’s Office, not the date of service. If you have any questions regarding the actual date of the appointment being billed or about the charges in question, please contact our Billing Office at 607-255-7492.
I'm interested in knowing how much a certain appointment, test, prescription, service, or supply costs. Can I find out about that before I come?
Sure. Start by referring to our Cost for Service page. If you still have questions, please call our Billing Office at 607-255-7492. We will be happy to give you current prices on any service we provide or product we sell. If you want to know about the availability or price of a particular medication or other pharmacy product, you can call the Cornell Health Pharmacy at 607-254-6337.
How can I get reimbursed for my health care expenses at Cornell Health if I have an insurance plan Cornell Health does not participate with?
You will need to get a copy of your bill, either from a Cornell Health cashier (after your visit) or by logging in to myCornellHealth (must have a Cornell NetID). Once you have the receipt, attach it to a completed claim form provided by your insurance company, and submit it to them. Please consult with your insurance company for details. (Cornell Health’s Tax ID number is 15-0532082.)
I am a parent of a student who was seen at Cornell Health, and I need a receipt to submit to my insurance company. Can you send one to me?
We will be happy to send a receipt directly to you. If your child is 18 or older, by law we must have their permission to do so. Please ask the student to contact us to sign a release so we can send you the information. It might be easier for your student to use myCornellHealth (our secure patient portal) to print a copy of the receipt to send to you.
For more information about our approach to communication with parents and confidentiality/privacy issues, please refer to our Especially for Parents & Guardians page.
What is Cornell Health's tax ID number?
If you have private insurance and need to complete billing paperwork, it is likely that you will be asked for Cornell Health’s tax ID number. It is 15-0532082.
I submitted a waiver for Cornell's Student Health Plan, but the charge for the premium is still on my Bursar bill. Can you fix this for me?
Contact Student Health Benefits with questions and concerns about the waiver process, plan coverage, etc.
Cornell Health's Billing Office (607-255-7492) can help you with your questions and concerns about all charges incurred at Cornell Health.
If you have questions about financial matters related to your health care, and you're not sure who to call, feel free to call the Billing Office (607-255-7492) or speak with a cashier. We'll help you figure out what to do next.
I got a bill from LabCorp or Cayuga Medical Center, but I had my lab work done at Cornell Health. What’s going on?
We are fortunate to have a laboratory right on site that performs many of the diagnostic tests needed by Cornell Health patients. However, there are some lab tests that cannot be performed in-house. If one of our clinicians orders a test for you that cannot be performed here at Cornell Health, we send the specimen to another lab (usually LabCorp, sometimes Cayuga Medical Center) that will complete the test and charge you for their services. These labs will bill your insurance if you provide the information.
I've given you my new address, but I keep getting bills at my old one. Can you help?
The student contact information in Cornell Health’s database is automatically updated every week by the Cornell Registrar. While we are able to change an address in our system, the change will be overwritten by the Registrar’s information the following week unless you change it there, too.
In order to fix the problem at the source, take two minutes to go to the CU Registrar’s Student Center page and confirm or change your address information. Be sure to update this information whenever you move.
IMPORTANT: Please enter and designate as your “preferred phone number” the phone number you'd like Cornell Health to use when communicating health information. The phone number entered must be a U.S. ten digit number (including area code).