Cornell Health provides primary care medical and mental health services for students. When specialty care is needed, we will refer you to a specialist in the Ithaca area or elsewhere (according to your preference and insurance coverage).

Students request referrals to other health care providers in the Ithaca area for the following reasons:

  • When their physical or mental health needs require services beyond the scope of what we provide at Cornell Health
  • When they prefer to receive primary medical care or counseling services off campus (or at home)
  • When they need to see a specialist who requires a referral from a primary care provider before providing care

To discuss or request a referral:

  • Talk with your Cornell Health provider, or 
  • Call us during business hours (607-255-5155) and ask to speak with our referral/care management team.

Referrals for Student Health Plan (SHP) members

Referrals are not required by the Student Health Plan (SHP), which means you may see any health care provider you wish without first being referred by your Cornell Health provider.

Keep in mind that:

  • You can get the most out of your plan by using Cornell Health's services whenever possible (usually a $10 visit copay)
  • Some specialists require a referral from a primary care provider, regardless of what your insurance requires

If you want – or need – to see a provider who is not at Cornell Health:

  • You will get the best coverage by using SHP Participating Providers and Facilities.
  • Typically, there is a $25 copay for medical office visits and a $10 copay for mental health office visits.
  • Use Aetna's DocFind tool to find Participating Providers and Facilities in the Ithaca area and elsewhere.
  • You may choose to use Non-Participating Providers and Facilities; but please review your coverage carefully before making this choice: typically you will pay a 30% co-insurance after you have met the $400 yearly deductible (check with Student Health Benefits).

For more details, go to Cornell's Student Health Benefits website to:

If we’re closed and you need immediate care ...

Please refer to our Emergencies & After-Hours page for information about accessing care at the hospital or an urgent care provider in Ithaca. You may also call us 24/7 for consultation (607-255-5155).