Referrals

Start at Cornell Health 

We always recommend seeing a Cornell Health medical or mental health provider before scheduling an appointment with an off-campus provider. Keep in mind that some specialists require a referral from a primary care provider before seeing you, so a visit to Cornell Health may be an important first step in getting care.

Referrals from Cornell Health

A Cornell Health referral to a health care provider in the Ithaca area (or elsewhere) may be appropriate for the following reasons:

  • If your physical or mental health needs require services beyond the scope of what we provide at Cornell Health (e.g., specialty care)
  • If you want to see a specialist who requires a referral from a primary care provider before providing care
  • If you prefer to receive primary medical care or counseling services off campus (or at home)

To discuss or request a referral:

  • Talk with your Cornell Health provider, or 
  • Call a member of our Referrals nursing team (607-254-7409

Finding providers that participate with your insurance

SHP / SHP-M members:

When seeing a non-Cornell provider, Student Health Plan (SHP) and Student Health Plan–Medicaid (SHP-M) members will get the best coverage by seeing an Aetna participating provider (i.e., in-network provider). For SHP members, there is typically a $25 copay for medical visits (tests and procedures will cost more), and a $10 copay for mental health visits. SHP-M members have no copay for visits.

SHP & SHP-M also provide coverage for non-participating providers, usually with a $400 plan year deductible and then a 30% co-insurance.

   To find participating providers and facilities ...

  • Visit Aetna's DocFind
  • Enter the requested information and the zip code for where you want to receive care
  • Select “Student Health Plans”
  • When you call to make an appointment, ask to make sure the provider is in-network with Aetna Student Health; DocFind is occasionally out of date

   Visit Student Health Benefits to ...

If you need assistance, please contact Student Health Benefits 607-255-6363.

Please note that referrals are not required by SHP and SHP-M. 

Those with private insurance:

It's always a good idea to call your insurance company (the number will be on your insurance card) and ask the following questions about the provider you want to see:

  • Does the office / facility participate with your insurance (i.e., is it an in-network provider)?
  • If not, what are other options for in-network providers in the area?
  • Is pre-authorization required for this visit or test?
  • Is a referral or pre-authorization required from your home primary care provider?
  • How much will your insurance cover, and how much will you be responsible for?

If you need assistance with this process, please contact Student Health Benefits (607-255-6363).

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 about urgent concerns (607-255-5155).