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to make an appointment, ask to make sure the provider is in-network with Aetna Student Health; DocFind is occasionally out of date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 ...
- Print your Aetna insurance card
- Access your SHP plan information
- Access SHP-M plan information
- Learn more about referrals for plan members
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 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).