Skip to main content Skip to main menu
Risk Strategies - University Health Plans

Ithaca College

2024-2025 Academic Year


Ithaca College requires all matriculated undergraduate and graduate students to maintain health insurance coverage throughout the academic year. For the 2024-2025 academic year, Ithaca College has partnered with Aetna Student Health to provide a comprehensive student health insurance plan (SHIP) for students. University Health Plans manages the waiver and enrollment process for Ithaca College. The benefit information is available in the left-hand side navigation menu.

Cost, Coverage Periods and Waiver Deadline Dates

  Fall Coverage Spring Coverage
Coverage Dates 8/10/24 - 12/31/24 1/1/25 - 8/9/25
Insurance Cost $1,276 $1,959
Waiver Deadline 9/15/24 1/15/25

Important Notice: Beginning with the 2024-2025 policy year students will be enrolled and charged by semester for the Ithaca College Student Health Insurance Plan. Students must be eligible for the spring 2025 coverage to remain enrolled through August 9, 2025. If you do not return to Ithaca College for spring 2025 semester, then they will not be eligible to continue and the last day of coverage will be December 31, 2024. Any student who does not meet eligibility at the beginning of the semester will not remain enrolled. 

Enrollment Process

Students are encouraged to complete the enrollment form located in the left-hand side navigation menu. Although students are automatically charged for the SHIP, students will not be enrolled by Ithaca until after the waiver deadline date. Students that plan to accept the SHIP should confirm enrollment by completing the enrollment form as soon as possible to avoid delay of their health insurance benefits and access to the online ID card.


Ithaca College Health Insurance Requirements

To ensure students have health insurance, all students are initially charged on their student account for SHIP. Students with other existing comparable coverage must submit an online waiver form and provide proof of other health insurance coverage prior to the waiver deadline.

The following are the minimum benefits your plan must provide:

  • Unlimited policy maximum, no dollar limit, on Essential Health Benefits in Tompkins County:
    • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
    • Emergency services
    • Hospitalizations
    • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
    • Mental health and substance use disorders, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
    • Prescription drugs
    • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
    • Laboratory services
    • Preventative and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • A minimum of $25,000 for repatriation of mortal remains and $50,000 for medical evacuation (International students only)
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions with no waiting period
  • A network of providers and pharmacies in Tompkins County. The plan should pay medical providers directly for inpatient and outpatient care. The plan should not be a reimbursement plan.
  • Ithaca College athletes must have a plan that does not exclude sports accident coverage.

In addition to the above requirements, it is strongly recommended students have an insurance company that includes Cayuga Medical Center in their provider network. Cayuga Health provides the Student Health Services on campus and students are billed for services not covered by insurance.

Ithaca College requires you to maintain your health insurance throughout the policy year.

Domestic Student Waiver Process

If you are covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan that meets the above insurance requirements you can opt-out of the SHIP by completing the waiver form, located in the left-hand side navigation menu. Before waiving, we encourage you to compare the SHIP to your other plan.

Consider the following:

  • Out-of-state HMOs and out-of-area Medicaid plans typically do not provide access to comprehensive medical services in Ithaca and only cover urgent or emergent care outside of the plan area. The SHIP includes a nationwide PPO, providing access to care nationwide with coverage for in- and out-of-network providers. The SHIP provider search is in the left-hand side navigation menu.
  • Some plans only cover services after a high deductible or co-payment; the SHIP can help cover those expenses.

Students covered by out-of-state HMOs should contact their insurance company and apply for an out-of-area rider. Most major insurance companies offer these riders specifically for college students away from home. 

Students that are New York residents and insured by Medicaid should ensure their Medicaid extends to Tompkins County. If you reside outside of Tompkins County, you are required to ensure your managed care organization extends to Tompkins County. Please call 877-211-8667 to reach the Human Services Coalition call center where students can seek advice on how to update their managed care organization.

Instructions to apply for Medicaid in Tompkins County: Students can call 877-211-8667 to reach the Human Services Coalition call center where students book appointments to apply for Medicaid. If qualification can be established using tax returns, approval takes only a few days and coverage back dates to the first day of the month of application. If managed care is needed, those dates vary based on application date.


International Student Waiver Process

Prior to purchasing an alternative health insurance plan, please contact University Health Plans at University Health Plans will complete the assessment of your health insurance plan to ensure it meets Ithaca College requirements.  

International students insured by a comprehensive health insurance plan that meets the above insurance requirements can opt-out of the SHIP by completing the waiver form, located in the left-hand side navigation menu. Waiver forms are reviewed and will be denied if the other plan does not meet the Ithaca College insurance requirements.

Please note that health insurance plans marketed solely to international students typically do not meet Ithaca College insurance requirements.

Why Do I Need Health Insurance?

Ithaca College strives to provide a safe and healthy educational experience to its students. Unexpected illness or injury can cause a significant, and sometime irrecoverable, financial burden to students and families. Ithaca College works with insurers to obtain a quality health insurance plan that balances initial premium costs with out-of-pocket expenses for medical services. The SHIP rates and coverage are consistently more affordable than individual students or families would otherwise be able to obtain on their own. We are able to do this by pooling the risk among many students that are in the healthy 18-24 year old age category.

Ithaca College’s negotiated SHIP, at $3,235* per year, provides comprehensive coverage while limiting the cost to students for routine visits and prescriptions as well as preventing a catastrophic expense for major accidents and hospitalizations.  Without the SHIP, or comparable coverage, students could face a significant bill for seemingly routine visits. 

Ithaca College realizes the impact these additional costs can have on families. The College does not make any money from the SHIP; it is offered solely as an option for students and families who do not have the appropriate health insurance coverage.  Our goal is to provide students the opportunity to receive quality health care services while minimizing the risk for unsurmountable medical bills.  

*Charges for eligible students will be billed by semester at $1,276 for fall 2024 and $1,959 for spring 2025.

Contact Information

For waiver, enrollment, eligibility, general benefit questions or plan issues contact University Health Plans at 833-250-8996 or 

For specific benefit or claims questions contact Aetna Student Health at 866-381-1529.