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Can I extend my health insurance until October 1?

Question

Hello,

I've been receiving the graduate school announcements and it has come to my attention that I can email you questions. 

Last week, someone asked about extending the student health insurance plan, and the answer stated that it was possible to extend for one month. Is it possible for me to extend until October 1? (This is when my postdoctoral position begins and I need to bridge the gap.) I will be working on revising papers etc. with my advisors in an unofficial capacity.

Sincerly, 

Transitioning to Postdoc


Response

Dear Transitioning to Postdoc,

Thanks for submitting a question to “Ask a Dean.”  I’m happy to provide more information about the Cornell Student Health Plan insurance.

The Cornell Student Health plan (SHP) provides coverage for 12 months, from August 1st through July 31st.  Students who were enrolled in SHP for 2016-17 and plan to graduate in August can, as you note, extend their coverage for that one additional month so they remain fully insured through the duration of their studies.  Students who are registered for the fall 2017 semester must  enroll in the SHP (or waive coverage if they are eligible to do so).  If you complete your degree requirements during the fall semester and will be a candidate for a December degree you could request the “Early Termination Option” and end SHP coverage on 1/31/2018.  The cost of the plan is prorated to reflect six months of coverage instead of twelve, and the difference would be credited back to your bursar account.

You mention that you will be working with your advisors in an unofficial capacity for the fall.  If that means that you don’t intend to register as a student you won’t automatically be enrolled in the SHP but could contact the office of Student Health Benefits to explore elective coverage.  You may also find it helpful to consider health insurance from your state exchange.  Residents of New York, for example, can find a range of policies at different prices.  Month-to-month plans are usually available and you may qualify for subsidies based on your household income.  If you have questions about this I encourage you to contact one of the very knowledgeable “Health Access Navigators” at the Tompkins County Human Services Coalition.  Here are several resources that you should know about:

Congratulations on nearing the completion of your degree and on securing such an interesting postdoctoral fellowship!

Sincerely,

Jason

Jason Kahabka, associate dean for administration