Health Insurance Coverage
Because you may need to be referred by the Student Health or Counseling Center to off-campus providers for services beyond what is available on campus, we strongly encourage students to ensure they have adequate health insurance. Be sure to check with your current carrier to verify you are covered by your family's plan while you are out of your normal area. Be sure you have coverage at SUNY Cortland and the surrounding localities such as Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton for major hospital and medical specialists.
Know what the restrictions and limits of your coverage are. In particular, students whose coverage is through an HMO (health maintenance organization) should check their policies (or verify with their plan administrators) and determine where they can and cannot obtain coverage in the local area. If the HMO operates a providing network in the area, inquire about the availability and rules for "guest" coverage while at school.
Those who are covered by PPO's (participating provider organizations) will want to make sure they have participating providers in the area. We are not a participating provider with any insurance company, and your insurance company may not reimburse you for services provided on campus. Remember, that even if you have emergency room coverage in the area, that ER coverage should not be used as a replacement for non-emergency care.
All students are charged the Student Health Fee. This fee is not an insurance charge but instead covers only services that are provided at the Student Health Services, whereas a health insurance plan might cover services that are provided outside of Student Health Services, such as laboratory and radiology tests, physical therapy, and visits to physicians, hospitals and other providers.
Please note, requirements for mandatory student health insurance remain in effect for students participating in intercollegiate, intramural or club sports. In accordance with NCAA regulations, Cortland team members must provide proof of adequate health insurance coverage at or before their initial team practice. Student wishing to purchase coverage in order to participate in sports are responsible for securing their own coverage through a private carrier or health exchange.
Please note, requirements for mandatory international student health insurance remain in effect for international students and domestic students participating in study abroad. International students may want to consider purchase of domestic voluntary insurance if participating in intercollegiate athletics. International and study abroad students wishing to purchase coverage may do so through the College's provider, but the following disclaimer applies:
**Disclaimer (per SUNY Policy): "Neither the State of New York, through its agents, nor the State University of New York through its agents and employees, is responsible in any manner whatsoever for the payment of any claim for health-related services provided to individuals covered under this insurance policy. The State of New York and State University of New York are not responsible for obligations incurred by individuals who are not covered by this insurance policy. All individual participating in the State University's health insurance program described herein are responsible for reviewing all descriptions of the scope and level of coverage offered by this policy. Such participants will be solely responsible for obtaining additional coverage not covered under this program if such is deemed necessary by the participant." - SUNY Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Graduate Studies, and Professional Programs and Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business, Memorandum to Presidents, "Guidelines for the Implementation of Health Insurance Coverage for International Exchange, Research and Study Programs, Vol. 86, No. 9, June 5, 1986.
Why Health Insurance Is So Important
Many students think that health insurance isn't something they really need to worry about. Most college-aged people are relatively healthy and have never had the experience of undergoing extensive treatment or a hospitalization. It's easy to think that health insurance is something you will worry about later.
Unfortunately, those people who wait to get insurance until they actually need it are in danger of finding that it may be very expensive or unavailable after they really need it. Also, if they have a "preexisting condition" their new insurance policy may not provide coverage for the problem they're experiencing. Finally, in the event of an emergency - which by its nature is very unlikely to be planned or anticipated - first trying to determine how to cover necessary treatment is unrealistic or impossible.
The best way to avoid problems like these, and to make sure you're able to get any medical or mental health services you need, is to make sure you have insurance in place before you leave home. Under the Health Care Reform Act, full-time students under the age of 26 may retain coverage under a parent's policy. Be sure to check whether coverage extends to you while in the Cortland, Syracuse, Binghamton and Ithaca area.
Obtaining Student Health Insurance
Unfortunately, as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), SUNY Cortland's current health insurance provider has notified the College that it has declined to underwrite a policy for the 2014-15 academic year. Students requiring coverage in order to participate in intercollegiate, intramural or club sports, or students looking to obtain new or supplement existing coverage, will be responsible for securing their own coverage through a private carrier or health insurance exchange.