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Health Requirements and Insurance

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Immunizations and Health Forms Required for Registration

All international students are required by SUNY or SUNY Cortland policies to submit certain health forms.  Failure to submit forms within 30 days of the start of classes will be deregistered automatically.

Health forms are located at http://www2.cortland.edu/offices/student-development-center/student-health-service/new-student-documentation.dot.  On the Health Services page, select the Medical History Report and Tuberculosis Screening Form, download, complete in English by qualified physician and return to the International Programs Office. Please make sure all forms are legible--illegible forms cannot be accepted.  Although the form is self explanatory, we would like to clarify some issues that seem to have been misunderstood. 

Although the United States Embassy may advise students that they do not need two measles shots, it is not the case!  One measles vaccine is sufficient for entry to the United States, but it is not sufficient for people who attend New York State Colleges.  You must show proof of two doses of measles vaccine after your first birthday or proof of immunity.

SUNY Cortland requires all international students to have a physical examination completed by a qualified physician.

New York State public health law requires immunization against the following diseases.  Proof of immunity consists of the following:

  • Measlestwo doses of live measles vaccine administered after 12 months of age given in 1968 or later, or physician documentation of measles disease, or a blood test showing immunity.
  • Mumps one dose of live mumps vaccine administered after 12 months of age, or physician documentation of mumps disease or a blood test showing immunity.
  • Rubellaone dose of live rubella vaccine administered after 12 months of age or a blood test showing immunity.
  • Meningococcal Meningitis – have had the meningitis immunization (Menactra or Menomune) within the past 10 years OR complete the meningitis information response form upon enrollment at university or college.  The student is not required by law to have the immunization, but is required to read an information pamphlet about the disease and decline the immunization by signing the Meningitis Waiver (Part III) of the Immunization Form in order to remain enrolled in a New York State college or university

SUNY Cortland strongly encourages immunization against the following diseases:

  • Tetanus and Diphtheria –three or more doses required of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, and a booster within ten years prior to entry.
  • Hepititis B
  • Polio Vaccine – minimum of three doses for all students 18 and under.  For those 19 and over, record of previous doses, but no additional doses should be given.
  • Tuberculin Skin Test – students from some countries*must come with proof of a recent Tuberculosis Skin Test (within six months of arriving), or a negative chest x-ray.  This is required even if BCG has been previously administered.  Anyone with a positive test (generally 10 or more millimeters of induration) is required to have a chest x-ray to prove that he/she does not have active tuberculosis. 

Students should submit proof of meeting all of the above requirements prior to starting classes.  If, after some time, a student fails to submit his or her forms, SUNY Cortland will be required by law to deregister the student.  Fees apply for re-registering after late submission of forms.

You can Access and complete your REQUIRED Health History and Immunization Forms

Mandatory Health Insurance

Per State University of New York policy, all international student students must purchase a SUNY International Student Health insurance.  In January 2014, the cost will be $515, which will be directly charged to your student account.  SUNY International Student Health insurance covers the majority of health costs you incur (normally 80-100%), so you will usually not be required to pay all of your expenses up front. 

NOTE: SUNY insurance carries a $100.00 deductible provision. This means you pay the first $100.00 for services not provided by the student health service. So, be sure to go to the Health Service first, before going to see another doctor (except in an emergency, of course).  SUNY Insurance does not cover routine optical or dental needs.

A Note for Athletes on College Teams:  The SUNY International Health Insurance Plan only covers up to $1,500 per injury sustained during the practice or play or Interscholastic Sport, meaning one of the official College teams, not club sports.  Since the cost of diagnosis and treatment of an injury can be substantially higher than $1,500, we strongly recommend the College athletes consider purchasing additional coverage for injuries on top of the International Student Health Insurance Plan.  Please contact the International Programs Office if you have questions.

Please review the HTH Worldwide brochure and benefit coverage


*Categories of high risk students include those students who have arrived within the past five years from countries where TB is endemic. It is easier to identify countries of low rather than high TB prevalence. Therefore, students should undergo TB screening if they have arrived from countries EXCEPT those on the following list: Canada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, USA, Virgin Islands (USA), Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, American Samoa, Australia, or New Zealand. Other categories of high-risk students include those with HIV infection, who inject drugs, who have resided in, volunteered in, or worked in high-risk congregate settings such as prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, residential facilities for patients with AIDS, or homeless shelters; and those who have clinical conditions such as diabetes, chronic renal failure, leukemias or lymphomas, low body weight, gastrectomy and jejunoileal by-pass, chronic malabsorption syndromes, prolonged corticosteroid therapy (e.g., prednisone 15 mg/d for one month) or other immunosuppressive disorders.

**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 individuals participating in 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 provided 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.