We want adolescents and teens to get the care they need. That means we continue to cover preventive care and vaccines. Establishing routine care for your kids, will help them feel comfortable seeking care as adults.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that both girls and boys get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as early as age 9. It’s covered as preventive care between the ages of 9 and 26 on most health plans. The purpose is to help vaccinate against the most common viruses that can cause cervical cancer. Recommendation is for children to get vaccinated before they’re sexually active.
Woman’s exams become important when a young woman is thinking about becoming sexually active, but might be medically necessary for other reasons, such as severe menstrual pain. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend pap smears every 3 years beginning at age 21.
Male exams are important to screen for hernias, testicular cancer and before thinking about becoming sexually active.
Mental Health, Anxiety, Depression
Most health plans cover mental health services to treat conditions, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, or addiction to the same extent physical health concerns are covered. Often the first step is to talk with a primary care provider who can recommend a mental health professional, if needed.
Don’t hesitate to seek help for suspected depression, anxiety, or stress, self-harm, or addiction. Early intervention improves outcomes.
Going to College
Make sure your child still has health coverage when they step out on their own. Most plans allow young adults up to age 26 to stay on a parent’s health plan.
Universities might require a physical exam or vaccines. Talk to your doctor about what is appropriate.