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Health Insurance for Teens

Abigail English, Director of the Center for Adolescent Health & the Law says, "American adolescents face serious health challenges, including high rates of suicide, pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse, mental and emotional illness, and poor nutrition. Each state has the responsibility to ensure that young people get all of the coverage they need."

Despite this, millions of American adolescents eligible for Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are not ensured. According to researchers from the Urban Institute, 65% of uninsured adolescents ages 10 through 16 and 70% of adolescents ages 17 through 18 are eligible for public coverage, either through Medicaid or SCHIP, but are not enrolled.

State Child Health Insurance Programs

SCHIP provides grants to states to provide health insurance to uninsured children and may choose to distribute this through Medicaid or by creating a state children’s health program. Despite the availability of funds, states do not have to participate and can choose to wait three years without losing funding before employing a program.

"When it comes to health care coverage in this country, teenagers are being left behind," said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth.

Qualifying for the State Children's Health Insurance Program

Eligible children and adolescents include: * Under the age of 19 * At or below the 200% of the federal poverty level * Not eligible for Medicaid

Individual Health Insurance

If you do not qualify for state assistance, and are unable to on a parents’ health insurance policy, individual health insurance is available for adolescents and young adults. You can start by applying on this site to compare options.

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