How to Access Health Care

Getting Confidential Health Care

You are important to your child’s health. It’s a good idea to:

  • Talk with your teen about what will happen when they go for a health care visit..
  • Reassure your teen if he/she is nervous about the office visit.
  • Answer any questions your son or daughter has, before and after the visit.

It’s important to help your teen feel comfortable taking control of their health and wellness now and in the future.

You can share resources (like this cartoon) with them to illustrate what to expect at a teen-friendly sexual and reproductive health visit.

Although parental involvement is encouraged, all young people have the right to get some services confidentially and you may be asked to step out of the exam room

When your child is about 12 years old, the doctor may need to speak to your child without you in the room. This is a policy in many health care settings, Some young people do not talk to their doctors about sensitive things (like sex) unless their parents are not in the room. So,  health care providers have policies to make sure that all young people have the chance to talk to their doctors on their own, whether they are having sex or not.

Usually, the doctor will start speaking to both you and your teen to find out why you are there. Then, the doctor may ask you to sit in the waiting room. Before the session is over, the doctor will bring you back in. You can ask the doctor questions, but he or she may not be able to answer personal questions about your teen. Learn more about your teen’s rights to confidential services by visiting TeenSource.org.

By giving your child some independence and a chance to ask questions, you are helping to keep your child safe and healthy.

Paying for Health Care

  • If you have private or public health insurance, most sexual and reproductive health services should be covered by your health plan without any out-of-pocket costs.
  • If your teen is on your insurance plan, they can access these preventive services as well, but may want to submit a Confidential Communication Request to keep this sensitive information private.
  • If your teen is uninsured or if they are worried about confidentiality, they also have the option of getting sexual and reproductive health services through Family PACT. This California program provides teens coverage for many sexual health services like pregnancy tests, prescription birth control, STD testing and treatment, and counseling.

Finding a Clinic

To help your teen find a nearby clinic, check out our (Find a Clinic tool or have them text the word “Clinic” to the number 877877.

Essential Access Health