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Managing Your Health

As you transition to adulthood, learning how to manage your health care is critical to achieving independence. Begin taking on a more active role in managing your health care. Work with your family to learn about your medical history and complete a medical history form.

Once you turn 18 you are responsible for making your own medical decisions. You will need to give written permission in order for your family to access your medical information. For more information, download the Transition Quick Guide: Take Charge of Planning and Managing Your Own Health and Career Goals.

Keeping in contact with your providers (doctors, dentists, counselors, etc.) is very important in order to stay updated on your appointments or any insurance or medication issues. You should always give at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment (unless it’s an emergency). Be sure to let all your providers know if your contact information, insurance, or phone number changes.

If you have a cell phone: Keep all contact information for your providers saved in your cell phone’s address book. Set up your voicemail so providers can leave you messages about appointments or any issues You may also wish to keep your appointments saved in your cell phone calendar and set reminders for those appointments. Be sure to add a password to yourphone to keep your information safe.
(Source: Northeast Massachusetts Community of Practice 2011)

Health insurance is coverage that pays for provider services, medications, hospital care, and special equipment when you are sick. It also covers preventive health services, immunizations, mental/ behavioral health services and more when you are not sick. Check with your family to see what type of health insurance you currently have. Under current law, if a health insurance policy covers children, they can be covered under a parent’s health plan until they turn 26 years old. Children can join or remain in a parent’s plan even if they are married.
(Source: https:// www.hhs.gov/healthcare/about-the-aca/ young-adult-coverage/index.html)

Be sure however to learn about your specific plan and how your coverage may change once you become an adult.

  • Complete a health history form
  • Manage health conditions and medications
  • Access health care and insurance
  • Maintain a regular appointment schedule for health maintenance.