Getting Medical Care
Getting Medical Care
I Don't Need a Doctor, I'm Healthy!
If you are healthy, that’s great … but how do you keep it that way? Instead of thinking about your doctor (also called a health care provider) as someone who fixes you when something is wrong, think about them as a coach who helps you stay healthy. If you see your health care provider only when you feel sick, or if you don’t have one and you have to go to the emergency room to get help, it’s time to make a change! Lots of common health problems can be prevented with some good coaching and checkups.
Why is Insurance Important?
It’s much cheaper to prevent health problems--or treat them early--than to go to the emergency room when things get bad. Health insurance helps cover the cost of medical care. Apple Health for Kids is a health insurance program offered by the State to teens and kids under age 19. It provides medical, dental, vision, and mental health benefits (like the ability to see a psychiatrist or therapist). There are no deductibles or co-pays. The insurance is free or low cost depending on your income and is available to both citizens and non-citizens.
Find out if you qualify and apply online using our Benefit Finder. If you have questions, call us at (800) 322-2588.
Is There Insurance for Pregnant Teens?
Yes. The program is called Washington Apple Health for Pregnant Teens. It is free, there is no income limit, and your pregnancy will be kept confidential.
If your parents don't know that you are pregnant, or if you do not live with a parent, complete this application and MAIL to:
Medical Eligibility Determination Services
PO Box 45531
Olympia, WA 98504-5531
For faster results, FAX the form to 1 (360) 725-1898.
If you live with your parents and they know you are pregnant, call the Family Health Hotline at (800) 322-2588 for help applying for insurance.
How Do I Find a Doctor?
There are a lot of different health care providers you might see, whether now or in the future. Learn about your choices and pick providers that will support you in being the healthiest person you can be! What type of provider you choose will depend on if you have insurance and what it covers, what type of providers are available in your community, and what kind of care you need.
You have the right to pick a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with. You don’t have to pick the first one you talk to if you don’t like them. It’s okay to first make a “get-to-know-you” appointment.
You can call and ask your insurance company for a list of providers in your area who are included in your insurance plan. Before making an appointment with a health care provider, always double-check and ask if they take your type of insurance. If you don’t have insurance, ask what the visit will cost and figure out if you can afford to pay for the visit.
When looking for a health care provider, think about your personality and what environments make you feel comfortable. Some communities have more choices of providers than others, but you have the right to pick a provider you like, and a type of provider that matches your values and family traditions. Don't be afraid to ask questions to find out if they're a good fit. After all, you will see them regularly, and he or she will be in your personal space.
Once you pick, stick with them. You are partners in the same goal, to keep you safe and healthy. They will work toward this goal by listening to you and checking everything out, and your responsibility is to take care of yourself and go to all your appointments.
What Other Options Are There?
Washington State offers other insurance programs for families, pregnant women and children. There is even a program called Take Charge that offers males and females free birth control, and covers women’s annual exams. To learn about your health insurance options visit ParentHelp123.org
Another option for affordable medical care if you don’t have health insurance is low-cost community clinics. They will charge an amount based on how much income you receive each month. This is called a sliding scale. Find a clinic near you!
Here’s a guide to picking your own doctor and a toolkit on taking charge of your health.
Learn more about the different providers that offer alternative medicine.
Here are some good questions to ask your health care provider during appointments.
Check out this information about how to talk to your doctor.