Monday, December 24, 2012

The cost of health

The topic of health care is on a lot of our minds especially with talks of the US getting Universal Health Care.  There are many teens who don’t have health insurance, who can’t afford paying for a doctor’s visit or don’t want their parents to know they went to the doctors. There are various reasons to go to the doctor, from a simple check up to pregnancy testing. The access to medical care for teens is hard for many, one volunteer said, “I’m nineteen years old so the medical care I had through the state ran out because I’m no longer a minor, but my employer’s health care plan is way too expensive for me to pay for.” So what do you do when you are in a situation where you can’t afford to go visit the doctor? That’s a good question! 
There is a website called Washington Free Clinics Association this website has all of the no fee clinics in Washington. The clinics on the website are non-profit clinics and mostly faith-based, but that does not exclude people who do not believe in the same belief. One clinic in Seattle is called Country Doctor Youth Clinic, this clinic is a no fee clinic just for youth they do simple check-ups, STI testing, pregnancy testing, contraception they also have a variety of other services they provide.  A question you may have is “What if I don’t want my parents to know I am getting tested for pregnancy or STI’s?” In the state of Washington you can get STI testing and mental health treatment at the age 13 without your parents consent. You can also get pregnancy testing at age 12 without parents consent. Another great place that is low cost or free, is the Teen Clinic, it’s a confidential non-judgmental clinic geared towards sexual health for teens. They provide services like STI/HIV testing, pregnancy testing, various forms of contraceptives. No matter what the health needs you have, it’s important to see the doctor and there are resources for everyone out there, even for teens who can’t afford to see the doctor.

You can always contact Teen Link for more resources at 1866TEENLINK (833-6546).

Washington Free Clinic Association

Country Doctor Youth Clinic
Teen Clinic

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