Over the past decade, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) has made great strides in increasing health care coverage among youth under age 19. However, this overall success masks an important disparity – adolescents are more likely to be uninsured than younger children. As state policy makers and program administrators seek to build on their successes to reach more of those eligible for SCHIP, special attention should be paid to adolescents. SCHIP coverage can not only improve teens’ health, but can reduce the burdens of chronic disease in adulthood.
Adolescents have distinct service utilization and developmental health care needs, which should be addressed in the design of each state’s SCHIP program. Outreach, benefits, service providers, and quality measurement and improvement are all program elements that can be examined and tailored to meet adolescents’ needs.
This State Health Policy Briefing provides an overview of adolescents’ characteristics and health care needs and offers guidance on how to tailor state SCHIP programs to better target the health care needs of low-income adolescents.
|SCHIP and Adolescents||191.8 KB|