Navigating the Healthcare System for Youth

Navigating the Healthcare System for Youth

By Andre Armour, Youth Advisory Council member

Andre is a young advocate seeking peace and proper justice for his community. He believes that his purpose in life is to serve others in whatever capacity is needed.

“Garlic, basil, and lemon juice mixed with a little green tea can cure anything,” my parents said. According to them, this was the recipe for good health. Growing up, my parents strove for us to never go to the hospital. Every time my sisters and I would get sick we would have to take some natural home remedy and pray to God that it would work. It was terribly disgusting! My parents believed not only that going to the doctor was overpriced but that it was not even an option. Throughout struggles like this, I was forced to wonder why we could not simply just go to the hospital. Health care is extremely important. I now have it through my dads’ job, but it was not easy getting it due to the lack of finances and knowledge on how to know what exactly I need as a young person. Attaining health care can be frustrating, however necessary it might be. Everyone should have legitimate access to health care and young people should also understand how navigate attaining their own health care.

Even though her family has health care, she does not feel confident that she will be able to easily access health care for herself in the future.

Ensuring people have access to healthcare is vital. Some medical conditions without proper medical attention. When Adrian Garcia, a youth advocate from Texas, was asked if he had ever thought about the idea of getting health insurance in the future, he responded by saying, “Not at the moment, however with college around the corner it would definitely be an option once I was away from work.” This was very startling because attaining health care is a process that takes time and research. Depending on an individual’s resources, he or she may or may never get coverage. When asked the same question, Audrey Gabriel, a School-Based Health Alliance Youth Advisory Council Member, answered, “I’m fortunate enough to come from a family that’s covered by insurance but especially now, as I mature and understand the health care system better, I think about getting my own health insurance and have a lot of anxiety over the massive undertaking that is and how much of a burden it’s going to be alongside cost of living and student debt.” Even though her family has health care, she does not feel confident that she will be able to easily access health care for herself in the future. Due to the price of health insurance, many may not be able to afford it. Therefore, one must wonder if the prices of health insurance are equitable.

The path to rectifying this issue consists of talking to our elected officials and educating our young people. This is where our school-based health centers (SBHCs) can come in through educating and empowering! Working with SBHCs, we will be able to teach young people early on about accessing health care and transitioning to ones on own health care plan.

Getting older can mean a lot of different things. Getting your own health care plan is one of those things. It is vital that young people understand the concept of navigating the healthcare system for their own good. We need to educate adolescents on the importance of health care and not allowing it to be taken for granted. Unfortunately, the current system in place is not teachable. SBHCs can fix this! By allowing them to assist a system could be devised and implemented that directly tackles the problem of informing and equipping youth with the right resources so they can make competent decisions regarding their own healthcare plan.

We need to educate adolescents on the importance of health care and not allowing it to be taken for granted.

Deciding on what type of health care provider to utilize can be difficult and confusing. There is a plethora of options to consider. With the following steps, one can narrow down what maybe his or her best option is.

Each of these steps can help young people begin to prepare for their own health care journey when it’s time for them to get their own insurance.

The hospital can seem like an unbearable financial burden, but with health care it is not. It is the duty of America to partner with organizations like SBHCs to ensure that all people have access to health care and to defeat the negativity around health care.

Share

Leave a Reply

Sorry, but you must be logged in to post a comment.