Don't let the cost of health services keep you from visiting a clinic. Teens in California have the right to free or low-cost medical care.
If you don't have insurance and can't pay on your own:
- California's family planning program, Family PACT helps teens access for many sexual and reproductive health services like pregnancy tests, prescription birth control, STD testing and treatment, and counseling. It does not pay for abortions, prenatal or maternity care. The services provided under FamilyPACT are confidential. You can sign up for Family PACT at a clinic near you. To find a provider call 800-952-1054 or go to www.familypact.org.
- Medi-Cal, California's state and federally funded Medicaid program, pays for pregnancy-related care, including abortion, if your income is very low. If you're under 21, Medi-Cal only counts the money you earn for yourself, not what your parents earn. You can also qualify for Medi-Cal coverage if you are under 26 and used to be in foster care. Medi-Cal services are confidential. To sign up for Medi-Cal contact your local County office. Visit www.medi-cal.ca.gov for more information.
Some clinics have "sliding fee scales:" This means they charge less to people who have less money.
If you have health insurance:
- It probably pays for pregnancy tests, maternity services, STD testing and treatment, and abortions. You will have to check your policy or call the company to make sure.
- Either through your job - or your parent's or spouse's job - and it covers prescription drugs, then it should cover prescriptions including birth control like pills, shots, and diaphragms, as well as antibiotics to treat STDs.
- If you use your parent's insurance, or go to a family doctor, your family could find out. If you don't want them to know, you need to fill out a Confidential Communications Request, a form that tells your insurance plan to send all information about the sensitive health care you accessed directly to you, and not to your parent or spouse. To find step-by-step instructions on how to submit a Confidential Communications Request, visit myhealthmyinfo.org. If confidentiality is still a concern, you can also sign up for FamilyPACT to access services.