Age 18 - Taking Responsibility for Our Own Health

As you reach the exciting age of 18, you are not only gaining more independence but you are also taking on more responsibilities.  You are now considered an adult in the eyes of the law.  The first thing that probably comes to mind is that at 18 you have the right to vote but you also need to know that you are now responsible for your own personal health information and medical decisions. This means that we can not share any of your personal health information with anyone including your parents. 

We understand that some of you may want to share your private health information with a parent.  If you would like to share your health information with your parent(s), you will need to sign our Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information form.  If you do want to share all of your medical information with your parent(s), please ask for the form which is available at the front desk.  We do want to be very clear that this is your personal health information and you do not have to share it with anyone.

We realize that most of you are used to mom and dad being in charge of your health care needs but now you are in charge.  This means you should know your allergies, know what medications you take, know how to request a refill, and understand any medical conditions you may have.  If you don’t understand, ask your doctor to explain. You can confide in your doctor about anything including bullying and sexuality concerns or questions. Remember to carry urgent treatments with you like Epi-pens or inhalers and you should always carry your insurance card with you.  

Try calling our office yourself to schedule your next appointment and then check in at our front desk.  Feel free to bring a list of questions with you that you want to ask the doctor.  You should also know the details of your current insurance plan and decide whether you will stay on your parent’s plan until age 26 or switch plans.

This is also a good time to think about your eventual transition to an adult physician.  In general we are happy to continue to provide your medical care until age 22.  If you

agree, in order to provide quality patient care, we do insist that you come in for an annual check-up every calendar year.  When you do move on, you are required to do two things.

1. You will need to send us a letter with your original signature requesting your medical records. 

2. If your insurance is an HMO Plan, you need to contact them to change the name of your (PCP) primary care physician to your new doctor.

When you do decide to move on, we will be happy to assist you in finding an adult physician. We look forward to continue to support you through this exciting change.

Michael W. Yogman, M.D.  Laura Need, M.D.  Marni Roitfarb, M.D., Sarah O'Connor, D.O.




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