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Health & Transition

A young person’s health is critical to his or her overall well-being. Good health provides a solid foundation for success at home, work, school, and in the community. As children become adults, families must determine how a young person’s health care expenses will be covered once they are no longer covered on the family policy or by a children’s health care program. Many families also experience the challenge of transitioning from a long trusted pediatrician to a new adult health care provider.

In addition to transition planning focused on helping students achieve their career, post-secondary education and independent living goals, it is therefore helpful for many youth with special health care needs and disabilities to have transition plans that focus on developing skills needed to manage their healthcare as adults. Transition goals could involve learning how to manage the student’s chronic health condition, developing a healthy lifestyle, having the ability to recognize and address issues related to an acute illness, and connecting with new healthcare specialists as well as a new primary physician. Start the transition process early to allow plenty of time for your youth to develop effective skills.


Financing Your Young Adult’s Healthcare >>>

Is your son or daughter‘s current health care coverage under your family’s private health insurance or covered by Medicaid? Do you know how long your son or daughter will be covered under this plan as they grow older? What will he or she do if he or she is no longer covered under the family plan? What are the options? These key questions are important to answer.

Health Transition Planning Resources

  • National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability
    A resource center on building healthy inclusive communities.
  • Got Transition
    A National Health Care Transition Center with resources for families, youth and the medical professionals who serve them.
  • A Young Person’s Guide to Health Care Transition
    This brief from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) reviews topics youth should consider around transitioning to adult health care, living a healthy lifestyle, and paying for health care.
  • Find a Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2F HIC) in Your State
    F2F HICs are family-staffed organizations that provide families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) and disabilities with free support, information, resources, and training on a range of health issues.
  • Family Voices
    Family Voices is a grassroots national network serving families of children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. Affiliates in every state provide resources and support on a range of health care issues to help families to make informed decisions, advocate for improved policy, and build active partnerships with professionals. Find Family Voices in your state.
  • Transition Quickguide: Take Charge Of Planning and Managing Your Own Health and Career Goals
    Provides information and resources about health insurance coverage, self-care, health care transition, decision-making, and career planning and management.
  • What Does Health Have to Do with Transition? Everything!
    This Parent Brief developed by PACER for the National Center on Secondary Education Transition (NCSET) provides information on the benefits of and strategies for including health in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.
  • Transition Health Plan for Youth with Disabilities and Their Families
    This form is designed to help transition-age youth with disabilities and their families plan for youth to assume greater or full responsibility for their adult health care.
  • Are you ready to transition to adult health care?
    This health care transition quiz from Got Transition will help youth and young adults find out how ready they are to transition to adult care. It asks about major issues and also gives tips and resources to address many health care transition questions, including how to add their medical information to their smartphone, what legal changes happen at 18, and how to sign up for health insurance.
  • Taking Charge of My Health
    The Teen and Young Adult Section of this Westchester Institute for Human Development website presents resources to help young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities take charge of multiple aspects of their own health care. This includes being part of their health transition planning, keeping medical records, and managing their health more independently. A parallel site provides corresponding information for family members on each topic.
  • Voicing My Choices: A Planning Guide for Adolescents & Young Adults
    An advance planning guide specifically designed for adolescents and young adults living with a serious illness. Also available in Spanish.