SUMMARY

Approximately one in nine adolescents (11.5 percent) aged 10–18 lack insurance coverage. Many adolescents are uninsured despite being eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP coverage. Those who are without coverage are less likely to have a usual source of care and to receive health services and more likely to have unmet health needs. However, adolescents who have coverage experience difficulty gaining access to the services they need because of a combination of limits in benefits packages, cost-sharing requirements, lack of access to providers, and unavailability of confidential health services. These problems are particularly acute with respect to preventive, sexual and reproductive health, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and dental services.

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