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Family to Family Health Information Center|Wyoming Institute for Disabilities

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Transition: Moving into Adult Health Care

Welcome to the online transition guide to help young adults transition to adult health care! This online guide is going to teach YOU, the young adult, and your transition team (parents, guardians, transition coaches) how to begin to manage your own health care. Moving to a new system can be scary, but this guide will help you be more prepared.

Remember, these are only a few of the questions that you should think about when beginning your transition. It is important to work with your transition team and doctors. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or transition team. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.

Let's get started and learn about health transitions!

Outline

 


Meet Courtney

Courtney headshot

Courtney is going to help you work through a few important medical transition questions. Courtney is a young adult who learned (and is still learning) the ins and outs of taking over her own health care transition. Courtney is 21 years old, and has lived in Wyoming most of her life. She loves to spend time outside, working with her horses, looking at livestock, playing golf, and watching baseball. One of Courtney’s biggest passions is talking to all people and hearing their stories. Her main goal is to become a motivational youth speaker. Right now, Courtney goes to the University of Wyoming and is getting her Bachelor's degree at UW in Agricultural Education so she can become an Ag Teacher, preferably in Wyoming.

Courtney was interested in making these videos because, “Health is a topic that should be important to everyone. As a young person who made that transition into adulthood there are a lot of questions you have. This topic is important to me because I want to help make this area much less of a burden to young people. For many of us we are essentially thrown into the fire when we turn 18 and there are a lot of tips and tricks to pick up which I believe these videos can help with.”

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Question 1: What is health care transition?

What is all the talk about health care transition? What does that even mean? Courtney will explain to us what transition means and give you some tips about ways to start transitioning. Play the video.

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What were some important points Courtney brought up about choosing a doctor?

  1. What is health care transition?
  2. What kinds of things do you need to think about with transition?

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Question 2: Why is it important to transition your health care?

Transitioning your health care is an important part of becoming an adult. It is exciting and challenging! Let's see what tips Courtney can share. Play the video.

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What were some important points Courtney brought up about why it is important to transition your health care?

  1. Who can help you transition your health care?
  2. What can you do if you don't understand something that has to do with your health care?

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Question 3: Why can't I keep seeing my pediatrician?

Part of transitioning to adulthood is that you can no longer continue to see your pediatrician, the doctor that took care of you as a kid. Moving to a new doctor is a normal part of becoming an adult. Courtney has some advice about changing doctors that you can use to help. Play the video.

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What were some important points Courtney brought up about why you cannot keep seeing your pediatrician?

  1. Why is it important to change doctors when you become an adult?
  2. What can a new doctor do for you?

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Question 4: How do you choose a doctor?

The first question you are going to work through is “How do you choose a doctor?” When you are transitioning, you have to get a new doctor. Now that you are an adult, you have to stop seeing your pediatrician. Let’s see what Courtney says about choosing a doctor. Play the video.

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What were some important points Courtney brought up about choosing a doctor?

  1. Why do you need to go to the doctor? Do you need to see a specialist or a general doctor?
  2. Is the doctor's office accessible? Ask if the office is accessible and find out if it meets your needs.
  3. Does the doctor take your insurance? Will you have a co-pay? How much will the co-pay be?
  4. What is a co-pay? How can you find out how much your co-pay will be?

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Question 5: How will you get to your appointment?

The second question you are going to work through is “How will you get to your appointment?” When you are transitioning, you have to think about how YOU are going to get to the appointment on your own. You are in charge of transportation. Let’s see what ideas Courtney has about transportation. Play the video.


Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What were some important points Courtney brought up about getting to your appointment?

  1. What are some ways you can get to the doctor on your own in your town?
  2. What can you do if there is no public transportation in your town?
  3. How will YOU get to the doctor on your own?

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Question 6: What should I bring to my appointment?

The third question you are going to work through is “What should I bring to my appointment?” When you are transitioning, you are in charge to getting everything that you need together for your appointment. What kinds of things do you need to bring? Let’s see what advice Courtney has for you. Play the video.


Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What does Courtney recommend that you bring to your appointment?

  1. What were some of the things Courtney listed? Why would these be important to bring?
  2. What else will you bring to your appointment?
  3. What should information do you need for your portable medical summary?

What is a portable medical summary?

A portable medical summary is a piece of paper with your medical information on it that you can take with you to new doctors and keep with you in case of an emergency. The portable medical summary is for basic health information. This will help you learn about your conditions as well. You should know your basic health information when you are transitioning!

Download the portable medical summary. Fill it out with your transition team and get the missing information from your doctor.

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Question 7: What is health insurance?

You probably hear the words "health insurance" a lot lately. But, what is insurance and what does it do for you? Courtney explains what insurance is and how it can help you pay for your health care. Play the video.

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What did Courtney say about health insurance?

  1. What is health insurance?
  2. How does health insurance help you?
  3. What is an insurance card?
  4. What information does the card have on it?
  5. Where to you need to bring your insurance card to use it?

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Question 8: How do you schedule an appointment?

The fourth question you are going to work through is “How do I schedule an appointment?” When you are transitioning, you are in charge of making your own appointments with the doctor you are going to see. Let’s see how Courtney schedules an appointment. Play the video.


Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What did Courtney say about scheduling an appointment?

    1. When should you start to schedule your own appointment? When should you schedule transportation?
    2. How do you schedule an appointment?
    3. What materials do you need to schedule an appointment? How will you remember when to go?

Practicing making a phone call with a friend or your transition team. Pretend you are calling to make an appointment and see how it goes!

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Question 9: What happens when you go to the doctor alone?

The last question that you are going to work through today is “What happens when I go to the doctor alone?” When you are transitioning, you will start to see the doctor alone without your parents. Let’s see what Courtney says about going to the doctor alone and what advice she has if you are nervous or scared about going by yourself. Play the video.


Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What did Courtney say about going to the doctor alone?
  1. When do most young adults begin to see the doctor alone?
  2. Why is visiting the doctor alone important?
  3. What can you do if you are nervous about seeing the doctor alone?
  4. If you have questions for the doctor, what should you do before you go to the appointment? What questions do you have for your doctor now?
  5. How does your doctor allow you to ask questions? Are you allowed to call or E-mail questions?
  6. What is your plan for going to the doctor alone or working up to going to the doctor alone?

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Question 10: What is Medicare?

There are lot of kinds of insurance. A type of insurance you may have or may have had in the past is called Medicare. Medicare is different than Medicaid. Courtney will explain what Medicare is and who it is for. Ask your parents what kind of insurance you have if you do not know. Play the video.

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What did Courtney say about Medicare?

  1. What is Medicare?
  2. Who might have Medicare insurance?
  3. What kind of insurance do you have?

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Question 11: What is Medicaid?

There are lot of kinds of insurance. A type of insurance you may have or may have had in the past is called Medicaid. Medicaid is different than Medicare. Courtney will explain what Medicaid, is and who it is for. Ask your parents what kind of insurance you have if you do not know. Play the video.

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What did Courtney say about Medicare?

  1. What is Medicaid?
  2. Who might have Medicaid insurance?
  3. What kind of insurance do you have?

Resources from the video:

You can apply for Medicaid by visiting: http://www.health.wyo.gov/healthcarefin/equalitycare/index.html

For more information on Medicaid visit The Wyoming Department of Health and the WY Equality Care websites.

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Question 12: What is a Medicaid waiver?

Some individuals with intellectual disability or a developmental disability who meet some eligibility criteria have a type of coverage called a Medicaid waiver to help pay for services that you may need, like therapy or help at home. Ask your parents or caregiver if you have a Medicaid waiver and find out what services you waiver covers. Remember, the more questions you ask, the more you will find out and know about your healthcare. Courtney explains what "waiver" is in Wyoming:

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What did Courtney say about the Medicaid waiver, or "the waiver" as you will hear it called a lot?

  1. What is the waiver?
  2. Do you have a Medicaid waiver? What does your waiver pay for?
  3. What questions do you still have about the waiver that you want to know the answer to?

Resources from the video:

For more information on the Medicaid Waiver visit the Wyoming Department of Health, Developmental Disabilities Division Waiver Information page.


Question 13: What do different specialists do for me?

A specialist is a doctor who is an expert, or who knows a lot, about one specific part of your body or healthcare. He or she studies one part of the body and learns everything they can about it. You visit a specialist for health issues that have to do with that one part of your body. Courtney explains there are lots of specialists who you may see to keep you healthy:

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What did Courtney say about specialists?

  1. What is a specialist?
  2. Why do you need to go to a doctor's appointment with a specialist sometimes for your health?
  3. Who are some specialists who you see? What do they do for you?
  4. What are some questions you can ask the specialist when you go to an appointment to learn more about how they are helping you?

Question 14: What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and therapist?

These doctors are all health professionals who work together to keep you healthy. They sound similar, but they all have different jobs. Courtney will explain the different between these different specialists:

Review and answer:

Let's review and answer the question Courtney asks for YOU! Answer these questions by yourself, with a friend, or your transition team. If you need help, watch the video again for your answers.

What did Courtney say about the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and therapist?

  1. What is a psychiatrist? What do they do to help you?
  2. What is a psychologist? What do they do to help you?
  3. What is a therapist? What do they do to help you??
  4. Do you see any of these specialists? Do you know their names? What questions can you ask these specialists about how they help you?

Conclusion

These are only a few questions to help you think about transitioning health care. There are more things you need to think about, decide, and talk about with your family and transition team. Remember, you are in charge, but they are there to help you be in charge. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions or ask for help.

If you want more information, visit this other great resources on medical transition:

Moving into Adult Health Care-A guide for young adults with and without disabilities by CT-KASA, Connecticut Kids As Self Advocates

Got Transition?-A website that answer questions about transition for your and your team.

Clinical Report—Supporting the Health Care Transition From Adolescence to Adulthood in the Medical Home-A report by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is a good resource for your team so they can support your transition.

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