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Youth & Families [En EspaƱol]

What Is Health Care Transition?

Health care transition is the process of getting ready for health care as an adult. During childhood, parents usually help with medical needs—they call for appointments, fill out forms, and keep track of medications. As youth get older, managing medical needs becomes their own responsibility. Achieving this independence requires an organized transition process to gain independent health care skills, prepare for an adult model of care, and transfer to new providers. There are several steps you can take to make sure the transition to adult health care goes smoothly. Be sure to also check out our Resources section for additional information.

Health Care Transition FAQs

Transitioning from childhood to adulthood is exciting and challenging—both as a young person and as a parent of a young person. Preparing for health care transition often receives less attention than preparing for other transitions in school, work, relationships, and independent living. We’re here to help you know everything you need to about health care transition. Below is a set of Frequently Asked Questions with answers provided by experienced youth, young adults, and parents. The questions are organized into six steps:

Expand/CloseExpand All Answers Below


discovering: learn about your provider’s approach to transition

Open/Close What should I be asking my health care provider about transition?

Open/Close I go to a pediatric provider; why do I have to change?

Open/Close My doctor is a family medicine doctor who I plan to stay with as an adult,
     so why do I have to think about transitioning?


tracking: know your own health information

Open/Close How can I keep track of my health care information?

Open/Close What should I bring with me to my appointments?


preparing: learn to manage your own health care

Open/Close At what age should I start thinking about transition?

Open/Close How do I become more in charge of my own health care?

Open/Close As a parent, how can I prepare to “let go” of managing my child’s health care?


planning: get ready for adult health care

Open/Close As I turn 18, what legal changes in health care do I need to know about?

Open/Close If my child needs help with making health care decisions, what are our options?

Open/Close How do I find a new adult provider, and how do I know if they are a good fit for me?

Open/Close What should I know about my health insurance?

Open/Close Will Medicaid coverage change for my child when he/she turns 19?
     What about coverage under the Children's Health Insurance Plan?

Open/Close Transitioning to adulthood can be stressful. How can I take care of my mental health?

Open/Close I am planning on going to college. How can I transition my health care to my new college?

Open/Close What about other aspects of transitioning into adulthood?


transferring: make the change to an adult provider

Open/Close What information does my current health care provider need to send to my new provider? How can I help?

Open/Close How is adult health care likely to be different than pediatric care?

Open/Close What questions should I ask about my new provider’s practice?


completing: provide feedback

Open/Close How do I help transition be better for others?


Have a question? Email us at info@GotTransition.org.



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Got Transition™ is a program of National Alliance Logo The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health supported by U39MC25729 HRSA/MCHB