Adolescent & teen health

Teen with dad in canoe

As teens mature from childhood through adolescence, their health care needs change. Having a good relationship with a Primary Care Provider (PCP) can help with the transition.

Annual preventive visit

Adolescents and teens should make annual preventive visits with their PCP a priority. Preventive care is an important part of keeping kids healthy into adulthood.

At annual visits these preventive services, and more, are covered at no ($0) out-of-pocket costs to you when performed by an in-network provider*:

  • Track changes in physical, mental and social development
  • Vaccines to protect against diseases
  • Offer advice about unhealthy behaviors
  • Discuss nutrition, proper exercise and safety measures
  • Help to coach your child for the transition into adulthood
  • Answer questions about overall health and wellbeing

Annual preventive visit vs. sports physical

An annual preventive visit is an exam and health assessment to help monitor and treat a person’s level of health. A sports physical is an exam to help determine if it is safe for an athlete to participate in a sport. Your child’s PCP may do both at a preventive visit. A sports physical done as a separate visit will have cost sharing (copays, deductibles).

Adolescent Immunizations

As kids grow, protection from some childhood vaccines begin to wear off. Kids also become at risk for more diseases. Staying up-to-date with recommended vaccines offers the best possible protection against common preventable diseases.
The CDC recommends vaccinating every adolescent against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) before their 13th birthday. Because the immune system has a stronger response in younger years, early vaccination can help protect adolescents from HPV – before exposure occurs.
The CDC also recommends that adolescents get the Meningococcal (MCV) and Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap) vaccines before their 13th birthday. A MCV booster is recommended for ages 16-18.
If your adolescent missed getting their HPV or MCV vaccines before their 13th birthday, check with your PCP. It may not be too late for your child to receive important protection against cancers and infection.
For more information about recommended vaccines visit:

Adolescent VaccinesWhyDosage
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)Protects against cervical, anal, oral and a few other rare cancersTwo-dose series completed by age 13
Meningococcal (MCV)Protects against a bacterial infection that can make the lining of the brain and spinal cord swell, causing deathOne by age 13
Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (TdapA combination vaccine that protects against three life-threatening bacterial diseasesOne by age 13
Meningococcal (MCV) booster (ages 16-18Meningococcal (MCV) booster (ages 16-18) Helps prevent meningococcal disease caused by serogroup BOne
Flu (all ages)Protects against new strains of flu viruses - respiratory infections that can cause serious complicationsOne every fall or winter

*If your plan uses a provider network, review your summary of benefits and coverage for network provider details.

Other adolescent and teen health resources