Appointment Preparation

As you prepare the young person in your care for independence by teaching them about doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, and managing finances, remember that it is also important to teach them about healthcare. Below is a list of healthcare self-management skills young people need to navigate when they are independent. We have offered some suggestions for activities you can do with them to help them learn these skills.

Scheduling doctor’s appointments

  • The next time your young person needs to see the doctor, have them call to schedule the appointment.
  • Remind them to have a calendar and paper to write down the appointment time.
  • Remind them to make travel arrangements for that appointment.
  • Remind them about the documents (e.g., insurance card, medications list) they will need at the next appointment.
  • Teach them the importance of arriving 15 minutes early to appointments.
  • Support them in doing these activities a few times before they do them on their own.

Identify symptoms

  • The next time your young person feels ill, have them identify their symptoms and teach them what those symptoms mean. You can do this in Where Do I Go?
  • Teach them how to use a thermometer, and what temperature would indicate a fever.
  • Teach them the appropriate use of home healthcare (e.g., Tylenol, extra sleep), primary care, urgent care, and the emergency room

Talk to the doctor and ask questions

  • Encourage young people to write down questions before their appointments and bring those with them (phone recordings, notes, or photos of written lists can help with this).
  • Excuse yourself from the appointment to give your young person the opportunity to talk to the provider alone.
  • Redirect conversations between you and the provider to include your young person (e.g., have the young person give the health history or family history instead of you).

Maintain and transfer medical records

  • Support your young person in getting records moved from one provider to another.

Fill and refill prescriptions

  • The next time you visit the pharmacy, have the young person get the prescription filled/refilled while you are there to support him/her.
  • Teach your young person to use automated refill systems at the pharmacy.
  • Teach your young person the process of obtaining additional refills for medications without visiting a doctor (e.g., by calling the provider or the doctor’s office).

If you do not have a primary care physician, the first thing you should do is find a doctor that will accept your insurance. A reliable source in finding eligible physicians is:

To find a physician, select your health plan, insurance program, what kind of doctor you’d like to see, as well as your zip code, and it will pull up all of the providers in your area that match your requirements.

*NOTE This website only lists healthcare providers that accept Medicaid.

Public Transportation

Since youth in foster care are not permitted to have a license, public transportation can be one of the only ways they can get around. Teaching public transportation at an early age is important so the child gets used to riding the bus, the bus route, and how much money they need to bring.

Try taking the bus when you go places with your child instead of driving. Going places like downtown, parks, or food by taking the bus is a great way to get your child used to public transptoration.
Use link above for Cincinnati’s Public Transporation routes.

Medicaid Transportation

Transportation is available through Medicaid*, and is preferred over taking an ambulance, unless it is a true emergency. Ambulance rides can cost thousands of dollars, which will heavily add cost to your ER bill.

*Let your child know that they have to call the hotline to schedule their ride a week before their appointment.

Medicaid Transportation Hotline
513-946-1000 option 6
---- or ----
call the toll free number on your Medicaid card

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