Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: We appreciate the efforts of Dr Diaz
and colleagues to place our results within the context of larger policy issues.
Because adolescents who report they do not get needed care are at increased
risk of health problems, we believe that parents and the medical community
together must address factors influencing adolescents to forgo health care.
The strategies suggested by Diaz et al highlight critically important points.
First, efforts to increase the number of adolescents who have health
insurance must take into account both the availability of health insurance
and whether eligible adolescents are enrolled in insurance programs. CHIP
expands the availability of health insurance for adolescents and is an important
step toward correcting inequities in past Medicaid expansions, in which providing
coverage for adolescents has historically been a low priority. However, enrolling
eligible adolescents in CHIP may be challenging. The full potential of this
program to increase numbers of insured adolescents will be realized only if
outreach enrollment efforts are successful.1,2
Ford CA, Moody J, Bearman PS. Access to Health Care for Adolescents—Reply. JAMA. 2000;283(16):2101-2102. doi:10.1001/jama.283.16.2101