Adolescent + teen health

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 through the transition into adulthood
  • Answer questions about overall health and wellbeing

See a list of covered preventive services for pre-teens and teens at

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:

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

Adolescent vaccinesWhyDosage
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Protects against some cervical, anal, oral, and a few other rare cancers.
Two-dose series completed by age 13. Three-dose series if started at age 15 or older.

Meningococcal (MCV)

Protects against a bacterial infection that can make the lining of the brain and spinal cord swell, causing death.
One by age 13.
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap)
A combination vaccine that protects against three life-threatening bacterial diseases.
One by age 13.
Meningococcal (MCV) booster (ages 16-18)
Helps prevent meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B.
Flu (all ages)
Protects against new strains of flu viruses - respiratory infections that can cause serious complications.
One every fall or winter.

Other adolescent and teen health resources

You can go to your PCP, pharmacy, or both to be vaccinated. See our list of retail pharmacies that provide vaccinations. If you receive pharmacy benefits through another carrier, be sure to confirm insurance coverage of vaccines provided at your pharmacy.

Guidelines to keep in mind:
  • You don't need a prescription if you get a vaccines at one of the listed retail pharmacies
  • You can get vaccines from your PCP, pharmacy, or a combination of both
  • Call your pharmacy to ask if a vaccine is in stock or available
  • Visit to learn more about vaccines and schedules