Insurance Transition

If you are still on your parent’s health insurance at age twenty-six, you will be required to perform a transition process as, after age twenty-six, you are no longer automatically covered. It is important to understand your insurance options so that you can pick the coverage that works best for you. 

Options may include solely being covered under Medicaid at no cost to you, paying for your own health insurance (private or state), or fulfilling the process that must occur to continue being covered under your parent’s insurance if that insurance company and your parents allow you to do so.

Learning Objectives:

  • Know that at age 26, dependents are no longer automatically covered by their parent’s insurance
  • Understand the choices that you have when you are going to turn 26
  • Understand the process that must occur when you are going to turn 26 in order to continue having health insurance
  • Understand the choices that you have when you are already 26
  • Understand the choices that you have when you are married
  • Know what questions to ask your current insurance company 
  • Know what questions to ask potential insurance companies when searching for a new coverage plan

Insurance Choices
The Process
Questions to Ask Your Current Insurance Company
Questions to Ask Potential Insurance Companies

All About Self-Advocacy

All about Self-advocacy

What does it mean to be a self-advocate?
How do I become a self-advocate?

What does it mean to be a self-advocate?

Self-advocacy is a skill that you can utilize throughout your entire life. 

A self-advocate is having the ability to speak up for yourself. This refers to your ability to understand what your needs are and then the ability to effectively convey and communicate those needs and rights to the appropriate people.

In being your own self-advocate, you will be an individual who realizes that you know yourself best, believe in your own self-worth and value, and take charge of managing and sharing about your own needs. No one will understand or know how to assist you unless you inform them. 

How do I become a self-advocate?

Becoming a self-advocate takes time and much practice, especially when learning how to navigate the medical system. Give yourself grace and know that no one is a perfect advocate, but the more you practice the better advocate you will become. 

With someone you trust, practice speaking up for your needs. You know your needs and situation best. In every medical situation, be persistent and do not give up. Follow through with what you say and do what you need to do to ensure that whatever you need, gets done.

Medical Self-Advocacy

Self-Advocacy and leadership are important skills for every aspect of life. However, this is even more so when it comes to taking charge of your own healthcare and other medical needs. 

As you may already know, many youth and young adults with disabilities and/or complex medical needs often have advocates while growing up. You, yourself, may have had an advocate, but it is very possible that you have decided that it is time to begin developing the skill of self-advocacy in order to take leadership in your own healthcare as it is an important skill in the development of becoming your own self-advocate. 

Self-advocacy and taking leadership in your own healthcare does not happen overnight. These skills are a process and you can continue to learn and grow in these areas throughout your entire life. However, beginning as a youth or young adult will allow you to build a firm foundation before venturing out on your own.

Learning Objectives:

  • Be prepared for transitioning from having an advocate to taking leadership in your own healthcare 
  • Understand what it means to be a self-advocate
  • Understand how to become a self-advocate
  • Understand what it means to take leadership in your own healthcare 
  • Learn the resources available to you while becoming a self-advocate and leader in your own healthcare

All about Self-advocacy

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities 

Taking Leadership in Your Healthcare

Transition to Adulthood

Transitioning to adulthood is a big step in life. As an adult it is up to you to make your own choices and to take care of yourself. Therefore, it is important that you know the changes the transition brings and learn what help is provided for adults.This page provides links that help explain this step.


CAPE Youth – The Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth helps disabled youth (16-24) find stable, accommodating employment

Charting the LifeCourse™ – Created by families to help individuals and families of all abilities and all ages develop a vision for a good life, think about what they need to know and do, identify how to find or develop supports, and discover what it takes to live the lives they want to live.

Got Transition – Information on making the transition to taking control of your own healthcare.

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth – Employment information for youth with disabilities.

Partners for Youth With Disabilities – Seeks to build the skills and abilities of young people with disabilities, and increase the inclusivity of workplaces, organizations, and communities.

Ready. Set. Grad. – Information and tools to help youth graduate from high school and go to college.

Transition Truths: An Overview of Transition Systems – This tool describes the systems that may affect youth with and without disabilities as they transition from youth to adulthood.

UnitedHealthcare On My Way – United Healthcare has a program for youth in transition. Like finding housing, getting a good job, managing your money – and more.

Young Adult Transition – This website has a list of resources for youth transitioning into adulthood in Washington State

Youthhood – A website for and by youth, to help them plan for life after high school and talk to other teens

Downloadable Resources

A Young Person’s Guide to Health Care Transition

By Youth, For Youth: Employment – Information on getting and retaining a job.

College or Training Programs: How to Decide Tips for Youth

Documents to Keep for Youth Transitioning to Adult Life

DSHS Transition Timeline – This timeline explains what to do and when to do it, for students with an IEP or Section 504 Plan.

My Life, My Health – A Toolkit for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Online College Programs – Questions to consider for students with disabilities

Readiness Survey – Use this check list to help you decide if you are ready to transition into adulthood.

The 411 on Disability Disclosure – A workbook for youth with disabilities

Transitions: Life after high school – Tools to help you decide what you want to do after High School

The ADA, Section 504 & Postsecondary Education – Information for IDEA students who want to go to college.

Youth Resources

The Center for Children with Special Needs Teens Page – Information on talking to health care professionals, dealing with parents, finding employment and more.

College Guide – Contains College Guide for Students With Physical Disabilities, College Guide for Students With Learning Disabilities, College Guide for Students With Psychiatric Disabilities, and College Guide for Students with Visual Impairments.

Erika’s Lighthouse: We’re in this together – Promoting positive mental health for teens feeling isolated.

Got Transition? – National health care transition center for youth learning to take control of their health care.

Teen Link – A helpline for teens, by teens 1-866-TEENLINK – A welcoming community for all youth and a place where all youth belong.

Youth Leadership

For youth who want to use their abilities to speak out for themselves and others, there are many leadership opportunities available.

Introduction to Leading

So you want to be a leader? That’s great! But what exactly is leadership? There are many definitions of leadership, and many different ways that youth can be leaders. A very simple definition of leadership might be: “The ability to use your skills and knowledge to change the way other people think or act.”

Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT)

A national initiative intended to get more youth with disabilities and their allies involved as leaders who partner with adults and organizations to improve opportunities for youth to succeed in life.

Youth in Action! – Serving on Decision-Making Boards

If you’re a young person who is active in your community, in an organization, or for a particular cause, you may have been asked to serve on a board. A board is a group of people who give advice, share expertise, and provide leadership to direct organizations in what they should and should not do. Boards can be connected to companies, nonprofit organizations, schools, community organizations, or government agencies.

Self Advocacy

Understanding a diagnosis is the key to learning to thrive.  Self advocacy takes an understanding of the individual, the diagnosis, and melds it with the desire to choose one’s own destiny.

Attention Students: Lead your own IEP meetings and take charge of your future

If you are a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), read this article to find out how you can be a leader on your IEP team. Your future is counting on you!

Be Your Own Best Advocate

What does it mean to advocate for yourself? Being your own advocate means that you ask for what you need while respecting the needs of others. For example, if you are at a store and a clerk ignores you, you are able to ask in a polite way to be served. Self-advocacy is asking for what you need in a direct, respectful manner. This handout gives some tips on how to best advocate for yourself.

Chart Your Own Future

What will you do after high school? Where will you work, go to school, or live? What kind of life do you want? Your transition Individualized Education Program (IEP) can help you answer these questions, and help you live your life to the fullest.

Sample Self-Advocacy Plan

A simple fill-out chart that can help you organize your thoughts before an IEP meeting.

What is Self-Determination and Why is it Important?

This is part of a multi-media product consisting of a print-based, 16-page full-color publication and an accompanying web-presence that elaborates on stories and themes introduced in the print publication.