Can teens use Planned Parenthood telehealth services to get care?

Someone asked us: 

I saw that Planned Parenthood is now doing appointments through videochat bc of the quarantine. Can you do it if you’re a teenager and is it private?

Yup! Getting health care services through a phone call or video visit (aka telehealth) at Planned Parenthood is private and secure on our end — just like a regular in-person visit at a Planned Parenthood health center.

On your end, try to find a quiet, private place to have your phone or video visit. You can ask other people in your home to give you privacy during your appointment time and not come into the room while the door is closed. r If music is playing or the tv is on in another room, it’s less likely others will hear what you’re saying.

You can totally have a parent or other adult that you trust with you during your telehealth visit if you want. But you also have the right to talk with your doctor or nurse alone. In general, the  staff  at Planned Parenthood won’t tell anybody — including your parents — what happens during your appointment. Many states have special laws that protect your right to get private sexual health care, even if you’re under 18. But laws are different in every state. If you’re worried about privacy, ask about the health center’s privacy policies for people under 18 when you make your telehealth appointment.

Even if you’re worried that talking to your parents about your appointment will be awkward, it’s a good idea to ask for their help (as long as you feel safe). Chances are, they’ll be glad you asked and proud of you for being responsible about your health. 

Just like with an in-person visit, your telehealth nurse or doctor will talk with you about your body, health, daily habits, relationships, sex, and/or birth control. It’s normal to feel awkward, but it’s important to be honest. They won’t judge you or get you in trouble — they just need to know this stuff to give you the best care.

A telehealth visit is a great time to ask questions about puberty, periods, your body and genitals, sex, birth control, pregnancy, STDs, relationships — anything you’re curious or worried about. It might be helpful to make a list before your appointment of things you want to talk about, including any questions or worries, so you can be ready during your visit. Doctors and nurses are experts on bodies, and they’ve heard it all. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, so ask away!

If you use a parent or guardian’s health insurance to pay for your appointment, they might get a statement that says what services you got. You can call your insurance company to find out about their privacy policies (the number is usually on the back of your insurance card). Or ask the health center how to make sure your visit stays private when you make your appointment. You may be able to get free or low-cost care from Planned Parenthood, without using your parents’ insurance. You can also ask about this when you make your telehealth appointment if you do that over the phone. 

If you have any other questions about telehealth visits, privacy during your appointment, or getting health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, call your local Planned Parenthood health center

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood

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