In Colorado, there are almost 200,000 uninsured young adults, many of which are still teenagers. In Mesa County, most uninsured teens seek medical attention for pregnancy and other sexually related problems, which is a growing concern nationwide and is no exception on the Western Slope.
In 2002 in Mesa County, 152 children were born to mothers between the ages of 17 and 18, and another 65 were born to mothers between the ages of 10 and 17. Stephanie Salazar is an 18-year-old full time student and works a full time job.
She just recently gave birth to her 3-month-old son, Amillo, and says without the help from the state and her family, having Amillo could have been even harder. Even with the help, she had to overcome barriers, “Medicaid covers now, but before this I was getting bills in the mail everyday,” says Salazar.
Many teens don't go to the doctors office until the last minute, which ends up causing medical complications. It also costs more money, simply because they can't afford insurance.
In addition to the growing number of uninsured teens, uninsured children are also becoming a problem. 1 of every 7 children in Colorado are uninsured, which is above the national average. Many of these children are eligible for, but not enrolled in, Medicaid or child health plans.
Wednesday on 11 News Colorado we will continue our series on the healthcare gap, focusing on young adults starting up their careers, but at the same time drowning in debt, and what legislators are doing to help…
by: Christy Hutchings
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