Frequently Asked Questions
Will my parents find out that I was here? Do I need to get their permission? Our services are confidential and do not require your parent or guardian’s permission, as per New York State law. We do encourage you to talk with your parents/guardians, but we understand this isn’t always possible. We also ask that you provide us with a safe and reliable way to contact you just in case we need to reach you after you leave the center.
How much does it cost? Do I need Insurance? All of our services are available at low or no cost for adolescents. If you have Medicaid, we encourage you to bring your card with you. Those that don’t have insurance or are unsure if they have coverage can apply for the Family Planning Benefit Program. Bottom Line: No one is denied services if they can’t pay for them!
What is the Family Planning Benefit Program?The Family Planning Benefit Program is a free insurance that covers annual exams, all birth control methods, and STI testing and treatment. Both males and females can apply and receive coverage for family planning services under this insurance. Just bring your social security card or number with you to the visit.
How old do I have to be? We provide services for adolescents starting at 11 years old up until their 22nd birthday.
Do I need an appointment? It’s always best if you call first; this allows you to have an allotted time with your provider and minimize your wait time. If you do walk-in, you will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
What do I need to bring? Bring your social security number and your Medicaid (Benefit) card if you have one. No worries if you can’t get it!
What happens when I get there? You should check in with the receptionist to let him/her know whether you have an appointment. If you don’t have an appointment and there are available slots you will be given an appointment. If no appointments are available for that day, you will talk with the nurse. If it is your first time coming to us, we ask that you fill out a registration form and a confidential survey. Before you meet with a doctor, you will meet with a health educator, nurse or medical assistant to talk about the reason for your visit.
Can I bring my girl/boyfriend/friends? Yes! We understand how important it is to have support and we want all of our adolescent patients to feel comfortable. If you want to bring them into the exam room with you, that’s OK, too.
How many people are in the room during an exam? You will have a confidential visit at the health center. If you want, when the doctor starts to examine you, you may also have a female staff member or friend in the room with you.
Who can get Plan B/The Morning After Pill? If you are female, you can come get Plan B (emergency contraception) from us during health center hours up to five days after the condom broke, another birth control method failed or you didn't use any form of protection. If you are a male, we encourage you to bring your girlfriend to the health center, but we will give Plan B to males who come alone on a case-by-case basis. You have up to five days to get Plan B in order for it to be effective in preventing pregnancy, but the sooner you take it, the better. Plan B is not 100% effective, so it's better to be on a regular method of birth control. Usually a girl who gets Plan B at the health center can also start another method of birth control the same day.
Can I get birth control? How much does it cost? We offer a variety of birth control methods such as the IUD, the Pill, the Ring, the Depo-shot and the Patch at our health centers. The health educator or doctor will help you decide which method works best for you and teach you how to use it correctly. If you have Medicaid or FPBP, we can also give you a prescription that may be filled at the pharmacy without your parent or guardian’s knowledge. If you don’t have insurance, you will still be able to get birth control and other services at the health center.
Do I need to get a GYN exam done to start on birth control? No! All you will need to do is talk with a doctor or health educator who will provide you with information about all of the birth control options we offer and answer all of your questions. Then you will choose the best method for you and start using the method that same day!
What happens if I want to be tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)? When a patient requests routine STI testing and does not currently have any symptoms (like funky discharge or pain), then STI testing entails simply peeing in a cup. It’s that easy and painless! If you are having symptoms, the doctor may want to do a physical exam and take swabs of the affected area.
Will anyone judge me? No, our health centers are safe spaces for all of our patients, regardless of your race, gender, sexuality or decisions you have made. Our staff loves working with teens, and we are here to support and help you in any way we can.
Are you LGBTQ friendly? Yes! We work hard to create a safe space for all of our patients. We welcome anyone and everyone to access our services. Our staff members are trained to deal with any and all questions or health issues.
What if I just want to talk to someone or find out more about your services? There is always someone available if you just want to chat or find out more. We are ready to answer your questions and, most importantly, there is no such thing as a stupid question! You can always call us and ask for the health educator if you don’t feel comfortable coming in.