California Is Expanding Insurance Access for Teenagers Seeking Therapy on Their Own

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Fiona Lu fell into depression in ninth grade but couldn’t get therapy due to her Medi-Cal plan requiring parental consent. She later campaigned for a new law allowing young patients covered by Medicaid to get mental health counseling without parental consent. The law faced opposition from parents concerned about losing control over their children’s health decisions. Proponents saw it as an equity issue and a way to increase access to mental health care for young people in low-income households. The law aims to improve communication between parents and children through counseling and expand access to mental health clinicians willing to treat young people on Medi-Cal.

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