1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth report recommends several Medicaid policies to increase insurance coverage among adolescents: approve Medicaid expansion; eliminate the 5-year Medicaid waiting period for lawfully present adolescent immigrants; increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for adolescent health services to the level of Medicare; and ensure coverage and sufficient reimbursement of comprehensive health services. We designed this study to identify key advocates and factors relevant to adoption and implementation of the recommended Medicaid policies in Nebraska to highlight opportunities for additional advocacy. Methods: We conducted semistructured interviews January 2022 with 28 adolescent health and health-care access experts in Nebraska, including representatives from health care, education, government, and nonprofit sectors. We recorded the interviews and transcribed them verbatim, then coded data using NVivo software and identified key themes. Results: Participants were unable to identify any Medicaid advocates or advocacy work focused on adolescents, but they did identify 35 organizations working to improve insurance coverage in Nebraska. Coordinated multisector, statewide coalitions secured the adoption of Medicaid expansion through a citizen-supported ballot initiative. Barriers to successful implementation include limited Medicaid outreach to citizens and lawfully present immigrants. Low state government support for increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates and providing comprehensive health services, coupled with the absence of coordinated advocacy, hinder the adoption of these recommendations. Discussion: Advocacy efforts should be implemented to increase adoption and implementation of Medicaid policies recommended to increase adolescents' insurance coverage. These efforts must be built on a foundation of knowledge of state government practices and must utilize sustained partnership among multisector advocates, including adolescent-serving professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Access to health care
  • Adolescent
  • Medicaid
  • Public advocacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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