The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) recognizes that young adults may have difficulty obtaining affordable, comprehensive health care coverage on their own, and that the cost of coverage can interfere with plans for college or embarking on a career. As a result, the ACA permits young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26. For youth who emancipate from foster care and do not have access to health insurance through their parents, the ACA provides continued coverage through Medicaid.
Beginning on January 1, 2014 states must provide Medicaid coverage up to age 26 for youth who were in foster care under the responsibility of the State on the date of attaining 18 years of age (or older if the state extends Title IV-E foster care benefits past the youth’s 18th birthday) and were enrolled in Medicaid while in foster care. Coverage is available regardless of income, and former foster youth are eligible for full Medicaid coverage. In California health care coverage is available through the Medi-Cal program.
- Launched an outreach project with Children Now, Foster Youth In Action, California Youth Connection and others to inform foster youth and former foster youth about their right to health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The project is supported by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation and Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Programs.
- Working with Children Now, the National Health Law Program, Western Center on Law and Poverty, the County Welfare Director Association of California, and the California Department of Health Care Services to ensure that these ACA provisions are implemented in California.
- Participating in a State Policy and Reform Center (SPARC) workgroup on implementation of these provisions across the country. SPARC is an initiative funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.
- Covered California Task Guide for Former Foster Youth Enrollment
- California Affordable Care Act Amendment re Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth
- DHCS Responses to Advocates’ Questions
- Children Now Flyer on Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth (California), Los Angeles County Flyer, Fresno County Flyer, Santa Clara County Flyer, Solano County Flyer, Alameda County Flyer, Imperial County Flyer, San Bernardino County Flyer
- Children Now Factsheet on Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth
- DHCS Medi-Cal Eligibility Letter – Treatment of Former Foster Care Children’s Program
- Medi-Cal Application for Former Foster Youth
- CWDA Former Foster Care Children Desk Aid
- Children Now Covered Til 26 Website
- Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth: Health Advocates (Legal Referral List)
- Webinar on Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth (powerpoint)
- Webinar on Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth (video)
- Fact Sheet: Medi-Cal Eligibility for Former Foster Youth Under the Affordable Care Act
- ACWDL 14-41 (Dec. 4, 2014) Enrollment in the Former Foster Care Children’s (FFCC) Program for Mandatory Coverage Group and Optional Coverage Group County Process for Medi-Cal Applicants and Beneficiaries
- DHCS Flyer on Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth
- Advocates Letter re Former Foster Youth and IAP 24-Month Roadmap
- DHCS webpage for Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth