Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth

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.


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