Watch this video from Power 106 as part of National Foster Care Month!
Thanks to the ACA, young adults who were in foster care at age 18 or older can stay covered with Medi-Cal until age 26, regardless of income. While many former foster youth are already covered, some have faced barriers enrolling or staying covered due to programming glitches or other issues.
In preparation for National Foster Care Month in May, we at Children Now are working to educate young adults about free health care for former foster youth under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Former foster youth are much less likely than their peers to have health insurance, but tend to have more health care needs due to abuse, neglect, or trauma experienced during childhood.
Here’s how you can help former foster youth navigate the road to continuous coverage:
Share the Coveredtil26 FAQs for current foster youth and youth who have recently left foster care. Youth exiting foster care at age 18 or older should be automatically enrolled in the Medi-Cal program for former foster youth in preparation for or upon exit from foster care, with no application needed. The Coveredtil26 FAQs give youth the information they need to know about their continuous Medi-Cal coverage until age 26.
Let former foster youth know that help is available. Getting and using health care can be confusing. Former foster youth can email firstname.lastname@example.org if they have questions, need more help, or want to share why coverage until 26 is important to them. We are here to help!
Help former foster youth sign up for Medi-Cal through the county. Youth who left foster care before January 1, 2014, or who were in foster care in another state, can sign up for Medi-Cal using a one-page form. Former foster youth should NOT apply online right now. For information and tips on how to help youth sign up, visit: http://coveredtil26.childrennow.org/how-to-sign-up.
Former foster youth who have enrolled in coverage can help each other by spreading the word about coverage to their peers. Follow Coveredtil26 on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest info and resources about Medi-Cal coverage for former foster youth.