Children in foster care in California have typically lost their Medi-Cal health insurance coverage once they turned age 21. Under the Affordable Care Act, former foster youth can now continue to have health insurance until the age of 26. The change went into effective January 1, 2014.
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The Foster Care Program of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is reaching out to former foster youth in the county to ensure that they are aware of this new benefit.
“The Affordable Care Act’s extension of health coverage to age 26 fills a critical need for these vulnerable youth who do not have the same option as their peers to stay on a parent’s health insurance plan,” said Pam Carter, program manager of Child Protective Services at HHSA.
Former foster youth qualify for Medi-Cal coverage until age 26 if they:
• Were in foster care in any state at age 18 or older
• Are younger than 26 years old
• Live in California now.
Former foster youth are eligible for Medi-Cal coverage regardless of income. Because there is no open enrollment period for Medi-Cal, youth can apply any time of the year. Youth residing in El Dorado County may apply for Medi-Cal online at coveredtil26.org or by contacting HHSA at 530-642-7300 in the Placerville area or 530-573-3200 in South Lake Tahoe.