Get Covered!

Health Coverage for Youth Who Were in Foster Care


Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), young people who have aged-out of foster care are now allowed to use Medicaid until they turn 26.

This means that, if you left foster care between the ages of 18 and 21, and were enrolled in Medicaid when you left, you may be eligible for Medicaid! The great thing about this new benefit is that, once you’ve enrolled for the first time, you won’t have to reapply for Medicaid until you turn 26. That means no paper work, no renewals, and no interruption in your health insurance. You also don’t need to provide any income information when you apply, because this benefit is not based on how much you earn.

So, how do you get enrolled? Use the information on this website for easy enrollment information. And help to spread the word to other people who you think could use health insurance.

Everything You Need to Know
This toolkit includes links to videos, an article, and a brochure to help you spread the word to your friends and others who could be eligible.


For a step-by-step guide to enrollment, click here to download the Get Covered brochure.


To find your local Department of Social Services:

Have questions? If you have questions about your eligibility or insurance, call Community Health Advocates at (888) 614-5400

New York State of Health: or call (855) 614-5400



Get Covered! Medicaid Eligibility for Youth Who Were in Foster Care
This toolkit includes information to help providers working with youth to understand the benefit.




The Maze of Foster Care and Health Care. By Ray Glier. With quotes from SCAA’s Kari Siddiqui.  Youth Today.  October 1, 2015.

Many Former Foster Youth Unaware of New Health Care Benefits.  By Audrey McGlinchy and Colin Archdeacon. With quotes from SCAA’s Kari Siddiqui.  Youth Today.  January 15, 2015.



A Health Care For All New York (HCFANY) blog post which talks about our toolkit. Feb. 26, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions: Affordable Care Act Provision Extending Medicaid Coverage of Former Foster Care Youth to Age 26 Regardless of Income, Feb. 2014

Extending Medicaid Eligibility to Former Foster Care Youth, presentation given at the New York Public Welfare Association Conference. Jan. 29, 2014

Health Insurance Options for Young Adults After Foster Care Gets Better on January 1. Nov. 2013

Extending Medicaid Eligibility to Former Foster Care Youth: Outreach and Engagement Strategies, a webinar on the Affordable Care Act and the Former Foster Care Youth Provision. Also available: the accompanying PowerPoint presentation. Nov. 20, 2013

New Health Insurance Options for Former Foster Care Youth. A newsletter article template that organizations can use. Oct. 2013

Extending Medicaid Eligibility to Former Foster Care Youth, a webinar on the Affordable Care Act provision which allows Former Foster Care youth to enroll and maintain Medicaid coverage until the age of 26 regardless of income. Oct. 28, 2013