Did you know former foster youth can keep health care coverage until age 26?*

Being healthy and having health care are essential to a successful transition to adulthood.  Society, and our laws, have come to recognize this.  Under federal law, youth are able to remain on their parent’s insurance until age 26. Similarly, Medicaid provides coverage for qualifying youth who age out of foster care until they reach age 26, creating the eligibility category of Former Foster Youth (“FFY”). Policymakers recognized foster youth exiting care at age 18 or older should also have access to health care and that having health insurance was vital for that access to be a reality.

Providing Medicaid to former foster youth until age 26 is a wise social policy that shows how we value youth and the investment we want to make in their future.  The #HealthCareFFY Campaign seeks to enlist youth, stakeholders and advocates in ensuring that all former foster youth have health insurance and access to high quality health care at least until age 26.  

I am a:

If you aged out of foster care, you are eligible for health care until age 26*

You are young - so why should you worry about health care? Well - one injury or accident could impact your finances for years. If you don't get proper health care, it could impact your employment or education. And did you know health coverage can also help with mental health - including counseling to help deal with the trauma leading to foster care (or that you may have experienced while in foster care)? There are lots of reasons to make sure you are signed up - don't delay!

Read more about the law. Scroll down to find out how to access health care in your state.

    Eligibility Requirements:

    • Must have been in foster care when you were age 18 or older and enrolled in Medicaid while in foster care

    • Currently be under age 26

    • Living in the state where you were in foster care or move to a state that covers youth from any state

    4 Reasons you should sign up for Medicaid health coverage for former foster youth:

    1. It's Free. You can save your money for school, rent, food, and other things you need.
    2. You are eligible 'til your 26th Birthday. Be sure to find out if you need to do anything to renew your coverage each year.
    3. Coverage isn't based on income. Elibility for Medicaid usually includes income requirements. There are no income requirements for former foster youth*
    4. Your health is important! If you are not healthy, it is hard to meet a lot of your goals. Good health insurance and health care helps you stay healthy.

    Do the young people you care for know the importance of health care?

    #HealthCareFFY can help you:

    • Learn ways to support the youth you care for as they transition to adulthood and begin managing their health care
    • Understand Medicaid benefits available to youth until they reach age 26
    • Find ways to communicate the importance of healthcare and insurance
    • Learn about ways caseworker and youth choices may impact a youth's ability to qualify for Medicaid
    • Know how to support your foster youth as they learn to navigate the healthcare system.


    Health Care for Transition Age Foster Youth

    Learn ways to support current and former foster youth who are learning to managing their own health care. 

    You can expect to learn:

    • Unique health needs of foster youth
    • How to empower foster youth as patients
    • Elements of Health Care Transition Planning
    • About health insurance for foster youth until 26

    The #HealthCareFFY Campaign can give you step by step instructions on implementing change in your state, experts to ask for advice, online foster parent training, and the tools you need to communicate with youth.  

    The #HealthCareFFY Campaign will:

    • Provide you with the tools you need to understand the complexities of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision granting Medicaid to former foster youth until they reach 26
    • Ensure the transition-age foster youth you serve understand how to enroll and retain health care coverage
    • Share how the implementation of this important resource varies state by state. 
    • Provides information about implementation in your state and other states
    • Shares noteworthy practices, outreach tools, and how to navigate the process for improving implementation in your state
    • Teaches ways to help youth make a smooth transition to managing their care
    • Gives you insight into how access to the Medicaid to 26 provision is impacted by caseworker and youth decisions about when to youth exit care. 
    •  Provides One on one technical assistance upon request by emailing [email protected].

    You can help ensure former foster youth receive the Medicaid coverage they are entitled to under the Affordable Care Act.

    The #HealthCareFFy Campaign can help you understand how state implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision granting Medicaid to age 26 impacts former foster youth. The campaign offers:

    • Technical assistance
    • Outreach
    • Youth perspective
    • Training

    Access a communication toolkit to help you educate application assisters, Medicaid staff, and other line staff about this boutique provision and its direct impact on youth applying for it.

    The #HealthCareFFY Campaign can provide you with up to date information from former foster youth, experts in the field, and caring adults about how varied state implementation of the Medicaid to age 26 provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impacts youth.  

    The #HealthCareFFY Campaign is a collaborative effort by:

    • FosterClub
    • First Focus -State Policy Advocacy & Reform Center  (SPARC)
    • The Juvenile Law Center

    The #HealthCareFFY Campaign:

    • Provides a platform for policymakers to hear from youth, partners, state stakeholders, and professionals who are experts in this area
    • Examines ways to improve implementation of the ACA provision granting Medicaid to FFY until age 26
    • Hosts webinars, and issue papers produced by experts in their field  
    • Shares the youth perspective through webinars, blogs, education, and real stories
    • Gives policymakers an opportunity to join meaningful conversations
    • Shares how this provision impacts FFY in ways you may not currently recognize.

    Get involved in ensuring better outcomes for young people in your state or county!

    The Juvenile Law Center, First Focus- State Policy and Advocacy Reform Center, and FosterClub designed the #HealthCareFFY Campaign to give you access to critical information provided by national experts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision granting Medicaid to age 26 for former foster youth (FFY).

    • Get the youth perspective
    • Hear from policymakers, other advocates, and national experts
    • Learn noteworthy practices
    • See how others have succeeded and faced challenges
    • Discover ways states implementation practices impacts this important resource for foster youth.
    • Learn ways to start the conversation and improve national and state implementation of the provision
    • Access one on one technical assistance upon request by emailing [email protected]

    What's new for #HealthCareFFY

    How is #HealthCareFFY Being Implemented in Your State?

    When it comes to providing health coverage to former foster youth, your state has several choices about how they will implement their program. We're tracking who's doing what. Below is a guide to the features we're tracking, followed by a state-by-state chart of implementation.

    Check out the health care resources in your state! 

    #HealthCareFFY State Survey

    The chart below provides a state-by-state look at how states are implementing the former foster youth provision of the ACA. To update information in your state, contact Brittney at FosterClub at 503-717-1552.

    Help spread the word!

    We've got an assortment of social media tools to help you get the word out that former foster youth are eligible for health care until age 26. Share away!


    During National Foster Care Month in May, FosterClub shares #FosterFacts. Share our FosterFact #3.

    About the

    #HealthCareFFY Campaign

    The Health Care for Former Foster Youth campaign or #HealthCareFFY is a collaborative campaign designed to assist states in effective implementation of health care for older foster youth.  We’ll focus on seven challenge areas including the youth application process, eligibility issues, data tracking, and youth outreach, and health care anywhere the youth resides.  

    Join child welfare and Medicaid stakeholders, advocates, policymakers, and young leaders as we establish a peer learning community to help ensure all former foster youth have health care coverage to age 26.

    The Health Care for Former Foster Youth (#HealthCareFFY) campaign is a collaborative effort: