DHS News February 2014
Affordable Care Act
Covers Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 has become well -known
for allowing young adults up to age 26 to maintain health care coverage by
staying on their parents’ plans. But as of Jan. 1, 2014, the ACA also makes
provision for certain youth aging out of foster care to stay covered, a fact
that the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) is publicizing.
“This provision of the ACA fills a critical need for former
foster youth,” said JoAnn Hannah, manager of the DHS Independent Living
Initiative, a program for young people aging out of foster care. “We will be
conducting extensive outreach to our young adults in an effort make certain
that every eligible foster youth participates in the program.”
DHS is reminding providers, eligible young adults and
caregivers of an ACA provision that allows youth who were in foster care on or
after their 18th birthday and up to age 26 to sign up for Medicaid/Medical
Assistance. For those still in foster care who now receive coverage,
eligibility may continue beyond age 18. Caseworkers are the best source of
information about the issue, and young adults or foster caregivers should
contact their caseworkers if there are questions.
Young adults up to age 26 are also eligible even if they
signed themselves out of foster care when they were 18 or aged out of it when
they turned 21.
Young people who left foster care before age 18 or who did
not receive medical assistance while in foster care are not eligible. For those
individuals, signups are done via the state’s online application system,
The Allegheny County Assistance Office also contacts youth
already receiving medical assistance or their caregivers yearly to renew
benefits. Young adults should keep their address up to date with the office,
and keep required documents, such as income verification, on hand. More
information is available here at the Medicaid.gov website.
Additional information about the ACA is available at www.healthcare.gov and www.dpw.state.pa.us. Questions can be
addressed to the PA Consumer Service Center, 1-866-550-4355.
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