Health Reform Provides New Health Coverage for Youth Formerly in Foster Care

MAXIM Health Care Services - Closing Connecticut Operations


Coverage for Youth in Foster Care Though Age 26
"In order to help keep young adults insured, the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows adult children to remain on their parents' health insurance until the age of 26.  However, this provision does little for the 26,000 young men and women in the nation who age out of the foster care system each year – those who exit foster care without being reunified with their birth families, adopted, or placed in the care of another close, permanent connection.

 Recognizing the need to provide parity of coverage for youth who age out of the foster care system, the ACA also extends Medicaid eligibility to age 26 to all youth who were on Medicaid in foster care on their 18th birthday or who aged out of foster care at a later age.

The extension of Medicaid to youth formerly in foster care will be a valuable lifeline for these vulnerable young people who have high health needs and are disproportionately likely to be uninsured. For this reason, it is important that Connecticut efficiently and effectively implement this Medicaid expansion".¹

¹ See, Kenny Feder and Sharon Langer, M.Ed., J.D. "Health Reform Provides New Health Coverage for Youth Formerly in Foster Care", CT Voices for Children. July 2013. 
DCF Health Advocate Program

Navigating the complex and changing landscape of insurance and healthcare delivery services can be complicated and confusing.
There is help!  A team of Health Advocates at the Dept of Children & Families are available to resolve insurance related problems and help ensure your DCF involved children and families have access to health care services at their point of need.

We invite you to explore the website. Learn how DCF Health Advocates can help you. Find answers to frequently asked questions.  Learn correct procedures. Get quick access to helpful resources and necessary forms.  Learn how to help adolescent youth transition to adulthood…. And much more.

Whether you are a DCF SW, nurse, manager, a youth involved with DCF or a person caring for a DCF child, our hope is that you will find the tools, up to date information and resources you need to make better connections with doctors and other healthcare providers, avoid potential billing problems and get the healthcare services that are needed.

We hope the Health Advocate website will be a valuable resource.  We will update information frequently so visit us as often as you can! 

Health Advocate Role
The Mission of the Health Advocate Unit is to facilitate access to healthcare services and improve health outcomes of the children/youth and the families we serve. This mission is accomplished by developing internal/external partnerships, education and active participation in planning throughout the DCF system of care.
Health Advocates provide real time assistance in resolving barriers to necessary health care services. In this role, Health Advocates are problem solvers and help assure DCF-involved children and their families have access to emergency, urgent and routine medical, dental, vision and mental health services at their time of need.   Health Advocates support front-line DCF staff, foster parents, families, community programs (including MDE clinics) and staff in congregate care settings, assisting their efforts to provide comprehensive health services.  Health Advocates are the link between DCF and community providers, insurance companies, state agencies, our congregate care sites and our CTDHP/CTBHP partners. 
With a focus on prevention, Health Advocates are currently developing systems that reduce the likelihood that barriers will arise which prevent access to timely healthcare services.
Follow this link to learn more:  "Putting the Pieces Together" Powerpoint