Medi-Cal coverage for youth who opt out of care

Q: I am working with a youth who doesn’t want to participate in extended foster care. If she opts-out, will she lose her Medi-Cal coverage? 

A: No, all youth who have an order for foster care placement on his/her 18th birthday remain eligible for Medi-Cal up to age 21 under the Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth program regardless of whether the youth remains in foster care. (Beginning January 1, 2014, foster youth will be eligible for this program to age of 26 as part of the federal Affordable Care Act.) 

This means that any NMD who opts out of extended foster care after age 18 would still be eligible for Medi-Cal until age 21. There is no need for these youth to re-apply for Medi-Cal once they turn 18, even if they opt out of extended foster care.  In addition, there is no income or asset test for continued coverage under Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth.  

 (Reference: Welf. & Inst. Code §14005.28; ACWDL 00-41, 00-61, 01-41)

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