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Covered Until 26

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Shaquita Ogletree explores the GA Department of Family and Children Services policies and the law surrounding access to health insurance and medicaid for older foster youth or youth who will age out.

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Covered Until 26

  1. 1. “Covered Until 26” Medicaid to 26 forYouth in Foster Care
  2. 2. 2015-16 Policy Focus • Medicaid to 26 – increasing access to and awareness of this resource • Driver’s Insurance and state ID’s – state-sponsored insurance for young drivers transitioning from care • Connected By 21- designing developmentally-appropriate foster care between 18-21 • Normalcy- Prudent Parenting Standards &Youth’s Rights & Responsibilities • Teen ParentingCommittee – child support payments and custody needs • Education advisory subcommittee – tuition stability and postsecondary access and support • Psychotropic Medication - monitoring and oversight • Juvenile Code Implementation – authentic youth engagement • Blueprint for Change – Georgia’s ChildWelfare Practice Model & Constituent Engagement
  3. 3. Before ACA • In 2006, Georgia EmpowerMEnt advocated for Medicaid benefits for foster youth to continue beyond age 18 to age 21. • Recommendations: • Expand Medicaid coverage to youth in foster care until age 21; DHS (then DHR) to support legislative initiatives to extend Medicaid coverage for young adults transitioning out of foster care until age 21 • Eliminate the reapplication process to allow automatic enrollment at age 18 • For case managers to advise youth orally and in writing, beginning at age 16, of the advantages and disadvantages of signing back into care for access to Medicaid • Georgia provided healthcare coverage for former foster youth until the age of 21 • Chafee Medicaid
  4. 4. Law The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a provision for former foster care youth: “Youth who were in foster care and enrolled in Medicaid, and have not yet reached 26, are eligible for Medicaid regardless of what their state decides to do about the Medicaid expansion.” States MUSTCover Former FosterYouth until age 26
  5. 5. Policy • 2819 – Former Foster Care Medicaid • The Affordable Care Act allows Medicaid coverage to be extended to individuals who age out of foster care, or age out of Chafee, to the last day of the month they turn 26 years of age. Applicants may not be determined ineligible based on a diagnosis or pre-existing condition. • Former foster youth may apply for Former Foster Care Medicaid with the Right From the Start Medicaid (RSM)Outreach Project or at any Division of Family and Child(ren) Services (DFCS) office.
  6. 6. Practice • Chafee Medicaid (18-21) • Who is responsible? • Former Foster Care Medicaid (21-26) • Do young people know that they are covered? • Sign up online through compass or at the local DFCS office • Former Foster CareYouth is denied • Through the 1-800 # • Former foster care youth are connected directly with an individual who can handle their case and get them healthcare access within days
  7. 7. Healthcare Access & Coverage Matters • Foster Care Children,Youth, and former foster care Individuals are a vulnerable group • They have physical and mental health needs • Lack social capital • Lack sustainable employment
  8. 8. Recommendations • Collaboration between the Division of Family and Children Services and Department of Community Health • Single page application • Self-declaration • Single point of contact • Automatic Enrollment • Partnership with Georgia EmpowerMEnt • Raise awareness about access to healthcare • More providers
  9. 9. Former Foster CareYoung Person’sTestimony • “It is important that young adults from foster care maintain healthcare coverage because we cannot afford to miss days of school or work.”
  10. 10. Contact Shaquita Ogletree Policy andYouthAdvocacy Coordinator Multi-Agency Alliance forChildren (MAAC) sogletree@maac4kids.org (404) 880-9323 (office)