Medicaid Coverage For Youth Aging Out

Pregnant and Parenting Teens
4. Your Rights As A Parent In Foster Care

Medicaid Coverage For Youth Aging Out

If you're in foster care and your child is living with you, you will have Medicaid coverage and your child will have Medicaid coverage under your case for as long as you're in foster care.

About two months before you age out of foster care, your caseworker should help you transfer from Foster Care Medicaid to Community (regular) Medicaid by filling out a Medicaid recertification package. If, for any reason, your Community Medicaid is delayed, there is a special grace period given to young people aging out of foster care that will provide up to four months of Medicaid coverage directly after you leave foster care. Once your Community Medicaid is active, it is good for one year, and then you'll need to renew it again every year after that. Medicaid will send you the renewal forms before the year is up, so make sure Medicaid always has your current address.

If you decide to leave foster care between your 18th and 21st birthdays, a special law in New York keeps your Medicaid active until you turn 21, regardless of your income or resources, as long as you continue residing in New York State. Before your 21st birthday, Medicaid will send you a renewal package to fill out if you wish to continue your Medicaid coverage.

If you leave foster care with your child before your 21st birthday, you will be entitled to Medicaid coverage but your child will not. If you wait to leave foster care until you age out at 21, you will be entitled to the special four-month grace period of Medicaid coverage but your child will not. So, if you have a child living with you in foster care who will be living with you when you leave or age out of foster care, it is very important that you make sure to fill out a Medicaid recertification package, listing your child on your form, and submit it to ACS at least two months before you leave care. If you don't, your child may end up without health care coverage for a period of time.

All future information and renewal forms from Medicaid will be sent to your discharge address, so make sure your caseworker has the address where you will be living after you are discharged from care and that you use this address in your recertification paperwork. If you move, you must make sure that Medicaid has your new address, so that they know where to send your and your child's recertification packages.