Proposed legislation would change state restrictions on Medicaid for those who age out of foster care

September 23, 2015

U.S. Reps Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) will introduce a bill that would allow former foster youth access to Medicaid in any state until the age of 26. The ACA guarantees Medicaid eligibility until the age of 26 to youth who age out of foster care, the same amount of time that children can remain on their parents' health insurance plan. HHS interpreted the provision to include only the state in which the youth was in foster care. It does not currently require states to automatically enroll a former foster youth who moves there from the state where he ages out of care. The House bill is identical to one introduced over the summer by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.).