Medicaid to 26 for Former Foster Youth

As of January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides Medicaid until age 26 for former foster youth who were enrolled in Medicaid when they turned 18 or aged out of care. This means that young people can get Medical Assistance (MA) if they were in foster care in Pennsylvania or any other state at age 18 or older.

Why Sign up?

  1. IT'S FREE: You pay $0 for your insurance. After you leave care, you may have to cover some small co-pays, but you do not have to purchase insurance or pay premiums.
  2. RENEW ONCE A YEAR: You can renew your health insurance once a year until you are 26 years-old.
  3. MORE CHOICES: You can go to any doctor, clinic, therapist, or hospital that accepts your insurance.

What is Covered?

Lots of things are covered:

  • Doctor's visits
  • Mental health treatment
  • Prescriptions and more!

Do I Qualify?

  • Were you in foster care in ANY state on your 18th birthday?
  • Do you live in Pennsylvania now?
  • Are you younger than 26 years-old?

If you answer "YES" to these questions, then you qualify!

Apply for Coverage

Learn about eligibility requirements and the application process for every state.

Implementation Resources

This guide lays out eight steps for child advocates to ensure seamless Medicaid coverage for youth who age out and successful re-engagement of youth who have already left foster care. The guide also provides a list of advocacy organizations in other states that have already begun outreach efforts.


This communications toolkit provides guidance and templates for producing Medicaid to 26 outreach materials, including social media posts, handout cards, emails, newsletters, presentations, and photographs.

The Schuyler Center has put produced and compiled a variety of materials related to Medicaid to 26, including a FAQ page and sample newsletter articles on the new options for former foster youth.