Medicaid to 26 FAQs: Youth with Juvenile Justice System Involvement

This FAQ represents the interpretation of Juvenile Law Center. We will update this FAQ as we learn new information, so please check back frequently for updates. While these questions and answers are Pennsylvania-specific, many could apply in other states.

If you're a child welfare professional with questions, visit our child advocate FAQ's page.

Do young adults who were previously adjudicated (determined by a judge to be) delinquent qualify for Medicaid coverage for former foster youth?

Some will. If you were determined to be delinquent by a judge, but placed in a living arrangement defined as “foster care” at age 18 or older and enrolled in Medicaid at that time, you would be eligible under the former foster care category. In many states, delinquent youth are placed by the court in living arrangements that are considered “foster care” under the federal definition and supervised by child welfare agency. As mentioned above, these include: kinship care, family foster homes, group homes, residential treatment centers, transitional living programs, and supervised independent living. Delinquent youth who were in these placements at age 18 or older and receiving Medicaid at that time would be eligible for Medicaid until 26 under the former foster care category. If you think you might fall into this category, you should apply.