The Importance of Health Insurance to Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
Youth in the child welfare system have health and behavioral health needs that are often greater than youth in the general population. These higher health care needs mean that insurance coverage is extremely important for maintaining health and well-being. Connecting young adults with health insurance that they are already eligible to receive can help reduce costs to taxpayers, simply by improving the health of these young adults.
The insurance coverage already exists in law. Young adults just need to apply! The Affordable Care Act brought significant changes to the health care and insurance system that impacts the entire population in the U.S. This provision of the ACA was meant to mirror the provision that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. The former foster youth provision of the ACA impacts an extremely small group of young adults and has not received the attention it requires.