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Health Care Coverage for Youth in Foster Care – and After

Health care is a basic necessity for everyone. Children and youth who enter foster care because of abuse or neglect often have significant health-care needs. Changes in the nation’s health-care laws have increased access to and affordability of health care for some of our most vulnerable children and youth—those involved with the child welfare system. States differ with regard to healthcare benefits and how those benefits are administered. For specifics in your state, visit https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/eligibility.

In addition to state-by-state examples of what qualifies for Medicaid and non-Medicaid coverage for children and youth in foster care, this brief also provides resources to help youth and young adults understand their health-care options, as well as resources for agencies on healthcare access for children, youth, and families involved with child welfare. *

Two helpful websites are benefits.gov and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (scroll down to the “online links” section). Both sites allow you to search by state for information about government-funded programs.

You might also refer to the Family-to-Family Health Information Centers. These state-based centers are staffed by families who help other families understand and access benefits available to their children. Search for a center in your state.



Referral to websites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content.