September 2, 2014
MIAMI (AP) -- Thousands of former foster youth are gaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The new law extends Medicaid coverage for former foster youth who have aged out of the system and are under the age of 26.
Florida officials say roughly 10,000 former foster youth are eligible. But they aren't automatically enrolled and need to apply for coverage. The provision is aimed at giving former foster youth the same opportunity for health insurance as their peers who are able to stay on their parent's insurance until they turn 26.
According to the Department of Children and Families, nearly 6,000 former foster youth applied for Medicaid as of early April.
Caseworkers say they regularly remind youth about the opportunity before their 18th birthday and also send notices in the mail.