Medicaid Eligibility for Foster Care Youth Expanded to Age 26

Thanks to a recent change in the law, Foster Youth may be eligible for Medicaid coverage to age 26 – even if they move to a different state! 

Here is some more information:


  • The Affordable Care Act (aka, “the ACA” or “Obamacare”) allowed young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
  • The law also created something similar for young adults in foster care to stay on Medicaid to age 26 IF you were covered by Medicaid when you aged out of foster care. 

What changed?

The original law made young people not eligible for Medicaid if they moved away from the state where they were in foster care. This made it really hard for some young people who needed or chose to move  due to job opportunities, for college, or to be closer to loved ones. 

A number of foster care alumni lobbied to have this changed to be more fair – and they were successful! Now (as of January of 2023), young people can be eligible for Medicaid to 26, even if they move states.

This change also makes it so young people can prove their eligibility without a lot of paperwork – hopefully making the process simpler and improving health care!

Want more info?

Visit the Nebraska DHHS  – Medicaid website here.

If you have any questions or face any barriers, please contact the Nebraska Appleseed Community Assistance Line.

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