May is National Foster Care Month. Former foster youth can get health coverage to age 26

NE_Appleseed_Icons_AgingOut-128May is National Foster Care Month, a time to acknowledge the children and youth who have been involved in foster care systems across the United States, and work to improve the child welfare system.

In partnership with the Juvenile Law Center (JLC), we are using the month of May to promote an important opportunity under the Affordable Care Act for young adults who were in foster care to receive free health care coverage until age 26.  While great improvements have been made to provide support and opportunities to young adults who have exited foster care, such as the Bridge to Independence program, there are still a number of young people who do not have important health coverage.

According to the JLC, more than 50 percent of former foster youth report being uninsured and more than 20 percent report having unmet medical needs. And a recent interim study (LR 533) revealed that these numbers may be even more extreme in Nebraska, with only three to six percent of the eligible population receiving this former foster care coverage.

But these are more than just statistics, these are young adults in Nebraska like Shante and Akeeme who shared their difficulties living without health coverage after they aged out of foster care. Fortunately, both were eventually able to receive health insurance under the Affordable Care Act’s provision for former foster youth.  But many more still remain uninsured.

For more information on this free health insurance and how to apply visit, our Covered til 26 NE page and watch the video below.

Health coverage for former Nebraska foster youth from Nebraska Appleseed on Vimeo.

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