The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Obama in 2010 to make sure that Americans are able to have affordable health insurance coverage. One part of the ACA focuses specifically on youth who were formerly in foster care. Young adults who were in foster care at age 18, or aged out of foster care at 19, may be eligible to receive Medicaid coverage until they are 26.
Watch the video to learn about eligibility, what is covered, and how to sign up:
Information for Young Adults
Great! If you are still in foster care, talk to you caseworker before your case is closed to ensure you don’t lose or have a gap in your health care coverage. You will not be eligible for this category if your case was closed before you turn 18.
If you have already exited foster care, you can:
- Apply online at www.AccessNebraska.ne.gov and make sure to select “yes” when asked if you were ever in foster care.
- Print a paper application at:
- http:public-dhhs.ne.gov/Forms/DisplayPDF.aspx?items3097 and mail or return to your local Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Apply by phone or request a paper application by calling the Nebraska Medicaid Customer Service Center:
- Toll free: 855-632-7633
- Lincoln: 402-473-7000
- Omaha: 402-595-1178
- Apply in person at any local DHHS office.
After you apply, you should receive a written decision of your approval or denial within 45 days. If you do not receive an answer within 45 days or believe you were wrongfully denied coverage, you may appeal that decision. This should be explained in the written denial letter. For questions about this process, contact Nebraska Appleseed at https://neappleseed.org/gethelp or 402-483-8853.
Q: What if I exited foster care before age 18?
A: Unfortunately, this provision of Medicaid coverage is only available to former foster youth who turned 18 while in foster care or aged out at 19. If you are still in foster care, work with your caseworker to make sure you will be eligible for Medicaid to 26 coverage.
Q: What if I was in independent living when I turned 18?
A: If you were a state ward in an independent living situation when you turned 18 you are eligible for health coverage until age 26, as long as you meet other eligibility requirements.
For additional FAQs on other issues that might come up, check out our The ACA and You! fact sheet.