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Medicaid to 26: How to apply

If you turned 18 while in foster care, you are eligible to receive Medicaid until age 26 under the Affordable Care Act.

Access to healthcare is extremely important. Regular medical treatment can prevent conditions from getting worse, and costing more money.

Here is how to figure out your next steps:

  • Are you under age 18? If the answer is yes, your Medicaid coverage will automatically continue until you turn 26. Your case worker should talk to you about this as you get close to turning 18. If they don't, ask about "extended Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act".
  • Are you between the ages of 18 - 21? If you are, you may be enrolled in Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care (YAVFC). If you are enrolled in YAVFC, your Medicaid should automatically continue.
  • If you are between the ages 18-21 and not enrolled in YAVFC, you will need to apply.
  • If you are 21-25, you will need to apply.
  • You can apply for extended Medicaid at any time during the year

To apply, visit the Michigan Bridges website. There, you will be asked to complete an application online. It will take about 25 minutes, and it might be helpful to have a supportive person sit with you in case you have any questions. The application is also included in the links below. 

A few days later, you will receive a letter in the mail confirming your coverage and giving you instructions on receiving your health coverage card. If you do not receive your card or additional information, call the Foster Care Health Analyst listed below.

If you have any questions, or receive any messages that say that you have been denied coverage, There is help available! Please contact:

Leslie Adams, Foster Care Health Analyst

Child Welfare Medical Unit
Office of Child Welfare Policy and Programs
Michigan Department Health and Human Services,
235 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 514,
P.O. Box 30037, Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517-335-0988
Fax: 517-335-7789

Click here to read FSM's Guide: Getting to Know...The Affordable Care Act for Students from Foster Care

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Fostering Success Michigan is a program of Educate Tomorrow that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline." 

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