If you’re nearing the time of leaving foster care, you’ll want to ensure you still have health coverage.
Most young adults who aged out of foster care and those still in foster care are covered by Coordinated Care’s Apple Health Core Connections (AHCC) program. AHCC is a special Medicaid coverage for foster children, alumni including EFC, and adoption support.
You can continue to have AHCC coverage through the month of your 26th birthday. This is a benefit provided to you at no cost. There are no requirements other than leaving foster care on your 18th birthday. This includes entering Extended Foster Care (EFC) at 18.
This will save you money! All the services are provided at no cost. Most importantly, you can get all the health care, behavioral (mental) health, and dental care you may need with your AHCC insurance. Plus, through AHCC, there is a team of friendly people ready to help you navigate the health care system, and provide ongoing support. So you can be sure to get what you need.
Already have health insurance through your job? You can save money on your health care costs by having Apple Health pay your co-pays and deductible. This means you won’t have to pay for your healthcare services. Instead, Apple Health will pay what your health insurance does not pay for covered services. To make sure you are signed up, contact the Foster Care Adoption and Support FCAS team: Email FCAS@HCA.WA.GOV or call 1-800-562-3022.
Remember: To receive your important health insurance info, keep your address up to date with the Foster Care Adoption Support (FCAS) team. You can contact FCAS by emailing FCAS@HCA.WA.GOV or calling 1-800-562-3022 (After you hear the recorded message, press 1, press 2, and then press 5). You can also call AHCC at 1-844-354-9876 and they can help you update your address.
Health Insurance Options:
- Medicaid to 26 – Medicaid to 26 is a health insurance program specifically for Washington State foster youth who are leaving foster care and want to continue receiving medical benefits until age 26. This is the first program you should check to confirm your eligibility.
- Student Health Plans – Many colleges offer basic health insurance to students. If you are planning to go to college, contact your school’s health service or registrar’s office and ask about the specific details.
- Sign up for health insurance through your job if they offer it.
- If you don’t qualify for Medicaid to 26 you can still apply for low or no-cost health insurance through Wahealthplanfinder.org
Health insurance can be expensive. But, not having insurance is risky and could end up being far more expensive. If none of the options listed above are viable possibilities for you, you may have to research and buy coverage for yourself or pay for doctor’s visits from your own pocket.
Thankfully, many community health programs offer medical services where the fee for services is based on your income and you pay what you can afford. To find one of these health care centers, go to http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.