In Need of Medi-Cal Benefits? Need to Reinstate Your Medi-Cal?

Foster youth will now be eligible for coverage until age 26, instead of age 18 (or 21 if they participate in Extended Foster Care). The coverage is free for those who qualify, and applications are accepted at any time of the year.

How to Sign Up

When Can I Sign Up?

ANYTIME.  The law expanding Medi-Cal coverage for former foster youth up to age 26 took effect on January 1, 2014. There is no open enrollment period for Medi-Cal and you can apply anytime of the year.
 

Where and How Do I Sign Up?

BEST WAY TO SIGN UP: Through the County
  • Right now, the BEST way for you to enroll in Medi-Cal coverage is to apply directly through the county.
  • In most counties, the best way to sign up is to go in person to your local Medi-Cal office.
Read our enrollment tips below and be sure to check out our information on the best way to apply for Medi-Cal coverage in YOUR county.
 

Enrollment Tips:

  • Be sure to say you are a former foster youth when you go to sign up.
  • Be sure to say if you were in foster care in another state so that the county will know which state to contact to verify that you were in foster care at 18 or older.
  • You can use a simple, one-page form (called the MC 250A) to sign up.  Bring this form with you when you go to sign up or ask for it when you go to your Medi-Cal office.  Remember, you can only use this form if you apply through the county directly.
  • You can get the MC 250A form for former foster youth here
The expansion of Medi-Cal coverage for former foster youth up to age 26 is new so people are still learning about it. 
 

Tips on what to say or do

 
Here are some tips on what to say or do if a county worker doesn’t know about this Medi-Cal program or if you think the worker is giving you wrong information:
  • Former foster youth should be enrolled in the Former Foster Care Child (FFCC) coverage group.
  • Former foster youth should be assigned the “4M” aid code.
  • Former foster youth do NOT have to provide income information. This is because former foster youth get Medi-Cal no matter how much money they make.
  • Former foster youth do NOT have to fill out the full Medi-Cal application. Former foster youth can apply using the one-page MC 250A form.
  • The State recently sent a letter telling county workers about the expanded Medi-Cal program for former foster youth. It might help to bring this letter with you when you go to sign up. Give it to the person helping you if he or she doesn’t know about the program for former foster youth. You can download the letter here.
  • The County Welfare Directors Association also sent a letter telling county workers about this program. It might also help to bring this letter with you when you go to sign up. You can download the letter here http://coveredtil26.childrennow.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/FFCC-Desk-Aid-3.pdf.
  • You DO NOT have to provide proof that you were in foster care at age 18. The county will verify that you were in foster care at age 18 or older.
  • The California law that expands Medi-Cal coverage for former foster youth up to age 26 is California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 14005.28.
Call the Foster Care Ombudsman at 1-877-846-1602 or email: fosteryouthhelp@dss.ca.gov if you have problems trying to sign up.
 

WARNING: Other ways to sign up: Online or through Covered California

Right now, applying online or calling Covered California are NOT the best, easiest, or quickest ways to enroll in Medi-Cal coverage for former foster youth.
 

Why is this?

  • You shouldn’t have to answer questions about income, taxes, and employment.
  • But, right now, the online application does not let former foster youth skip unnecessary application questions. Until fixes are made, you will have to complete the full online application. This means you will have to answer many unnecessary questions and/or provide unnecessary paperwork.
  • Also, until changes are made, it’s likely that former foster youth who apply online or call Covered California won’t be quickly enrolled in the correct Medi-Cal program for former foster youth.
  • You probably will be able to access services much sooner if you apply directly through the county rather than applying online or through Covered California.
 

People to Contact for Support with Obtaining Medi-Cal/Turning in the Application & MC250A Form: 

Vidal Chiprez, Eligibility Supervisor

Foster Care & Adoption Assistance Program
Child Welfare Services
Adult & Children Services Branch
Santa Barbara County DSS

Phone: 805-681-4442
Fax: 805-696-8986
Email:š v.chiprez@sbcsocialserv.org

Blanca Diaz

Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Program
Child Welfare Services

Santa Maria 
Phone: 805-346-7271
Email: B.Diaz@sbcsocialserv.org

San Luis Obispo County

Department of Social Services
3433 S. Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403
(805) 781-1600
 

Santa Barbara County

Department of Social Services
234 Camino Del Remedio
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
(866) 404-4007 Toll Free
 

Other Helpful Links: 

Beyond Foster Care: Need for Services Beyond the Age of 21

This survey is for California former foster, Independent Living Program (ILP) eligible probation, and dual status youth ages 22 to 35. The purpose of the study is to explore the experiences and need for services of California former foster, ILP eligible probation, and dual status youth who are between the ages of 22 and 35. Participation in the study would last about 20 to 35 minutes. You may choose to withdraw your participation at any time. Your answers will be confidential. The information will be kept in a secure database with no identifying information for the duration of the study. 

The findings of this study will be used to provide suggestions for programs and services that will improve long-term outcomes for former foster, ILP eligible probation, and dual status youth. 

Visit this link in order to complete the survey! 


 

Additional Resources

 
          
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