Health care

MediCal - Medicaid in California

About this resource

Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which became law in 2010, former/current foster youth under 26 years old are provided with free health insurance through the Medicaid state program.

States have to provide this medical coverage to eligible youth. However, states are NOT required to provide medical coverage to foster youth who move states (so if a person moves out of the state they experienced foster care). Foster youth who move states are usually called “Relocators.” Only 13 states have chosen to provide state Medicaid coverage to Relocators. Thankfully, California does offer foster care medical coverage to former foster youth who relocate to California. 

In California, Medi-Cal has no open enrollment period, meaning a person can apply at any time of the year. However, if a foster youth leaves care at age 18+ they will be automatically enrolled into the Medi-Cal program for former foster youth when they leave care. 

To sign up for Medi-Cal, you have two options: 

Online through the Covered California website (linked) 

REMEMBER to answer "Yes" to any question about experiencing foster care in the state of California or any other state 

If you were in care in another state, CA will need to contact that state to confirm experience in care

If you apply online through Covered California you will need to give more information about yourself than you need to give if you apply through the county using the MC 250A form.

In-Person through the Medi-Cal Office in your County

Open this list of County Contact information (linked) to find the office nearest you 
Please note: Former foster youth do not need to provide income information 

To find out more information about eligibility or other frequently asked questions, please visit this helpful webiste: