Thursday, August 26, 2010
The 2010 Ohio Medicaid Atlas contains amazing maps and detailed demographics regarding various populations - but emancipated foster youth are not among them.
Despite the fact that current and former foster successfully advocated to extend Medicaid coverage for foster care youth until age 21, there remain barriers to access regarding these benefits that still need to be overcome.
When Ohio foster care youth between the ages of 18-21 go to their local Medicaid office to apply for benefits, they have run into the following challenges:
- The staff person they speak to is unaware that emancipated foster care youth are eligible for Ohio Medicaid until age 21
- The young person is told that their card is "in the mail," and six months or more go by without the young person ever receiving it
- The young person does initially receive Medicaid, but services are dropped before the young person reaches age 21
"The Fostering Connections Act of 2008 requires States to create and maintain a health oversight and coordination plan for each young person in foster care, in order to ensure that each child receives regular and comprehensive care, access to services beyond his or her 18th birthday, and a medical passport."
My hope is that Ohio foster care youth, alumni and allies can continue to work together towards this goal.