Posts Tagged ‘Affordable Care Act’

No longer under the radar

Posted: Jul 29, 2014 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on No longer under the radar

Programs help ensure former foster youth stay insured

Date: 7/29/14
Outlet Full Name: Stockton Record
Author: Zack Johnson

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STOCKTON – Maybe it was the surge of adrenaline or the shock of being a passenger in a vehicle accident where people suffered severe injuries, but it wasn’t until the ambulance ride to the hospital that Krishneel Dass started feeling any pain at all.

Former Foster Care Youths Get Help Paying For Health Care

Posted: Jun 23, 2014 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Former Foster Care Youths Get Help Paying For Health Care

Date: 6 /20 /14
Outlet Full Name: NPR- Shots
Author: Nicholas St. Fleur
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When Joseph Hill turned 21, he went from being homeless to being homeless and uninsured.

Hill grew up in foster care. He entered the system when he was 3 months old. At 19, he aged out of foster care and faced an abrupt transition into adulthood.

At first he received health insurance under Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid. But those benefits disappeared when he turned 21.

Back then, Hill needed new prescription glasses so he could drive to work and see the board at school. Losing medical coverage meant spending money that he did not have.

“It felt like a low blow – it cost like $400,” Hill, who lives in San Diego, says of paying out of pocket for his glasses. “If I had coverage, I could have put that $400 to groceries.”

Affordable Care Act lets foster youths stay on Medi-Cal longer

Posted: May 12, 2014 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Affordable Care Act lets foster youths stay on Medi-Cal longer

May 12, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle
Author: Victoria Colliver

Marilyn Bretherick had been worrying about turning 21 this month because she feared losing the health coverage she had been guaranteed by the state during a decade as a foster care child.

Then a case manager told her about a little-known provision of the Affordable Care Act that will allow her to keep her coverage for five more years.

The provision allows young adults in California coming out of foster care to stay on Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid, until they turn 26. For Bretherick and other former foster care children like her, that means continued health coverage without having to reapply each year and prove eligibility based on income like all other Medi-Cal applicants.

“I turn 21 on Saturday, so I would have had to make all of my appointments this week,” Bretherick said last week. The San Jose State University student had been in foster care from age 10 to 18.

ACA Expands Health Coverage to Residents Formerly in Foster Care

Posted: Apr 29, 2014 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on ACA Expands Health Coverage to Residents Formerly in Foster Care

California Healthline
April 29, 2014

A provision in the Affordable Care Act has made it more feasible for young adults who formerly were in foster care to gain coverage under Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, HealthyCal reports.


Prior to the ACA, California extended Medi-Cal eligibility to former foster children up to age 21.

Under the ACA, those formerly in foster care now are eligible for Medi-Cal coverage until age 26. In addition, the law allows retroactive claims up to three months before the beginning of coverage.

The ACA also allows “uninterrupted eligibility,” which permits young adults to remain in the Medi-Cal program without re-registering each year.


Rusty Selix, executive director of the California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies, said Medi-Cal access is “incredibly important” for young adults who have left the foster care system.

Selix said that individuals formerly in foster care are at a higher risk for incarceration or homelessness. He added that such individuals tend to have health problems, including mental health and substance misuse issues.

Selix also noted that former foster care recipients are “probably going to be the hardest group to enroll, because they’re so disconnected from things and don’t know to take advantage of rights that they have.” He added, “It is a population that, without that [access to insurance], it was almost impossible to give them the help they need. Now, the funding is there, and it’s just a matter of linking them to the services” (Richard, HealthyCal, 4/28).
Read the full story here.

Former foster kids get MediCal help via Obamacare

Posted: Mar 24, 2014 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Former foster kids get MediCal help via Obamacare

Published: March 19, 2014 Updated: March 20, 2014 12:25 p.m.

Social workers and county youth agencies in California are promoting a little-known provision in the Affordable Care Act that will allow thousands of former foster kids statewide to stay on MediCal until age 26 without regard to their income.

MediCal, the government-funded health insurance program, is normally for low-income people, who are required to provide proof of their financial status. The new provision, which took effect Jan. 1, expands on the previous law, which allowed former foster children to be insured by MediCal without meeting income criteria until age 21.

Anybody who was in foster care on their 18th birthday, anywhere in the U.S., is eligible.

“We are very excited that former foster youth can qualify for this coverage, because the transition to adulthood for this population can be a difficult one,” said Fatima Morales of Los Angeles-based Children Now, which is running a statewide campaign to enroll as many former foster children as possible. “There are often greater health care needs because of abuse and neglect or trauma they’ve experienced in childhood.”

The federal health reform law allows anybody under age 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans, so the new provision creates “equity for former foster youth who don’t have a parent’s health plan they can rely on,” Morales said.

Linda Levshin, director of youth transition services at the Orangewood Children’s Foundation in Santa Ana, said she has seen former foster kids end up heavily in debt because they had a medical mishap when they were uninsured.

“This will really help to ensure they don’t go into debt to take care of themselves, and it will encourage them to take care of themselves,” she said.

To learn more, get contact information and download enrollment forms, go to To enroll in Orange County, call the foster care office of the OC Social Services Agency at 714-704-8382.

Health law to help foster youth to age 26

Posted: Feb 21, 2014 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Health law to help foster youth to age 26

Vallejo Times-Herald
POSTED: February 21, 2014 12:53:46 AM PST
By Sarah Rohrs/Times-Herald staff writer

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Growing up in foster care, some children and teens don’t get the kind of medical attention they need, while some may have suffered from abuse and neglect and have lingering health problems, advocates said.

One provision of the Affordable Care Act could help foster youth get medical attention they need after they are emancipated from the system at age 21.

Children Now has launched a campaign to spread the word that all former foster youth living in California are eligible for Medi-Cal health coverage until age 26. Previously coverage ended for them at 21 when they left the system.

The website is designed for youth to learn about the new requirements and how they can apply.

Youth who are involved in the foster care system tend to have higher health care needs due to child abuse and neglect experienced in early childhood, said Fatima Morales, Children Now policy and outreach associate. “Generally, their health care needs tend to be higher than their peers.”

In Vallejo, Cynthia Grady of New Beginnings, an organization which helps young adults after they “age out” of foster care, said the new federal provisions are beneficial.

Some of her clients have asthma, bronchitis, dental and vision issues that they haven’t been able to get treated because they no longer qualify for Medi-Cal, Grady said.

To help spread the word about the new foster care health coverage, New Beginnings is hosting an informational session 4-7 p.m. Saturday, March 22 at 1020 Colusa St. in Vallejo.

Young adults will be encouraged to hang out, enjoy some food and fun activities while also learn about the health coverage and other resources available to them.

After they turn 21, foster care youth will not automatically qualify for the Medi-Cal extension but will need to apply for it, Grady and others said.

Solano County Health and Human Services Director Ann Edwards said the health care extension will cost taxpayers more in Medi-Cal subsidies but it will save money over the long run by helping young adults stay healthy.

“It’s a very good thing for kids in that transition period. It’s even hard for kids when they have families and other resources. It’s particularly difficult for foster youth who don’t have family to fall back on,” Edwards said.

Edwards said her department will also be doing some outreach to help get the word out to former foster youth who have aged out of the system that they are eligible for Medi-Cal.
Exact figures on the numbers of young adults who will be impacted by the new requirements were not available.

Morales said California has an estimated 26,000 former foster youth between the ages of 21 and 26 who may qualify for Medi-Cal as a result of the extension of coverage to age 26.

Each year in the state between 2,700 and 5,000 youth are emancipated or “age out” of the system when they turned 21, according to Children Now.

Former foster youth qualify for the Medi-Cal coverage until age 26 if they were in foster care in any state at age 18 or older, are younger than age 26, and live in California now.

For more details go to

The Affordable Care Act Ensures Former Foster Youth Receive Critical Health Coverage until Age 26

Posted: Feb 19, 2014 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on The Affordable Care Act Ensures Former Foster Youth Receive Critical Health Coverage until Age 26

Children Now Launches Campaign to Promote Awareness and Increase Enrollment of Former Foster Youth in Medi-Cal

OAKLAND, Calif. (February 19, 2014) – Children Now today announced the launch of Coveredtil26, a statewide outreach campaign to ensure all former foster youth living in California know they are now eligible for Medi-Cal coverage until age 26. Previously, Medi-Cal coverage for former foster youth ended at age 21.

Although the Affordable Care Act provision extending health coverage to former foster youth took full effect on January 1, 2014, the majority of young adults who benefit from this new provision are not yet aware of this exciting opportunity. The Coveredtil26 campaign provides advocates, youth, and stakeholders with the necessary tools to learn about this new benefit and navigate enrollment barriers.

Each year, over 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system in the United States. In California alone, between 2,700 and 5,000 youth age out of foster care every year. These vulnerable youth too often lack adequate supports to make the transition to adulthood successfully. For example, they are much less likely than their peers to have health insurance, but tend to have more health care needs due to trauma experienced during childhood.

“The Affordable Care Act’s extension of health coverage to age 26 fills a critical need for former foster youth who do not have the same option as their peers to stay on a parent’s insurance plan,” said Ted Lempert, President of Children Now. “However, it’s imperative that state and county agencies work together to ensure the processes for enrolling in coverage are easy to navigate for this vulnerable population.”

Politically connected HealthCare Partners sidestepped licensing for 10 years

Posted: May 3, 2013 | Posted by Kassy Perry | No Comments

Part One of a series

May 3, 2013

By Katy Grimes

One of the original pioneers of the Obamacare patient networks, HealthCare Partners, has been operating in California without the required state license. But according to health care experts and a new lawsuit, the California Department of Managed Care has known this, and allowed it for 10 years, saving HealthCare Partners millions of dollars.

HCP has flown under the radar of the California Department of Managed Health Care regulatory authority by claiming it’s a medical group, while in fact operating as an unlicensed Health Maintenance Organization. It has done so by taking standard HMO global risk for the patient — hospital care, medication and physician services.

Can Technology Stop the Pain and Cost of Chronic Disease?

Posted: Dec 4, 2012 | Posted by Kassy Perry | No Comments

Panelists explore how technology can play a role in overall patient health

SAN JOSE—The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) hosted a special forum today focused on the challenges chronic, non-communicable disease present to California and the United States. The forum, “Chronic Disease: A Common Sense Approach to Solving Complex Health Issues,” included business, health care and public policy experts discussing the significance of these issues, how technology can influence patient outcomes and ways to reduce rising health care costs. The discussion also included a motivational health talk by Dr. Travis Stork, a healthy lifestyle author, emergency room physician and host of the popular television show, “The Doctors.”

“It is crucial to have an ongoing conversation about the key health care issues affecting millions of Americans. Chronic, non-communicable disease costs Americans more than 82 percent of what we spend on health care and more than 99 percent of what we spend on Medicare. Many simple changes can be made to combat these challenges before the consequences erode the overall health of Americans, further challenge our U.S. health care system and explode the budget deficit,” said Kenneth Thorpe, PhD., chairman of the PFCD.

This discussion comes at a critical time as Congress and the Obama Administration race against the clock to address sequestration and the impending fiscal cliff. Deadlines for implementation of the Affordable Care Act are also just around the corner. The experts in the forum provided their unique perspectives on the current impacts of chronic disease and future solutions going forward.