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Former Foster Youth Program: Basic Information

Who is eligible? 

Former Foster Youth (FFY) under 26 who were in foster care on their 18th birthday or later (in any state or tribe) may be eligible  

5 Reasons to Apply

  1. It’s FREE: You pay $0 for health care. You get to save your money for school, rent, food and other things you need.
  2. No new application to fill out each year: You sign up for Medi-Cal one time and stay covered until your 26th birthday.
  3. More choices: As a FFY, in most counties you can choose to have fee-for-service Medi-Cal or to enroll in a Medi-Cal managed care plan.  With fee-for-service Medi-Cal, you can go to any doctor, therapist, or hospital that takes Medi-Cal.  If you decide to enroll in a managed care plan, you must go to the doctors and providers who are in your health plan.
  4. More choices: Fewer questions: Because you qualify for Medi-Cal coverage regardless of income, you may be able to skip questions about your income when you fill out any forms or applications for coverage.
  5. Adults are required to have health insurance coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (it is called the “individual mandate”) and Medi-Cal meets that requirement.  


  • After you leave foster care, you can still use the same Medi-Cal card (called a Benefits Identification Card or BIC) you had while in foster care. If you can’t find your card, you can ask your Medi-Cal eligibility worker for a new one.
  • If you move, be sure to tell your Medi-Cal eligibility worker so you do not have any problems seeing a doctor.
  • You get free medical care, vision exams, dental care, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services that are available under Medi-Cal. Youth under age 21 may qualify for some extra benefits such as braces and glasses.
  • In many counties, you can go to any doctor, clinic, therapist, or hospital that takes Medi-Cal. If you live in one of the following counties, you will get all your non-emergency Medi-Cal services through the health plan that serves these areas: Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Orange, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity, Ventura, and Yolo. However, in the case of an emergency you should go to the nearest hospital.
Last modified on: 6/19/2018 11:08 AM