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Frequently Asked Questions for the Former Foster Youth Program
1. How can I get Medi-Cal coverage as a former foster youth (FFY)?
You can apply for Medi-Cal by contacting your local county social services office and telling them that you were in foster care. You can call, mail in or fax a one-page simple form (MC 250A), or go in-person to the local county social services office to turn in the MC 250A. The county will decide if you are eligible for the Medi-Cal program for FFY based on a few simple questions. Eligible FFY are not required to provide any proof of income to get Medi-Cal. You must live in California to receive Medi-Cal. The MC 250A form is available online at: Application for Medi-Cal for Former Foster Care Children (MC 250A).
Most counties have a specific phone number, staff, or office to help former FFY sign up. To find out the FFY contact for your county go to FFY contact. (Not Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)). Or to find the telephone number and location of your nearest county social services office, go to County Contact List.
2. Do I need proof that I was in foster care?
No, you are not required to provide proof of being in foster care when you apply for Medi-Cal. It would be helpful to provide information about the county, state or tribe where you were in foster care. Also, please provide any paperwork, if you have any, regarding your foster care case to move the case along faster.
3. I was in foster care in California at age 18. I moved to another State after I turned 18. I am now living in California again. Can I get Medi-Cal as a FFY?
Yes, if you were in foster care at age 18 or older in any state or tribe and now live in California, you may qualify for the free Medi-Cal program for FFY until age 26.
4. I used to live in another state, and I was in foster care in that state or a tribe in that state. Can I get Medi-Cal in California?
If you were in foster care on your 18th birthday or later in another state or tribe and you are now under age 26, you may qualify for the Medi-Cal program for FFY. You will receive Medi-Cal benefits while the county verifies your former foster care status. You may continue to receive Medi-Cal up to 26. It would be helpful to give the county as much information as you can about your former foster care case.
5. Do I need to complete the regular Medi-Cal application?
No, you do not need to complete the full application. Ask for the short one-page form for FFY. It is called the MC 250A. You can also download a copy of the form at: eligibility forms page
6. Can I still get Medi-Cal if I already have insurance through my job?
Yes, you can have Medi-Cal and health insurance through a job at the same time.
Medi-Cal can be used to cover medical costs that your other health insurance does not cover.
7. Can I qualify for the Medi-Cal program for FFY if I have a job?
Yes, if you left foster care when you were age18 or older and are still under age 26, you may be eligible to receive Medi-Cal until your 26th birthday. Your income and resources do not matter for this program.
8. What happens when I reach the maximum age for the Medi-Cal program for FFY?
Before your Medi-Cal coverage is terminated, the county must check to see if
you qualify for Medi-Cal under a different program. If you are eligible for another Medi-Cal program, the county will put you in that program after it looks at any information needed to decide if you qualify for that program.
There are different ways to qualify for Medi-Cal. If the county cannot determine whether you will remain eligible for Medi-Cal with the information they have, the county may send you paperwork or ask you for additional information to decide if you still qualify for Medi-Cal. You may be asked to give income and tax information, or other information that will help the county decide if you can keep your Medi-Cal or can get other financial help to buy low-cost health insurance through Covered California. If the county decides that you are no longer eligible for Medi-Cal, you will get a Notice of Action and information about how to appeal if you disagree with the decision.
9. I went to the emergency room or other place for medical treatment. They told me they will be sending me a bill. What do I do now?
If you are not on Medi-Cal, you or someone on your behalf should contact your county social services office and tell them that you want to enroll in the Medi-Cal program for FFY and need “retroactive coverage” to pay for medical services you received. Make sure to tell the county that you are a FFY and ask for Form MC 250A. If you need to pay for medical services you received anytime during the three months before you applied for Medi-Cal, make sure you check the box at the top of the MC 250A asking for “retroactive coverage.”
10. Is there a telephone number I can call to get more information?
Yes, you can call the numbers listed below.
- Call the Medi-Cal Helpline at 1-800-541-5555 (outside of California, please call 916-636-1980)
- Call your local county social services office. To find out the telephone number to the nearest county office, go to County Contact List.
- Call FFY contact (Not DHCS)
11. Where can I find information about Medi-Cal and other benefits programs?
You can find information on other benefits programs at http://www.benefitscal.org. This site is an online resource for California public benefits and connects you to applications for other programs such as County Medical Services Program, CalFresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) and California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS).
12. If I left foster care after January 1, 2014, was I supposed to be automatically enrolled in Medi-Cal coverage for FFY?
Yes, if you were in foster care in California after January 1, 2014, you should have been enrolled in Medi-Cal coverage for FFY automatically. To check your Medi-Cal status, contact the FFY contact (Not DHCS) for your county or call the Medi-Cal helpline at 1-800-541-5555 (outside of California, please call 916-636-1980).
If you left foster care in California before 2014 or were in foster care in another state, you may need to apply for Medi-Cal coverage for FFY. You can apply by filling out a one-page Medi-Cal form for FFY (called the MC 250A) or by giving your information over the phone to a county Medi-Cal worker.
To find the telephone number and location of the FFY contact for your county go to FFY contact (Not DHCS), or to find the nearest county social service office, visit County Contact List.
13. Should I fill out a Covered California application?
You can apply: (1) through Covered California using the on-line application; or (2) through the county using a simple one-page form for FFY, called the MC 250A; or by giving your information over the phone. If you continue with the online application you may need to give more information about yourself than you need to give if you apply through the county using the MC 250A form.
Most counties have a specific phone number, office, or staff to help FFY sign up for Medi-Cal. To find out the FFY contact for your county, go to County Contact List or the FFY contact (Not DHCS).