Last week Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation that will help extend Medicaid coverage to young people who aged out of foster care.

Under the Affordable Care Act if a young person leaves foster care they are eligible for continued Medicaid coverage to the age of 26. This protection applies to all former foster youth regardless of whether or not a state has opted to extend their Medicaid coverage under the ACA. Due to the way the law was written and the later interpretation by HHS the protections don’t apply when the young person that exited foster care moves to a different state. Some states have chosen to cover all former foster youth regardless. The legislation by Casey would correct that and would cover all regardless of what state they move to.

In introducing the bill, The Health Insurance for Former Foster Youth Act, Casey said,

“A former foster youth’s ability to access healthcare coverage shouldn’t depend on their zip code,” Senator Casey said. “This is a common sense fix so that former foster youth have the same ability to access health coverage as other young Americans.”

The legislation will now have to navigate the challenge of amending the ACA without a firestorm of some wanting to repeal it.