It’s important to have medical insurance even if you are healthy. Medical insurance covers the cost of visiting a doctor, dentist, or clinic, getting prescription medicine, eye exams and glasses, birth control, mental health care and counseling and more.
If you are in California and you are in foster care or you aged out of foster care, you have Medi-Cal until age 26. (Your school or employer may offer you other medical insurance options, and you can choose to take them if you can afford them. But you automatically have Medi-Cal for free until you turn 26.) This means that you can go to any doctor who accepts Medi-Cal. Everyone who receives Medi-Cal has an aid code; the aid code for those who were in foster care is 4M. It is important to have the 4M aid code so you get the right coverage.
What if I am told that I don’t have Medi-Cal or my Medi-Cal isn’t active?
The system makes mistakes sometimes. If you were in foster care on your 18th birthday and you are under the age of 26 and you are told that you don’t have Medi-Cal coverage, that is probably a mistake. Apply right away at a county office, or contact the Alliance for Children’s Rights for help: 213.368.6010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does it matter where I was in foster care?
If you were in foster care in another state on your 18th birthday and now live in California, you are entitled to Medi-Cal in the California county where you currently live. If you were in foster care on your 18th birthday anywhere in California, you are entitled to Medi-Cal in the California county where you currently live.
Where do I apply if I don’t already have Medi-Cal?
Apply at the county welfare or public assistance office in the county where you currently live. In Los Angeles, you may also call 626.927.2690. You should not apply through Covered California — it does not work for former foster youth.
What should I know about applying for Medi-Cal if I am coming from another state?
You need two things to apply for Medi-Cal: a MC-250a form and the MEDIL No. I 14-05. Enrollment should be immediate. In other words, as soon as you submit the forms to the county office, you are covered and can visit a doctor.
- For more information and to sign up visit Children Now.
- To find out more about your case: Contact the Foster Care Ombudsman at 1.877.846.1602 or email@example.com.
- Find a doctor in L.A. County.
The Alliance for Children’s Rights helps young people who are or were in foster care get benefits. Contact 213.368.6010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.