Providing Medicaid to Youth Formerly in Foster Care under the Chafee Option


This report draws lessons from 30 states’ implementation of existing optional Medicaid coverage for youth who age out of foster care and applies them to decisions and plans states will consider as they implement new ACA coverage that goes into effect in 2014. Wide variations in how states have implemented the so-called Chafee Option are focused on eligibility criteria, enrollment processes, and recertification processes. States’ implementation choices had implications for the frequency with which youth enroll in Medicaid coverage after foster care and in their continuity of coverage over time. The report also describes how states have approached and devised solutions to a series of implementation challenges such as coordinating data systems and forms, training staff about the new coverage, and helping youth maintain coverage. [55 PDF pages]

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