Personal tools

Issue Alert - 08-04-04

Document Actions

Apr 07, 2008

Program Area:


Issue Summary:

Effective April 2008, Young adults “aging out” of foster care will remain eligible for Medicaid until they turn 21

Persons Affected:

Foster children turning age 18

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice 320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558 E-mail:

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000 (734) 998-6100 (734) 998-9125 Fax


Federal law allows states to continue Medicaid eligibility for foster children until they turn 21.   Michigan previously ended foster care-based Medicaid eligibility when a child in foster care turned 18.

What's Happening?

Beginning April 1, 2008, children who turn 18 while they are in foster care will remain eligible for Medicaid until they turn 21.  There is no asset or income test for this category.  The new policy is in the Department of Human Services (DHS) Program Eligibility Manual (PEM) item 118, available online at 

Medicaid eligibility under this category continues until the individual turns 21, dies, moves out of state, requests case closure, or transfers to a more beneficial Medicaid category.  Individuals do not have to complete a Medicaid application to qualify for this Medicaid eligibility category.

What Should Advocates Do?

Make sure individuals “aging out” of foster care receive Medicaid under this category.


What Should Clients Do?

Get legal advice if it appears you should receive Medicaid under this category and you are denied or terminated from Medicaid.  See “Finding Help” below.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee.

You can locate various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at

You can also look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.