Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Affordable Care Act Provides Medicaid Coverage for Older and Former Foster Youth

Beginning January 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that states must provide Medicaid coverage for individuals under age 26 who were in foster care at age 18 and receiving Medicaid. This mandatory coverage is available up to age 26, and youth in care at age 18 are automatically eligible. Please ensure that CASA/GAL volunteers currently serving older youth convey that this coverage is available to them, and that the child welfare agency ensures this extension of coverage.

This important provision was actually suggested by a former foster youth serving as a congressional intern to Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), when the intern learned that the ACA allows health insurance coverage under a parent's plan for their children up to age 26.

The Department of Health and Human Services has not yet released a final ruling on whether the extension of Medicaid coverage is portable to another state, i.e., whether it must be recognized by another state if the youth moves to the other state after the age of 18.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Braces For CASA Kids

National CASA Partners with Smile for a Lifetime

National CASA has entered into a partnership with the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation (S4L). S4L is an international nonprofit organization that provides orthodontic care and free braces to underserved children with financial challenges. The mission of S4L is to create self-confidence, inspire hope, and change the lives of children in a dramatic way.

Local CASA staff members are encouraged to nominate youth ages 11-18 who are in need of but unable to afford the cost of braces by taking the following steps:

• Locate a local Smile for a Lifetime Chapter by visiting their website and clicking on the map.

• Once you locate a participating orthodontics office near you, contact the local office to find out more about the program. Most chapters will have an online application available to download and print. The application process is competitive and dependent on the number of applicants and the orthodontic need of each applicant.

• Ensure the youth has any assistance needed to complete and submit the application.

• Write a one page reference letter for the child to include in their application.