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Every year, more than 20,000 children “age out” of foster care on their 18th birthdays. These young adults, whose childhoods were marred by abuse or neglect, are more likely than their peers to have chronic health conditions and less likely to have health insurance. A recent change in the law can help, but only if we all help to spread the word.

The new national health care law makes former foster youth eligible for free health care through Medicaid until their 26th birthdays. But most of the thousands of eligible young adults in Utah don’t know they qualify. If you or someone you know might qualify, call or encourage them to call 877-543-7669 or visit

With Medicaid, young people don’t have to worry about healthcare, so they can focus on school, career, and the other building blocks of successful adult lives.