The final weeks of 2014 were a stressful time for Jasmine Johnson, then a 20-year-old expectant mother who was moving to Conroe after attending business management school in Brenham. Unbeknownst to Johnson, they were also the final weeks of her Medicaid health coverage.
Johnson spent most of her childhood in the state’s foster care system, so she’s entitled to public health insurance until she turns 26 under the Affordable Care Act. But when many former foster youth turn 21, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission cuts off their insurance through Medicaid, the federal-state insurer for the poor and disabled, and makes them re-apply. When doing so, those youth find that coverage can be difficult to hold onto.