SECTION 1. (a) There shall be an access to healthcare task force for former foster youth to review the barriers of access to healthcare for youth who are aging out or have aged out of the care of the department of children and families. The task force shall report on its findings and make recommendations to the general court to encourage the coverage of healthcare for as many youth who have aged out of state care as possible.
(b) The task force shall consist of 8 members or their designees including: the secretary of health and human services, who shall serve as chair; the commissioner of the department of children and families; the commissioner of the department of transitional assistance; the commissioner of the department of housing and community development; the commissioner of the department of early education and care; the medical director of the office of Medicaid; and the co-chairs of the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities. A vacancy on the task force shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made. Members of the task force shall receive no compensation for their services. The task force may request from all state agencies such information and assistance as the task force may require.
(c) The task force shall assess and report to the legislature on the number of youth who are eligible for healthcare benefits after aging out of the care of the department of children and families, in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148. The task force shall review outreach efforts, the idea of a shared database to maximize outreach, the possibility of automatic enrollment prior to transitioning out of state care, and ways to ensure seamless enrollment practiced in other states. The task force shall also examine quarterly the number of youth who have enrolled in Medicaid as part of this effort. Members of the task force shall post a notification on their websites regarding the availability of healthcare coverage to those who have aged out of care of the department of children and families. The task force shall create a plan to ensure universal enrollment for this population.
(d) The task force shall convene its first meeting on or before July 1, 2015 and shall meet at least quarterly. The task force shall submit an annual report to the legislature on or before July 1 of each year with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate who shall forward a copy of the report to the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities; the joint committee on health care financing; and the house and senate committees on ways and means.
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