Applicants who are 21 years and older must live in Minnesota and plan to make Minnesota their home or live in Minnesota and entered the state with a job commitment or are seeking employment.
Example: Ashley and Jason were living in Fargo, ND. They plan to return to their hometown of Duluth as soon as they find jobs. For now, they are living with family in Minneapolis.
Applicants who are younger than 21 years must live in Minnesota or live outside Minnesota but reside with a parent or caretaker who is a Minnesota resident.
Applicants meet residency requirements when they are temporarily away from Minnesota but expect to return when the reason for their temporary absence ends.
Example: Beth and Lee own a house in Plymouth. During winter, they stay in a rented condo in Florida. Beth is retired and Lee is a self-employed consultant. They consider Plymouth their primary residence.
Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare
Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare have additional residency rules for people living in institutions and for people who receive certain types of assistance payments.
Not a Resident
Individuals who would not be considered Minnesota residents include those who are:
- Living in another state and not temporarily absent
- Living in another state but working in Minnesota
- Visiting Minnesota for medical purposes
- Covered by Medicaid in another state, unless that coverage is ending
- Covered by a private health plan (qualified health plan or QHP) through another state marketplace, unless that coverage is ending
In general, applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or lawfully present in a qualified immigration status to be eligible for coverage through MNsure.
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for health coverage through MNsure. Minnesota residents who are in the U.S. legally can be eligible. Additional information about immigration and public benefits: Does Public Charge Apply to You? (English PDF), (Hmong PDF), (Karen PDF), (Somali PDF) (Spanish PDF).
What does the MNsure application ask about citizenship and immigration?
On the MNsure application, applicants are asked:
- If they have a Social Security number, and
- If they are a U.S. citizen, or
- If they are a U.S. national, or
- If they are lawfully present in the U.S. Applicants who indicate they are lawfully present will need to select an immigration status on the application, and may also need to provide supporting documentation to verify their status.
Are applicants required to provide citizenship and immigration information?
Providing citizenship and immigration information, as well as other private data on the MNsure application, is voluntary. Read the privacy warning on the application to understand how MNsure will use citizenship and immigration information to verify eligibility.
If an applicant chooses not to provide citizenship and immigration information it could affect their eligibility for coverage. However, for Medical Assistance (MA), an applicant does not have to provide immigration information if they are applying for emergency medical care only, or are a pregnant woman living in the U.S.
Citizenship and immigration information is not required for household members listed on the application who are not applying for coverage. This includes parents who may be applying for coverage for their children only.
How does MNsure use immigration information?
MNsure only collects information about an applicant’s immigration status to determine their health insurance coverage eligibility. This information is only shared as allowed by law, such as to verify identity.
MNsure verifies citizenship or immigration status by matching data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Department of Homeland Security (Homeland Security).
Data matching may be unsuccessful when:
- An applicant does not provide or enters an incorrect Social Security number
- An applicant’s name does not match SSA or Homeland Security data
- There are data limitations (SSA or Homeland Security may not be able to verify citizenship for foreign-born U.S. citizens)
If a source is not available or a match cannot be found for the applicant’s information, the applicant will be asked to provide additional information to verify their citizenship or immigration status.
Who is a U.S. citizen?
A U.S. citizen is a person who was born in the U.S. or certain U.S. territories, or was born outside the U.S. and who:
- Was naturalized as a U.S. citizen, or
- Became a U.S. citizen through the naturalization of their parent(s), or
- Became a U.S. citizen through adoption by U.S. parents, or
- Acquired citizenship at birth because they were born to U.S citizen parent(s), provided certain conditions are met, or
- Became a U.S. citizen by operation of law.
Who is a U.S. national?
A U.S. national is a person who was:
- Born in American Samoa or Swains Island, or
- Born in the Northern Mariana Islands and elected to be a U.S. national instead of a U.S. citizen, or
- Born outside the U.S. to one or more parents who are U.S. nationals.
What does lawfully present in the U.S. mean?
A lawfully present noncitizen is a person who has been granted the right to enter or stay in the United States and has not violated the terms of their agreement. Generally, if someone has a valid immigration status, they are lawfully present.
What does NOT lawfully present mean?
Not lawfully present can include someone who:
- Entered the U.S. without permission (entered without inspection), or
- Has an expired visa, or
- No longer has permission to stay in the U.S.
MNsure uses an applicant’s Social Security number (SSN) to tell the applicant apart from other people, to prevent duplication of state and federal benefits and to verify income, resources or other information that may affect eligibility and benefits. This information is voluntary, but not providing an SSN will affect what programs the applicant may be eligible for.
Providing an SSN increases the likelihood that MNsure can verify an applicant’s information electronically and can reduce the amount of paper documentation needed for verification.
What happens if an applicant does not enter a Social Security number?
If an applicant does not have a Social Security number, they will be asked if they have applied for one. If they answer no, they must select one of the following reasons:
- Not eligible
- SSN is issued for non-work reason only
- Religious objections
- Newborn or newly adopted
- Other (If selected, the applicant will be asked if they want assistance applying for an SSN. Selecting “Other” will make an applicant ineligible for MA or MinnesotaCare.)