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Residency Requirements

Minnesota Residency

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

Citizenship or Immigration Status 

In general, applicants must be US citizens, US nationals or lawfully present in a qualified immigration status to be eligible for coverage through MNsure.

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 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 US.

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.

Additional information about immigration and public benefits: Public Charge Rule (English PDF), (Hmong PDF), (Karen PDF), (Somali PDF) (Spanish PDF), "Does Public Charge Apply to You?" flyer (English PDF). Note: As referenced in some of these PDFs, federal courts postponed the effective date for changes to the “public charge rule.” Changes to the public charge rule are effective February 24, 2020.

How does MNsure use immigration information?

MNsure only collects information about an applicant’s immigration status to determine their insurance 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 US 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.

What does the MNsure application ask about citizenship and immigration?

In the Additional Information section of the MNsure application, applicants are asked:

  • If they have a Social Security number and
  • If they are a US citizen or
  • If they are a US national or
  • If they are lawfully present in the US

Social Security Number

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.)

Incarceration Status 

Individuals who are serving a term in prison or jail are not eligible for coverage through MNsure. Incarcerated individuals should still be included on the application if someone in their household is applying through MNsure using the application WITH financial help.

The following individuals ARE eligible for coverage:

  • Living at home or in a residential facility under supervision of the criminal justice system
  • On probation, parole or home confinement
  • "Incarcerated pending disposition of charges" (in jail of prison but not convicted of a crime)

After release from incarceration, individuals may enroll through MNsure:

  • During a 60-day special enrollment period after their release
  • Any time after their release if eligible for MA or MinnesotaCare
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