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Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare

When you apply for financial help through MNsure, you will find out if you qualify for low-cost or no-cost health insurance either through Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) manages these two programs. Get details about these programs at the following links:

  • Medical Assistance (MA) is Minnesota's Medicaid program for people with low income. MA does not require you to pay a monthly premium. MA members have small co-pays for some services, usually $1 - $3.
  • MinnesotaCare is a program for Minnesotans with low incomes who do not have access to affordable health care coverage. MinnesotaCare may require you to pay a monthly premium, and it is based on your household size and income. MinnesotaCare members may have small co-pays. The MinnesotaCare Premium Estimator Table (PDF) will help you estimate your premium amount.

See If You Qualify

You can get an idea of whether you qualify for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare based on your household size and income by using MNsure's plan comparison tool or the income guidelines.

(To get a final determination of whether you qualify for financial help you'll need to apply through MNsure using an application WITH financial help.)

If You Don't Qualify

If you do not qualify for MA or MinnesotaCare you or someone in your household may still qualify for MA based on other criteria.

If you or someone in your household meet one or more of the following criteria, we will submit your application to your county or tribal agency. A worker will determine if you qualify for MA based on one of these criteria.

  • You are age 65 or older.
  • You are a person who is blind or who has a disability.
  • You are a person who is blind or has a disability and who is employed.
    A person who is blind or has a disability and who is employed may qualify for Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities even if the person’s income is too high to qualify for MA or MinnesotaCare, or if the person has too many assets to qualify for MA.
  • You are applying for a child with a disability. 
    A child with a disability may qualify for MA under the TEFRA (Tax Equity Fiscal Responsibility Act) option even if household income is too high for the child to otherwise qualify for MA. 
  • You are a child, pregnant woman, parent or caretaker relative who has household income too high to otherwise qualify for MA but have enough health care expenses to spend down to 133 percent of the federal poverty guidelines standard.
  • You need help paying for long-term care services or nursing facility services.
    Services that help people stay in their homes or in a community setting are called Home and Community-Based Waiver Services (HCBS).  There are several HCBS programs that a person may qualify for if the person meets the level of care requirements.
  • You need help paying for Medicare.
    Some Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income and assets may be eligible for premium and cost sharing financial help.

Contact your county or tribe (PDF) if you have questions about your application. If you don't qualify for MA or MinnesotaCare and do not qualify for another program through your county or tribe, you can still purchase health insurance through MNsure and see if you qualify for a federal tax credit.

Current Members

If you are a current MA or MinnesotaCare member and have questions about your membership, payments, renewals or other topics, please use the contact information on the DHS website. The Minnesota Health Care Programs New Member Information and Summary of Coverage, Cost Sharing, and Limits (PDF) provides additional helpful information.

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