|Medical Assistance (MA)|
This page was updated on February 28, 2011 to include information about Medical Assistance for Adults Without Children. Effective March 1, 2011, adults without children living in their household who have very low income could be eligible for Medical Assistance. Read below or click here for more information about this change.
- What is Medical Assistance?
- Who can get Medical Assistance?
- How are adults without children living in their household elgible for Medical Assistance?
- How does Medical Assistance work?
- What services are covered on Medical Assistance?
- Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to get Medical Assistance?
- Does it matter how long I have lived in Minnesota?
- What are assets? What assets are counted for MA?
- Are there any asset limits for Medical Assistance?
- How is Medical Assistance different for pregnant women?
- Do I have to cooperate with the child support office to get Medical Assistance?
- How do I get an application for Medical Assistance?
- What is the application like?
- Do I have to go in person to apply?
- How soon will I be able to get on the program?
- What do I have to do to stay on the program?
- How often do I need to renew coverage for Medical Assistance?
- What is a premium?
- Are there premiums?
- What is a co-pay?
- Are there co-payments (co-pays)?
- Will Medical Assistance pay for medical bills for services I got before I got on Medical Assistance?
|1. What is Medical Assistance?|
It is a health insurance program for some Minnesotans with lower
incomes. It is Minnesota’s name for Medicaid. It is usually a free
program, although there are some small costs (co-pays) for parents and adults without children.
Medical Assistance is administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services but eligibility and case management are done by county human services departments.
|2. Who can get Medical Assistance?|
Children (up to age 21), parents, pregnant women, people leaving MFIP,
and people who are elderly, blind or disabled can all get Medical
Assistance. Effective March 1, 2011 adults without children living in their
household can get MA. To get MA you must meet eligibility criteria and income requirements. You have to live in Minnesota. You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant (with an acceptable immigration status). Most people also have to have income and assets below the
limits to get MA. If you are getting help from the Center for Victims
of Torture, you can be sure you can get help from MA.
NOTE: The rest of this document is written for adults without children living in their household, children (up to
age 21), parents (with children under age 21 living with them), and
pregnant women who want to get help from MA. It does not talk about how
MA works for other people, such as those who are elderly, blind or
disabled, disabled children (TEFRA), or those who can get MA during the
year after leaving MFIP. If you fall into one of these categories and want to know more about how MA works for you, click here for the Department of Human Services website.
|3. How are adults without children living in their household elgible for Medical Assistance?|
Effective March 1, 2011, adults without children living in their households can receive MA if they meet eligibility requirements. Adults without children living in their household are eligible if they earn less than $677 per month for single adults and $911 dollars per month for a married couple. There is no asset limit for adults without children applying for MA. Applicants must also meet the citizenship and residency requirements for MA. There is no premium payment for adults without children receiving MA, but there may be some co-payments. Click here for more information on Medical Assistance for Adults Without Children.
|4. How does Medical Assistance work?|
Medical Assistance looks at every family member individually to see who
can get help. Some people in your family may be able to get MA, but
others may not. It is easier for young children and pregnant women to
get MA than older children or parents. Adults without children have the lowest eligibility for MA. Once you have been accepted for
Medical Assistance, you have to pick a managed care health plan (like
Medica, BlueCross/BlueShield or HealthPartners). If you do not pick a
plan, the county will pick one for you. You will get one card that
says “Minnesota’s Health Care Programs” and another card from your
health plan. You need to bring both cards when you go to the doctor,
pharmacy or get any health service.
|5. What services are covered on Medical Assistance?|
MA pays for most health care services, but not everything. These things
are covered: doctor and clinic visits, family planning, immunizations,
prenatal care and delivery, inpatient (hospital) and outpatient
surgery, prescription drugs, eye exams and eyeglasses, dental work and
exams, child and teen check-ups, podiatry (foot) services, chiropractic
care, medical equipment and supplies, rehabilitative therapies (PT, OT
and speech), lab and x-ray services, alcohol and drug treatment
(residential and outpatient), and mental health services.
|6. Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to get Medical Assistance?|
No. Immigrants with an acceptable immigration status can
also get MA. But undocumented immigrants cannot get MA unless they are
pregnant. Parents without acceptable immigration status can apply for their children as long as the children are U.S. citizens or have acceptable immigration status. Also, if only some people in your household are U.S. citizens or have acceptable immigration status, you can
apply just for them. In a medical emergency, some undocumented immigrants can
get help from Emergency MA. You will not have to supply immigration information for family members who are not applying for the program.
- If you are receiving care or services from the Center for
Victims of Torture, you are eligible for MA regardless of your
immigration status, assets or income.
- If you are a sponsored immigrant, your sponsor's income will be considered for MA unless you are applying for a pregnant woman or a child(ren) under age 21.
- A new federal law requires some
MA applicants and enrollees to prove that they are U.S.
citizens and give proof of their identity when they apply for or renew
their coverage. This includes U.S. nationals from American Samoa and
Swains Island. You do not have to show proof if you are getting Medicare benefits or getting or previously received Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
|7. Does it matter how long I have lived in Minnesota? |
No. But you must plan to stay in Minnesota to get MA.
|8. What are assets? What assets are counted for MA?|
Assets are money or other things of value that you or your family own.
Medical Assistance will count up some of your assets to see if you are
over the limit. You do not have to count the home you live in
or vehicles that you drive to work as an asset. Personal items such as
clothes, furniture, jewelry and appliances are not counted. Retirement accounts are also not counted. Some examples of assets that are
counted are cash, money in a checking or savings account at a bank,
recreational vehicles like 4-wheelers, property that you do not live
on, and stocks and bonds.
|9. Are there any asset limits for Medical Assistance?|
Yes. Families with two or more adults in the household cannot have
countable assets worth over $20,000. If your household is over the
limit, you cannot get MA. But, there are no asset limits for adults without children, pregnant
women or children under age 21. So if you are applying just for a
pregnant woman, an adult without children in your household, or child(ren), you do not have to worry about counting
assets at all.
If you are receiving care or services from the Center for
Victims of Torture, you are eligible for MA regardless of your
immigration status, assets or income.
|10. How is Medical Assistance different for pregnant women?|
Pregnant women have different rules that make it easier for them to get
MA. They do not have to count their assets because there is no asset
limit for them. Also, pregnant women do not have to prove their
immigration status. Because of this, some undocumented immigrants can
get MA if they are pregnant, and their income is below the limit.
|11. Do I have to cooperate with the child support office to get Medical Assistance?|
For most people, yes. If you do not cooperate, you as the parent will not be able to
get MA. But your children can get MA even if you do not cooperate with
the child support office. However, if you have a good reason for not
wanting to cooperate (for example, if you fear physical or emotional
harm to you or your child), you may not have to cooperate. If this
applies to you, you have to tell your worker that you want to claim
“good cause.” You will have to fill out a form to explain your
|12. How do I get an application for Medical Assistance?|
The application is called the Minnesota Health Care Programs
Application. You can get one at your county human services office. You
can also call 1-800-657-3672 and get an application mailed to your home
(TTY service: 1-800-627-3529). You can also get applications on this
website by clicking here.Or you can apply online using ApplyMN.
|13. What is the application like?|
The application is 8 pages long, plus instructions. It is available
in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Khmer (Cambodian), Lao, Vietnamese,
Arabic, Oromo, Serbo-Croatian (Bosnian) and Russian. The application
will ask you about everyone who lives with you, how much money they
make and what they own (assets). You will also have to provide
copies of “documents of proof” that show your income (such as pay stubs
or tax returns) and assets. You can complete the application yourself or you
can get help filling it out from a county worker or other organizations. You
can use the Program Directory on this website to find places that
help in your county.
|14. Do I have to go in person to apply?|
No. You can apply for Medical Assistance by sending your application
and documents of proof (send copies not original documents) in the mail to your county human services office.
You can also take them to your county human services office to turn them
|15. How soon will I be able to get on the program?|
After you send in your application and documents of proof, it usually
takes about 1 or 2 months before you can get on the program. You will
get a letter in the mail telling you if you are enrolled in Medical
Assistance (you have been accepted). If you get a letter saying that
your application is “pending,” that means you need to give your worker
more information before you can get MA.
|16. What do I have to do to stay on the program? |
You are aprroved for MA for six months. During this time, you have to tell your Medical Assistance worker about any changes in your
household within 10 days of them happening. Things you must report
include births, deaths, moving, income or job changes, and people
moving in or out of your household. If you move, be sure to contact your worker to inform them of your new address. Near the end of six months you will receive a renewal form in the mail and you must fill out the form and mail it back to the county to continue receiving MA.
|17. How often do I need to renew coverage for Medical Assistance?|
Every six months, you will have to renew your coverage. You will get a
“Renewal Form” in the mail that asks you questions. Fill it out and
mail it back right away so that you can keep getting your Medical
Assistance. If you move, be sure to let a Medical Assistance worker
know your new address so that you will get this letter.
|18. What is a premium?|
It is the amount of money you must pay every month to get some health insurance programs.
|19. Are there premiums?|
No. You do not need to pay money every month to get MA.
|20. What is a co-pay?|
It is a small amount of the total bill that you have to pay when you
get some services (get a prescription, get eyeglasses, etc.).
|22. Will Medical Assistance pay for medical bills for services I got before I got on Medical Assistance?|
Yes. If you get accepted for MA, it will pay medical bills for health
services that you got during the three months before you applied for MA
(the day the county gets your application) providing that you can prove you met eligibility requirements during those three months.