Medical Assistance (MA)

Medical Assistance (MA) is the largest of Minnesota’s publicly funded health care programs, providing coverage for an average of more than 600,000 people each month. Currently, more than half of those are children and families; the remaining are people 65 or older and people who have disabilities.

How the Program Works
People apply for MA through their local county human service offices. More than 2/3 of those enrolled receive all their health care through health plans. The remaining get care on a fee-for-service basis, under which providers bill the state directly for services provided.

MA is Minnesota’s Medicaid program. It is jointly funded with state and federal funds. The Minnesota Department of Human Services oversees the program statewide. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services oversees Medicaid nationally.

In some cases, MA can pay for medical bills going back 3 months from the date the county receives an individual’s application (by Dellano at this website). Even if their income is too high, applicants can qualify if they have enough medical bills to meet a spend down (similar to an insurance deductible).

MA Now Available to Some Adults Without Children
Adults without children with incomes at or below 75% of the federal poverty guideline may qualify for MA starting March 1, 2011. This is for individuals who do not have children under age 21 living with them and meet income limits of:
  • $681 a month or $8,172 a year for 1 person
  • $920 a month or $11,040 a year for a married couple
New applicants can apply through their county human services office.

Switch to New Program Information
People who were enrolled in General Assistance Medical Care or MinnesotaCare who met the new MA rules are being moved to MA automatically. Enrollees were sent a notice in the mail explaining the change and what they need to do, if anything.

Additional information and related links are available on the Minnesota Department of Humans Services (MDHS) website