Medical Assistance (MA)
Sometimes laws require agencies to recover costs the MA program pays for members.
Medical Assistance (MA) is Minnesota’s Medicaid program for people with low income.
Most people who have MA get health care through health plans. You can choose a health plan from those serving MA members in your county.
Members who do not get health care through a health plan get care on a fee-for-service basis, with providers billing the state directly for services they provide.
MA is Minnesota’s largest health care program and serves children and families, pregnant women, adults without children, seniors and people who are blind or have a disability.
The information on these pages does not cover all program rules. To find out if you qualify, you must apply.
To get coverage, you must:
- Be a Minnesota resident
- Be a U.S. citizen or a qualifying noncitizen
- Provide a Social Security number for each person requesting MA, unless an exception is met
- Meet the income limit and asset limit, if any
- Meet any other program rules.
What is the income limit?
The income limit and calculations depend on your age and who lives with you. If you are pregnant, blind or have a disability, you also may have a different income limit.
Some people who do not meet the income limit still may qualify using a spenddown (PDF). A spenddown is like an insurance deductible. This means you are responsible for some medical bills before MA pays.
What is the asset limit?
Assets are items people own like cars, checking and savings accounts, your home and financial investments.
- Generally, there is no asset limit for MA for parents, children under 21 and adults without children in the home.
- Parents and caretaker relatives eligible for MA with a spenddown have an asset limit (PDF)..
- Seniors and people age 21 and older who are blind or have a disability have an asset limit (PDF)..
Assets that do not count toward the limit include the home where you live, household goods, personal items like clothing and jewelry, and certain assets owned by an American Indian.
What if I have other insurance?
You still may qualify for MA. You must tell us if you have other health insurance or could get coverage through an employer or military service.
Sometimes we can pay the cost of the other insurance so you can keep that coverage.
What is covered and how much does it cost?
MA pays for a variety of services like doctor visits, prescriptions and hospital stays. Some services and prescriptions may require prior approval.
For some members, there is no cost. Others may have to pay a portion of the cost of a service. This may include copays, deductibles or spenddowns.
- A summary of covered services and costs is online.
- A printable summary of covered services and costs (PDF) is also available.
You will get more details on covered services after your application is approved.
When does coverage start?
MA may pay for medical bills going back three months from the month we get your application.
There are different ways to apply for MA, depending on what type of coverage you need.
Learn more about applying for coverage:
- Adults – how to apply
- Children and families – how to apply
- People with disabilities – how to apply
- Seniors – how to apply
This article was copied from a government document.