Guide to Minnesota's Public Health Care Programs
What Public Programs Are Available?
This guide explains two publicly funded health care programs available to Minnesotans. These programs have eligibility requirements. The two public programs are:
- Medical Assistance (MA)
What is Medical Assistance (MA)?
Medical Assistance pays for medical care for very low-income Minnesotans. There are eligibility requirements for the program. Federal and state dollars pay for MA. (This program is different from Medicare, which is a federal health insurance program for people over 65 and for certain people with disabilities.) In 2011 Medical Assistance expanded its coverage to provide coverage to more low income adults. The General Assistance Medical Care program ended.
How do I apply for Medical Assistance?
To apply for MA, call or go to the human service agency in the county where you live. County agencies are listed toward the end of this brochure. You can apply even if you are not sure that you are eligible.
When you apply, you will fill out an application form and be asked for proof of some of the information you give. You also will talk with a person who works for the county agency. There are people at the county who can help you fill out the application. You can print a copy of the application from the Web at Minnesota Department of Human Services and mail it in.
Your county agency will let you know if you are eligible for assistance within 45 days (60 days if they need a disability certification; 15 days for pregnant women). If a decision is not made in that time, the county agency will explain why in writing.
If you are found to be eligible, the county will enroll you in the MA program. Every six months a county financial worker will review your situation to see if you are still eligible for health care assistance. You must complete, sign, date and return all forms sent to you by your county agency. If you do not, you will lose your Medical Assistance.
Your financial worker may ask you to provide:
- your last checking or savings account statement and/or sign a release-of-information form for your bank
- proof of ownership for stocks, bonds, savings certificates, trust funds or other financial assets
- proof of current unearned income
- pay stubs for all employed family members for the last 30 days and/or your most recent tax form
What is MinnesotaCare?
MinnesotaCare is a health care program for uninsured working Minnesotans. MinnesotaCare does not pay for past medical bills. MinnesotaCare is for Minnesota residents who meet income and other eligibility guidelines. MinnesotaCare is paid for with state and federal tax dollars, provider taxes and premiums paid by people who are enrolled.
It takes 30-45 days to process the application. Enrollees pay a monthly premium based on family size, income and the number of people in their family who are covered. Children under age 21 who meet a lower income guideline pay a fixed premium of $4 a month. Coverage starts the first of the month after payment is received. Continued coverage depends on timely payment of premiums. MinnesotaCare enrollees must complete a renewal application every year.
How do I apply for MinnesotaCare?
- Request an application by calling MinnesotaCare at (651) 297-3862 (Twin Cities Metro) or 1-800-657-3672 (toll-free). For TTY call 711 or 1-800-627-3529. Complete it and mail it in.
- Print the application from the Minnesota Department of Human Services website, complete it and mail it in.
- Apply in person at some county human service agencies.
- Apply in person at the Minnesota Department of Human Services office in downtown St. Paul at 540 Cedar Street, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Ask your local medical providers, schools, and human service agencies if they have an application. Many of them do.
Eligibility requirements for MinnesotaCare:
- Live in Minnesota.
- Meet income and asset guidelines.
- Be a U.S. citizen or a qualifying noncitizen.
- Not currently insured or covered by other health insurance within the last four months (this includes Medicare). Some exceptions apply for people coming from MA and children who meet a lower income guideline.
- No access to employer-paid insurance with a current employer where the employer pays 50 percent or more of the monthly premium. Does not apply to children who meet lower income guidelines.
- Current employer has not withdrawn employer-paid (50 percent or more) health insurance in the past 18 months.
- Asset limit of $10,000 for one person, $20,000 for two or more people. (Pregnant women and children under 21 years old have no asset limits.
Applications require proof of income, such as federal 1040 tax forms, W-2 forms, wage statements or pay stubs.
Will the application information I give to the county or state stay private?
The information you give to the county or state agency is private. No one other than you and certain personnel at government agencies may see this information. You have the right to examine your file to see if the information is correct.
What if I don't qualify for any of these programs?
There are several organizations listed in the "Guide to Additional Health Care Resources" that may be able to help you. Most programs and organizations listed in the guide have eligibility requirements. Take the time to read about the various services available and contact the programs that fit your present situation.
What assistance is available to help Medicare enrollees pay for Medicare?
The Medicare Savings Programs help pay premiums and certain other costs for eligible Medicare beneficiaries. Contact your county human services agency to determine if you are eligible.
- Medical Assistance for Qualified Individuals (QI-1) helps pay Medicare Part B premiums.
- Medical Assistance for Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB) helps pay Medicare Part A and Part B premiums and Medicare deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays.
- Medical Assistance for Service Limited Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB) helps pay Medicare Part B premiums.
The Low Income Subsidy (LIS), often referred to as "extra help," helps pay Medicare Part D prescription drug premiums, co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles for eligible individuals. Depending on your income and assets you may be eligible for full or partial assistance. There is no "doughnut hole" or "coverage gap" when you receive "extra help" but you may have to pay a co-pay or co-insurance. View the Social Security website or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to determine if you are eligible to apply for assistance. You can also contact the Minnesota Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433. Some individuals are automatically provided this assistance and would not need to apply for it.
List of Human Service Agencies by County
Anoka County Human Services Division
Anoka County Government Center
2100 Third Avenue
Southern Anoka County Neighborhood Center
3980 Central Avenue N.E.
Columbia Heights 55421-3931
Beltrami County Human Service
616 America Ave. N.W., Suite 330
Benton County Human Services
531 Dewey Street, P.O. Box 740
Big Stone County Family Services
340 N.W. Second Street, P.O. Box 338
Blue Earth County Human Services
Blue Earth County Government Center
410 South Fifth Street, P.O. Box 3526
Brown County Family Services
1117 Center Street, P.O. Box 788
New Ulm 56073-0788
316 Elm Avenue, P.O. Box 310
Moose Lake 55767
Carver County Community Social Services
Human Services Building
602 East Fourth Street
Cass County Health & Human Services
Social Services Building
400 Michigan Avenue W., P.O. Box 519
Chippewa County Family Services
Community Service Building
719 N. 7th Street, Suite 200
Chisago County Health & Human Services
6133 402nd St
North Branch 55056
Clay County Social Services Center
715 North 11th Street, Suite 102
Clearwater County Dept. of Human Services
216 Park Avenue North, P.O. Box X
Cook County Public Health & Human Services
411 West Second Street
Grand Marais 55604-1150
Cottonwood County Family Service Agency
11 Fourth Street, P.O. Box 9
Crow Wing County Social Service Center
204 Laurel Street, P.O. Box 686
Dodge County Human Services
22 Sixth Street East, Dept. 401
Douglas County Human Service Board
Social Services Dept.
809 Elm Street, Suite 1186
Fillmore County Social Services
902 Houston Street NW, Suite 1
Freeborn County Dept. of Human Services
203 West Clark Street, P.O. Box 1246
Albert Lea 56007-1246
Grant County Social Services
28 Central S., P.O. Box 1006
Elbow Lake 56531-1006
Houston County Dept. of Human Services
304 South Marshall, Room 104
Hubbard County Social Service Center
301 Court Avenue
Park Rapids 56470-1483
Itasca County Health & Human Services
1209 S.E. Second Avenue
Grand Rapids 55744-3983
Kandiyohi County Family Services
(320) 231-6232 or (320) 231-7800
2200 23rd Street NE, Suite 1020
Kittson County Social Services
410 South Fifth Street, Suite 100
Koochiching County Community Services
1000 Fifth Street
International Falls 56649-2485
Lake County Human Services
616 Third Avenue
Two Harbors 55616-1560
Lake of the Woods Social Service Dept.
206 Eighth Avenue SE, Suite 200
LeSueur County Dept. of Human Services
88 South Park Avenue
Le Center 56057-1620
Lincoln, Lyon, and Murray Human Services
319 North Rebecca Street, P.O. Box 44
Lincoln, Lyon, and Murray Human Services
607 West Main
Mahnomen County Human Services
311 North Main Street, P.O. Box 460
Marshall County Social Services
208 East Colvin Avenue, Suite 14
Martin - Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties
115 West First Street
Meeker County Social Services
114 N. Holcombe Avenue, Suite 180
Mille Lacs County Family Service & Welfare Dept.
525 Second Street S.E.
Morrison County Social Services
213 S.E. First Avenue
Little Falls 56345-3196
Mower County Human Services
1301 18th Avenue NW, Suite A
Lincoln, Lyon, and Murray Human Services (507) 836-6144
3095 20th St
2070 Howard Drive
North Mankato 56003-1527
Nobles County Family Service Agency
318 Ninth Street, P.O. Box 189
Norman County Social Services
15 Second Avenue East
Otter Tail County Dept. of Human Services
535 Fir Avenue West
Fergus Falls 56537
Pine County Dept. of Health and Human Services
(320) 591-1400 or (800) 450-7263
635 Northridge Drive NW
Pine City 55063
130 Oriole Street East, Suite 1
(800) 450-7463 ext 4137
Pipestone County Family Service Agency
1091 N Hiawatha Ave
Polk County Human Service Center
612 N Broadway Room 302
East Grand Forks Branch
1424 Central Avenue N.E.
East Grand Forks 56721-1335
104 N Kaiser Avenue
Pope County Human Services
211 Minnesota Avenue East, Suite 200
Red Lake County Social Service Center
125 Edward Avenue, P.O. Box 356
Red Lake Falls 56750-0356
Redwood County Human Services
302 East Third Street, P.O. Box 510
Redwood Falls 56283
Renville County Human Services
105 South Fifth Street, Suite 203H
Rice County Social Services
320 Third Street N.W., Suite 2, P.O. Box 718
Rock County Family Service Agency
2 Roundwind Road, P.O. Box 715
Roseau County Social Services Center
208 Sixth Street S.W.
Ely Office: Government Services Center
118 South Fourth Avenue East
Hibbing Office: Hibbing Courthouse Annex
1814 East 14th Avenue
Virginia Office: Northland Office Center
307 South First Street, P.O. Box 1148
Scott County Human Services
Government Center, Room 300
200 Fourth Avenue West
Sherburne County Social Services
(763) 241-2600 or (800) 433-5239
13880 Highway 10
Elk River 55330-1692
Sibley County Human Services
111 Eighth Street, P.O. Box 237
Stearns County Human Services
(320) 656-6000 or (800) 450-3663
705 Courthouse Square, P.O. Box 1107
St. Cloud 56302-1107
Steele County Human Services
630 Florence Avenue, P.O. Box 890
Stevens County Human Services
10 East Highway 28
Swift County Human Services
410 21st Street South, P.O. Box 208
Traverse County Social Services Dept.
202 Eighth Street North, P.O. Box 46
Wadena Social Services
124 First Street SE
Waseca County Dept. of Human Services
299 Johnson Avenue SW, Suite 160
Washington County Community Services
14949 62nd Street North, P.O. Box 30
Watonwan County Human Services
715 Second Avenue South, P.O. Box 31
St. James 56081-0031
Wilkin County Family Service Agency
300 Fifth Street South, P.O. Box 369
Winona County Dept. of Human Services
202 West Third Street
Wright County Human Services
Wright County Government Center, Room 300
10 Second Street NW
For more information contact the Minnesota Health Information Clearinghouse:
(651) 201-5178 or (800) 657-3793
Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Health Information Clearinghouse
Health Regulation Division
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0882