MinnesotaCare provides the state Children’s Health Insurance Program to uninsured young Minnesotans, as well as offering coverage to adults whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid. Serving approximately 129,000 people per month in 2012, MinnesotaCare is an incredibly helpful program for those going through a transition, especially leaving welfare and going to work without losing coverage.
Supported by a modest monthly premium, MinnesotaCare is basically Medical Assistance on a subsidized, low-cost (instead of no-cost) level. Premiums are determined by how much the member can afford to pay according to their income and household size, though certain members are exempt from premium costs.
Eligibility for the program depends on your income, age, and what coverage you have access to. Adults who have the option of health insurance through their employer may or may not qualify, based on what percentage of premiums the employer pays. Many residents will not be subject to income testing in order to qualify.
The program covers all the same benefits as Medical Assistance, and care is also delivered through many of the same health plans that provide care to MA members.
MinnesotaCare is available to families, children, pregnant women, childless adults, as well as aged, blind, or disabled individuals. If you fit in a category of Medicaid but earn too much to qualify, you may be able to apply for this program instead. There is no income limit for children up to age 20, but pregnant women and other adults are evaluated by their income. Adults with disabilities, pregnant women, and childless adults must meet the income limits or else they will not qualify. Similar to MA, you must also be a resident of Minnesota, and a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant to be accepted for the program.
Pregnant Women 275% FPL
Children Age 0-20 No income limit
Parents & Caretakers with Children Under 21 275% FPL
*Do not qualify if income is over the limit for household size or gross annual income is over $57,500
Aged, Blind or Disabled Adults 75-100% FPL
*Do not qualify if income is over the limit
Adults without Children 75-100% FPL
Most members of MinnesotaCare will have to pay a premium to begin and continue their coverage. Exceptions for premiums apply to certain Minnesota residents, including the following:
- Children in the MinnesotaCare program designed for those leaving foster care or living in a correctional facility are exempt from premiums until they turn 21.
- Military members who have returned from active duty within 24 months of approval for the program do not have to pay premiums for up to 12 months.
- Households with one or more American Indian member do not have to pay a premium.
- Children whose income is at or below 200 percent of FPL do not pay premiums.
- MinnesotaCare for Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Attendants members pay the same capitation rate as childless adults in MinnesotaCare.
Three different types of premiums are in place for various income levels of those enrolled in the program. These include zero premiums – for children with income less than or equal to 200 percent of the poverty guideline; sliding scale premiums – for children with income over 200 percent FPL, and all adult members; and maximum premiums – for children with household income over 275 percent of FPL.
View the MinnesotaCare Premium Table to estimate your premium.
MinnesotaCare provides access to the benefits MA members receive, through the same providers, and your premiums cover the cost of the service. There are no copays for any services received through a MinnesotaCare contracted provider. The following benefits may be included with your coverage depending on your medical needs and age.
- Emergency services
- Physician services
- Vision care and eye glasses
- Dental care (limited for nonpregnant adults)
- Diagnostic, screening, and preventive services
- Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
- Family planning
- Hearing aids
- Home health care
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Routine physicals
- Nurse practitioners
- Public health nursing clinic
- Maternity care
- Transportation to medical appointments (if unable to use regular transportation)
- Individual education plan
- Outpatient mental health care
- Hospice care
- Occupational, physical, and speech therapy
Managed care organizations are the health plans like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and HealthPartners who also offer public coverage through a distinct network of providers. This type of coverage requires members to choose a primary care doctor who is responsible for handling your medical services and making referrals to other MinnesotaCare providers if needed. All MinnesotaCare members will select an MCO and their doctor upon approval.
Blue Advantage: (651) 662-5545 or 800-711-9862
Delta Dental: (651) 406-5907 or 800-774-9049
MinnesotaCare & HealthPartners Dental: (952) 967-7998 or 866-885-8880
Medica Choice Care: (952) 992-2322 or 800-373-8335
Delta Dental: (651) 406-5919 or 800-459-8574
PrimeWest Health: 866-431-0801
PrimeWest Health Dental: 866-431-0801
South Country Health Alliance: 866-567-7242
UCare: (612) 676-3200 or 800-203-7225
How to Apply
Apply online for MinnesotaCare by using the form for all medical assistance programs in the state through ApplyMN. You may also download and print an application to send by mail to your nearest county health department.
MN Health Care Programs Member Help Desk
(651) 431-2670 or 800-657-3739
1. Minnesota Department of Human Services. “MinnesotaCare.” http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/main/idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNAMIC_CONVERSION&RevisionSelectionMethod=LatestReleased&dDocName=id_006255.
2. Minnesota Department of Human Services. “Who is Eligible – Minnesota Health Care Programs.” http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/main/idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNAMIC_CONVERSION&RevisionSelectionMethod=LatestReleased&dDocName=dhs16_144033.
3. (1 November 2012) Minnesota Department of Human Services. “25.05 MinnesotaCare Premiums.” http://hcopub.dhs.state.mn.us/25_05.htm.