Medical Assistance (MA): Overview

Medical Assistance (MA) is a public program that helps some people with their medical expenses. How you may qualify depends on your situation, including whether you have a disability, how much income and assets your family has, whether you are pregnant, or if you are a child.

DB101 has three articles that focus on the most common ways people with disabilities qualify for MA:

Any way you qualify, MA will help pay for your visits to the doctor, hospital stays, prescription drugs, personal care assistance (PCA), medical equipment, and other medical services. This includes all services that the government considers Essential Health Benefits (EHBs). If you qualify for disability-based MA or MA-EPD, MA may also pay for MA-Waiver programs, which offer certain additional services for people with disabilities.

This comparison table shows the main differences between income-based MA, disability-based MA, and MA-EPD.

Income-based MA Disability-based MA MA-EPD
Different Ways of Qualifying for MA
Age & disability requirements 64 or under 65+ or disability 16-64 and disability
Income limit Check Check
Asset limit Check $3,000*
You must be working Check
Monthly premium Check
Can get at the same time as Medicare Check Check
Essential Health Benefits Check Check Check
Personal Care Assistance Check Check Check
MA-Waivers Check Check
* No asset limit if under 21

Note: If you have a disability that began before you turned 26, you can open an ABLE account where you can save up money and not have it counted for the asset limits for disability-based MA. Learn more about ABLE accounts.

DB101’s Finding the Right Coverage for You interactive guide can help you discover if you may qualify for MA in one of these ways. If not, it will present you with other options. If you need one-on-one help:

Read the full articles about income-based MA, disability-based MA, MA-EPD, and MA-Waiver programs to get more details.

Learn how Minnesota benefits can help you get ahead when you work by watching the short video below.


Note: DB101 keeps track of changes to health coverage and related laws. DB101 has been and will continue to be updated to reflect any changes. For news related to health coverage, visit the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).

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