I have been getting MA because I have a disability. Will my MA change?

No. You can continue to get the Medical Assistance (MA) benefits you currently get.

To qualify for MA, is there a limit on the amount of assets my family can have?

It depends on how you qualified for Medical Assistance (MA). Income-based MA has no asset limit. However, some people with disabilities and seniors may qualify for disability-based MA or MA-EPD, which do have asset limits.

DB101's MA overview compares the different ways of qualifying.

This is really confusing. Where can I get help?

Where can I sign up?

You should sign up for Medical Assistance (MA) at your county human services agency if you:

If you are not in one of those situations, there are three ways to apply for health coverage:

What’s the difference between MA and MinnesotaCare?

Both Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare are public health coverage programs:

  • Income-based MA is for people with income that’s 138% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) or less, which is $16,643 per year for an individual ($33,948 for a family of four). The income limits are higher for pregnant women and children and are calculated differently for disability-based MA.
  • MinnesotaCare is similar to MA, but you have to pay a monthly premium for it. It is for people who:
    • Have income at or below 200% of FPG ($23,760 per year for an individual; $48,600 for a family of four), and
    • Can’t get affordable health coverage through MA, Medicare, or their jobs.

Isn’t MA just for people with disabilities?

No. Income-based Medical Assistance (MA) is available to many people. To get income-based MA, most people must:

  • Be under 65 years old
    • You can be 65 or older if you are the parent or caretaker of a child
  • Not be eligible for Medicare
    • You can be on Medicare if you are the parent or caretaker of a child or are pregnant
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have an immigration status that is eligible for Medical Assistance (MA), and
  • Have income below certain limits.

There are additional ways to get MA if you have a disability or are a senior. Learn more about the different ways of qualifying in DB101's MA overview or Talk to an ExpertPopup Link.

What is the most money I can make and still get MA? Why have I seen different amounts listed in different articles?

You and your family can usually get income-based Medical Assistance (MA) if your family’s income is at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) ($16,643 for an individual; $33,948 for a family of four).

Any children under 19 or pregnant women in your family can get income-based Medical Assistance (MA) coverage as long as your family’s income is at or below 280% of FPG ($68,880 per year for a family of four). For the purposes of calculating a pregnant woman’s family income, the unborn baby is counted as a family member.

Income-based MA counts most types of earned and unearned income you have. However, some income is not counted, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and some contributions to retirement accounts. Learn more about what types of income affect income-based MA eligibility.

You may see the income limit for MA listed as 133% of FPG in some places. However, when MA counts your income, they’ll knock 5% of FPG off your income if you make more than 133% of FPG. That's why we say you can make up to 138% of FPG, because it more accurately shows how much income you could have and still get income-based MA.

Note: The income limits may be different if you have a disability. Learn more about the different rules for qualifying in DB101's MA overview.

Health Coverage Income Limits for Your Family

If my job offers me health coverage, am I allowed to sign up for MA?

Yes. If your family’s income is low enough for you to qualify for Medical Assistance (MA), you may do so even if your job offers insurance. If you are in this situation, you must tell your county human services agency about the insurance your employer offers. If your employer-sponsored plan is considered cost-effective, MA will pay your portion of the private plan’s monthly premium. If you have questions about this, Talk to an ExpertPopup Link.

Note: If your job offers you affordable insurance, you and your family cannot get MinnesotaCare or get subsidies for purchasing an individual health plan through MNsure.

I’m an immigrant. Can I get MA?

  • Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for full Medical Assistance (MA) coverage, though in some cases they may qualify for MA coverage for emergencies.
  • Some noncitizens who have legal immigration status in the United States do not qualify for full MA coverage. However, if their income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), they may qualify for MinnesotaCare, a different public program.
  • Immigrants who have been legal residents for 5 years or longer and some other noncitizens with legal immigration status qualify for all of the same programs that citizens can get.

Does it matter how I qualify for MA?

In most cases, no. The actual medical coverage you get from MA will basically be the same, no matter how you qualified. Generally speaking, the big difference is that people with disabilities have extra ways to qualify and if you have a disability and start working, you can earn more while still getting MA coverage.

DB101 has four articles about different ways to get MA:

  • DB101's MA overview compares the different ways of qualifying.
  • The income-based MA article explains the most common way to qualify, which does not require you to have a disability.
  • The disability-based MA explains a common way that people with disabilities who have low incomes can qualify.
  • The MA-EPD article explains a way that people with disabilities can get MA coverage by paying a premium, no matter how high their income.

If you are not sure how you qualified for MA, you can ask your local county human services agency.

I make too much money for MA, but not enough to afford private coverage. What are my options?

If you make more than the income limit for Medical Assistance (MA) and cannot get coverage through your or a family member’s job, use MNsure to see what other options you may have.

If your family’s income is more than 138% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), but at or below 200% of FPG ($23,760 per year for an individual; $48,600 for a family of four) and you can’t get affordable health coverage through your job, you may qualify for another public program called MinnesotaCare. You can read about it in DB101’s MinnesotaCare article.

If your family’s income is greater than 200% of FPG and your job doesn’t offer health coverage, read DB101’s Buying Health Coverage on MNsure article.