Medical Assistance (MA) is a public program that helps pay medical expenses for people with low income. How you may qualify depends on your family’s situation. The rules for qualifying are related to things like whether you have a disability, how much you have in income, how much you have in assets, whether you are pregnant, or if you are a child.

This article focuses on income-based MA, which is a way people under the age of 65 who make $16,643 per year or less can qualify ($33,948 or less for a family of four). Children and pregnant women can get coverage when their family income is $68,880 per year or less for a family of four.

If you qualify, MA will help pay for your visits to the doctor, hospital stays, prescription drugs, medical equipment, and other medical services. Some people worry that if their income goes up, they’ll lose their MA, but if you get MA and your income goes up, you will have options that may let you stay with MA, switch to MinnesotaCare (another public program), or get a private health plan.

Disability-based MA

If you have a disability, there are additional ways to qualify for MA. Learn more about the different ways of qualifying in DB101's MA overview.

This article is about income-based Medical Assistance (MA) and will help you understand:

  • If it is right for you
  • Different ways you may qualify for MA if you have a disability
  • What services it covers
  • How much you will have to pay, and
  • How to sign up.

If, after reading this article, you need more help in understanding Medical Assistance (MA), we recommend you talk to trained experts who can help you. Here are some good resources:

Highlights
  • For adults making less than 138% of FPG or less, you can get MA no matter how much you have in assets.
  • Children and pregnant women can get MA if they make 280% of FPG or less.
  • If you have disability, you may qualify for disability-based MA or MA-EPD if your income is too high for income-based MA.
  • If you make between 138% and 200% of FPG and can’t get affordable health coverage through your job, you may qualify for another public program, MinnesotaCare.
  • There is a single marketplace called MNsure where you can compare and apply for plans, including Medical Assistance (MA), MinnesotaCare, and private health coverage.
  • If you don’t have any form of health coverage in 2017, you may have to pay a tax penalty.