Is it Right for You?
Almost everyone should be able to get health coverage. In fact, if you don’t have a plan, you may have to pay a tax penalty. The question is, which plan is right for you and your family?
If you don’t qualify for MinnesotaCare, consider other options, including Medical Assistance (MA) and private health insurance from your employer or through MNsure.
If you have been determined disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the State Medical Review Team (SMRT), you might qualify for MA instead of MinnesotaCare. Read DB101’s disability-based MA article and Talk to an Expert or visit your local county human services agency.
MinnesotaCare Basic Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for MinnesotaCare, you usually must meet several basic requirements:
- Not be able to get Medicare, Medical Assistance (MA), or affordable employer-sponsored coverage
- Be a U.S. citizen or have a legal immigration status, and
- Have income within certain limits.
Not Be Able to Get Medicare, MA, or Employer-Sponsored Coverage
MinnesotaCare is meant for people who do not have other affordable coverage options. That means that if you could get Medicare, Medical Assistance (MA), or affordable employer-sponsored coverage, you cannot get MinnesotaCare. This is especially important for people with disabilities, because people with disabilities are more likely to qualify for MA. If you have a disability, read DB101’s disability-based MA article.
If you do not have one of these other options, keep reading this article.
Citizenship or Legal Immigration Status
You must be a U.S. citizen or have a legal immigration status to get MinnesotaCare.
Note: Some immigrants who do not qualify for MA may qualify to get MinnesotaCare instead.
Beatriz is married and she and her husband John have a combined income of $20,000 per year. Their income is less than 138% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), so John can go to MNsure and sign up for income-based MA coverage. Beatriz can’t because she has been a legal resident in the United States for just 2 years. Instead, she signs up for MinnesotaCare and pays a monthly premium of $15.
If you are a citizen or have a legal immigration status, continue reading this article.
MinnesotaCare is for families with income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) ($23,340 per year for an individual; $47,700 for a family of four), but above 138% of FPG ($16,243 for an individual; $33,465 for a family of four).
MinnesotaCare 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 MinnesotaCare eligibility.
Note: If you are a legal immigrant who cannot get Medical Assistance (MA) because of your immigration status, you may be eligible for MinnesotaCare even if your income is below 138% of FPG.
There are no limits to how much money or other assets you can have for this type of MA.
If you cannot get MinnesotaCare because your income is too high, consider buying an individual plan through MNsure. See DB101’s Buying Health Coverage on MNsure article.
|Your family size:|
Income limits for your family:
|Income-based MA, adults (138% FPG)|
|Income-based MA, children/pregnant women (280% FPG)|
|MinnesotaCare (200% FPG)|
|Subsidized private plans, reduced fees (250% FPG)|
|Subsidized private plans (400% FPG)|
If your family's income is at or below the limit for a program, you may qualify if you meet other program rules.
Note: Different programs sometimes use slightly different numbers for the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG).
The bottom line: If you meet the main requirements described here, MinnesotaCare is a great program that you should sign up for. We explain how to sign up later in this article.
If you can get MinnesotaCare, then you cannot get government help paying for a private insurance plan through tax credits. That means the private insurance plan could be more expensive for you. If you qualify for MinnesotaCare, it will always be a better option for you than paying for an individual plan.