Maintaining Health Coverage While Working

One common misperception is that if you go back to work or if your income goes up in some other way, you’ll lose access health coverage. This is not the case. There are several ways to go back to work, get a higher income, and stay covered.

Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage

Many employers offer private health coverage plans to their employees. This may be an option for you. Ask your company’s human resources office for details. To learn more, read DB101's article on Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage.

MA-EPD

The Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) program allows Minnesotans with a disability to work and earn any level of income while keeping access to Medical Assistance (MA) coverage. This is not the case with most other forms of MA.

To qualify for MA-EPD, you must be:
  • A Minnesota resident
  • Certified disabled by Social Security or the State Medical Review Team (SMRT)
  • Employed
  • Paying Medicare and Social Security taxes, and
  • Earning more than $65 per month

People in the program pay a monthly premium for their coverage. The premium is based on their income and household size. To see if you might qualify for MA-EPD and what your estimated premium would be, use the DB101 MA-EPD Estimator. For more details on the program, read DB101’s article on MA-EPD.

1619(b)

If you’ve been on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and MA and you start earning too much to keep SSI, you may become eligible for SSI's 1619(b) provision.

You can earn up to $53,658 in gross income annually and keep your MA coverage with 1619(b), as long as your assets do not go above the $2,000 limit.

MA with a Spenddown

If your income is higher than 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), you can keep your MA coverage, but you will have to spend some of your own income on your medical bills. This is called a spenddown. If you’re working, you’d be better off with 1619(b) or MA-EPD coverage, but if you are not eligible for either of those, paying a spenddown is an option. Chat with a Hub expert if you have questions.

MinnesotaCare

If you earn too much to keep MA coverage, you may be able to get very similar coverage through MinnesotaCare. You'll pay a small premium, up to $80.

To qualify, you must not be able to get Medicare, MA, or affordable employer-sponsored coverage; be a U.S. citizen or have a legal immigration status; and have income that's 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) or less. That's $24,280 or less for an individual, $50,200 or less for a family of four. To learn more, read DB101's article on MinnesotaCare.

Individual Coverage Through MNsure

If your income is too high to qualify for MinnesotaCare, you should be able to buy individual health coverage through MNsure. If your family's income is at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), the government may help you pay for your plan through a tax credit. If your family's income is at or below 250% of FPG, the government will also help you get a plan that has lower copayments and other expenses.

To learn more, read DB101's article on Buying Health Coverage on MNsure.