Parent Focus: Turning 18

MA Rules That Change

At 18, your child can manage his or her Medical Assistance (MA) benefits and make medical decisions privately. You won’t have access to your child’s medical records unless he or she authorizes it.

Eligibility rules for MA change between ages 18 and 21. How they change depends on whether your child has income-based MA or disability-based MA. If you are not sure how your child qualified for MA, Chat with a Hub expert.

Income-Based MA

Income-based MA covers children 18 or younger if the total combined income of everybody who lives in the same household is 280% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) or less ($84,000 per year or less for a family of four).

When your child turns 19, the limit goes down to 138% of FPG ($41,400 per year for a family of four). If your child doesn’t qualify for income-based MA as an adult, there are other options:

  • If you or your child’s other parent can get employer-sponsored coverage, your child can be on that plan until turning 26.
  • If employer-sponsored coverage is not available:
    • Your child can get MinnesotaCare if household income is 200% of FPG or less ($60,000 for a family of four). MinnesotaCare has a small monthly premium ($28 or less).
    • Your child may get help paying for individual coverage on MNsure if household income is over 200% of FPG.

Note: For any of these programs, if your child moves out of your house and you don’t claim your child as a dependent on your taxes, your child might qualify as a single person living alone.

Health Coverage Income Limits for Your Family

Disability-Based MA and MA-EPD

Your income does not affect whether your child qualifies for disability-based MA. No matter how old your child is, only your child’s income is counted for eligibility.

MA doesn't have an asset limit for children under 21. When your child turns 21, he or she must have less than $3,000 in assets to keep getting disability-based MA coverage. For Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) (MA-EPD), there is no asset limit, no matter what your age.

Other health coverage options for your child may include employer-sponsored coverage, income-based MA, or MinnesotaCare.

The bottom line

As your child gets older, some MA rules change:

  • At age 18, your child may be able to manage benefits and medical decisions privately.
  • For income-based MA, at age 19 the income limit goes down from 280% of FPG to 138% of FPG.
  • For disability-based MA, at age 21 there is an asset limit.

No matter how these changes affect your child, there should be a health coverage option.

Learn more