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 ($70,280 per year or less for a family of four).

When your child turns 19, the limit goes down to 138% of FPG ($34,638 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 ($50,200 for a family of four). MinnesotaCare has a small monthly premium ($80 or less).
    • Your child can get help paying for individual coverage on MNsure if household income is between 200% and 400% of FPG ($100,400 for a family of four).

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.

However, while your child is 17 or younger, you may have to pay a parental fee for your child’s coverage based on your income. When your child turns 18, there will be no more parental fee and the coverage may become free.

MA and Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) (MA-EPD) do not 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 or less than $20,000 for MA-EPD.

If your child can’t get MA or MA-EPD due to assets, other options 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 18 any parental fees end.
  • For disability-based MA and MA-EPD, at age 21 there are asset limits.

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