Medical Assistance

Available Health Care Program

Medical Assistance (MA) is the largest of Minnesota’s publicly-funded health care programs, providing coverage for an average of more than 600,000 low-income people each month. More than half of those are children and families. The others are people 65 years of age or older, people who have disabilities, and adults without children.

Applying for the Program

People apply for MA through their local county human service offices. Most of those enrolled get their health care through health plans. The remaining get care on a fee-for-service basis, under which providers bill the state directly for services provided.

A Medicaid Program

MA is Minnesota’s Medicaid program. It is jointly funded with state and federal funds. The Minnesota Department of Human Services oversees the program statewide. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services oversees Medicaid nationally.

Back-Dating Services

In some cases, MA can pay for medical bills going back three months from the date the county receives an individual’s application. Even if their income is too high, applicants may qualify if they have enough medical bills to meet a spenddown (similar to an insurance deductible).