Health Care Programs

The following programs help low income people with coverage for medical bills.

Medical Assistance
Medical Assistance (MA) is the largest of Minnesota's publicly funded health care programs, providing coverage for an average of more than 600,000 people each month. Currently, more than half of those are children and families; the remaining are people 65 or older and people who have disabilities.

People apply for MA through their local County human services offices. More than 2-thirds of those enrolled receive all their health care through health plans. The remaining get care on a fee-for-service basis, under which providers bill the State directly for service provided.

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.

In some cases, MA can pay for medical bills going back 3 months from the date the County receives an individual's application. Even if their income is too high, applicants can qualify if they have enough medical bills to meet a spenddown (similar to insurance deductible).

Other Health Care Programs
There are a variety of health care programs available to assist specific groups of people. These include persons in Nursing Homes, at-home care services, etc. The Department of Human Services website is a good source of information on these programs.