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MinnesotaCare: Everything You Need to Know

August 21, 2023

In a society where access to affordable healthcare is a vital cornerstone of well-being, MinnesotaCare emerges as a beacon of support for individuals who find themselves in the gap between private insurance affordability and Medicaid eligibility. This innovative program, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, addresses the critical healthcare needs of residents in Minnesota who lack access to affordable health insurance due to higher income levels that surpass Medicaid thresholds.

MinnesotaCare acts as a bridge, extending its coverage to those who often find themselves in a precarious position — earning too much to qualify for Medicaid, yet not enough to comfortably afford private health insurance. With its mission to ensure that crucial medical services are not out of reach for these individuals and their families, MinnesotaCare offers a lifeline of healthcare support that enhances the overall quality of life within the state.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the program's application process, understand its outreach to specific demographics, and emphasize its place within the broader spectrum of healthcare initiatives. Let’s dive in!

Program Contact1-800-657-3629
Additional InfoMinnesotaCare Application
Managing AgencyU.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Understanding the MinnesotaCare Program

MinnesotaCare, a vital program offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, stands as a beacon of hope for individuals and families facing a common healthcare dilemma – the challenge of affording insurance coverage while having income levels that exceed Medicaid eligibility criteria.

Situated at the crossroads of healthcare affordability, this initiative serves as a lifeline for residents of Minnesota, ensuring that quality healthcare remains accessible to those who fall between the cracks of private insurance and Medicaid.

At its core, MinnesotaCare is designed to provide coverage for individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid due to their income levels, yet struggle to afford traditional health insurance. It addresses the unique healthcare needs of young individuals under 18 years of age and primary caregivers with children under 18, recognizing the significance of early-life well-being and caregiving roles.

Eligibility Requirements

MinnesotaCare stands as a powerful testament to the U.S. government's commitment to ensuring that healthcare remains accessible to a broader spectrum of individuals and families. To partake in the benefits of this program, applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria that reflect the program's intent to address the healthcare affordability gap effectively.

1. Residency and Age/Caregiver Status

Eligibility for MinnesotaCare begins with residency in the state of Minnesota. Furthermore, individuals must either be 18 years of age or under or qualify as primary caregivers with child(ren) aged 18 years or under. This inclusive approach caters to both the younger generation's healthcare needs and those of caregivers who play a vital role in nurturing the next generation.

2. Citizenship and Immigration Status

MinnesotaCare extends its support to U.S. Citizens, Nationals, and Non-Citizens who have been legally admitted into the United States. This recognition of various citizenship and immigration statuses ensures that the program is accessible to a diverse range of individuals.

3. Insurance Coverage

A critical aspect of MinnesotaCare's eligibility criteria is the requirement that applicants be uninsured and ineligible for Medicaid. This provision aims to address the unique needs of those who do not qualify for Medicaid assistance but still face challenges in obtaining affordable health insurance.

4. Incarceration Status

While recognizing the complexities of legal proceedings, the program stipulates that individuals must not be incarcerated unless they are awaiting disposition of charges. This provision takes into account the diverse situations that applicants might find themselves in and strives to ensure equitable access to healthcare support.

5. Income Threshold

A central component of eligibility for MinnesotaCare is the applicant's annual household income (before taxes). To qualify, this income must fall below specific thresholds. The program is sensitive to household size, recognizing that different family compositions come with different financial dynamics. The income thresholds are clearly outlined, offering transparency and guidance to potential beneficiaries.

It is important to note that MinnesotaCare's eligibility requirements aim to address the unique challenges faced by individuals and families who often find themselves in a precarious position regarding healthcare affordability. The program strikes a balance between inclusivity and sustainability, catering to a diverse range of circumstances while ensuring that those who need support the most are able to access it.

MinnesotaCare's commitment to accessibility and inclusivity is further exemplified by its provision of paper applications in multiple languages, including Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. This thoughtful approach ensures that language barriers do not prevent individuals from applying and accessing vital healthcare resources.

Navigating the Application Process

Access to quality healthcare is a fundamental right, and the MinnesotaCare program stands as a testament to the U.S. government's commitment to ensuring that this right is upheld, even for those facing financial challenges.

The application process for MinnesotaCare is designed with accessibility and convenience in mind, recognizing the diverse circumstances of applicants.

1. Application Channels

MinnesotaCare offers applicants the flexibility of choosing between two primary application methods: online application through MNsure or a paper application (Form DHS-6696). This variety of options ensures that individuals can choose the avenue that best suits their preferences and technical capabilities.

2. Online Application

Applying online through MNsure is often considered the easiest and most streamlined method. The digital platform guides applicants through the process step by step, making it convenient for tech-savvy individuals to submit their applications with ease. The online application eliminates the need for paper forms and offers real-time guidance to ensure accurate submission.

3. Paper Application

For those who prefer a more traditional approach or lack access to digital resources, the paper application is a viable alternative. The Application for Health Coverage and Help Paying Costs (Form DHS-6696) is available for download. If printing the application is not feasible, applicants can reach out to the Minnesota Health Care Programs Member Help Desk to obtain a physical copy.

4. Multilingual Accessibility

MinnesotaCare acknowledges the importance of language diversity. The paper application is thoughtfully available in several languages, including Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. This ensures that language barriers do not hinder individuals from applying and accessing crucial healthcare support.

5. Special Circumstances

MinnesotaCare also recognizes that certain demographics, such as people with disabilities, children in foster care, and seniors, mayhave unique needs. As such, there are separate guidelines for these specific groups to facilitate their application process effectively.

6. Application Assistance

Recognizing that applying for healthcare coverage can be a complex process, MinnesotaCare extends a helping hand. If individuals have questions or need assistance during the application process, they can reach out to the Minnesota Care Programs Member Help Desk or the MinnesotaCare office for guidance.

7. Inclusivity and Accessibility

By offering multiple application methods, catering to different linguistic needs, and providing guidance for specific demographics, MinnesotaCare ensures that barriers to healthcare access are minimized. This reflects the program's commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for all who seek its assistance.

8. Timing

A noteworthy aspect of MinnesotaCare is its open enrollment policy. Applicants can apply for the program at any time during the year, eliminating the need to wait for specific enrollment periods. This flexibility underscores the program's dedication to offering healthcare support when it's needed most.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is MinnesotaCare?

MinnesotaCare is a health coverage program designed to provide affordable insurance for individuals who don't have access to other affordable health insurance options and have higher income levels than those eligible for Medicaid. It aims to ensure that people can access necessary medical care even if they don't qualify for Medicaid.

2. How can I get more information or contact someone about MinnesotaCare?

For more information about the program, you can visit the MinnesotaCare page. You can also reach out to the Minnesota Care Programs Member Help Desk or the MinnesotaCare office if you have any questions. The contact number is 1-800-657-3629.

3. How is the premium amount determined for MinnesotaCare?

Most members of MinnesotaCare are required to pay a monthly premium. The premium amount is determined based on the family's income. Some members, based on their income level, may qualify for no premium payment.

4. How can I apply for MinnesotaCare?

You can apply for MinnesotaCare at any time during the year. The easiest way to apply is by using the online application through MNsure. Alternatively, you can fill out the paper Application for Health Coverage and Help Paying Costs DHS-6696. If you need assistance, you can contact the Minnesota Health Care Programs Member Help Desk to request a paper application. The paper application is available in multiple languages.

5. Can certain groups of people apply for MinnesotaCare differently?

Yes, there are specific application processes for people with disabilities, children in foster care, and seniors. These individuals may have different pathways to apply for Minnesota Health Care Programs coverage.


MinnesotaCare is a crucial health coverage program in Minnesota that aims to provide affordable insurance options for individuals who don't have access to other affordable health insurance and have higher income levels than those eligible for Medicaid. By offering coverage to those who fall into this gap, the program ensures that more people can receive the medical care they need.

Explore your eligibility for MinnesotaCare—a program offering health coverage for those without affordable insurance. Need more benefits? Discover Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) program now!

Michael Blair contributes his expertise to help veterans access government benefits and resources. Through his informative articles and guides, he plays a vital role in empowering veterans and improving their quality of life.
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