Guide to Minnesota's Public Health Care Programs - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Guide to Minnesota's Public Health Care Programs

What Public Programs Are Available?

This guide explains two publicly funded health care programs available to Minnesotans. These programs have eligibility requirements. The two public programs are:

  • Medical Assistance (MA)
  • MinnesotaCare

What is Medical Assistance (MA)?

Medical Assistance pays for medical care for very low-income Minnesotans. There are eligibility requirements for the program. Federal and state dollars pay for MA. (This program is different from Medicare, which is a federal health insurance program for people over 65 and for certain people with disabilities.) In 2011 Medical Assistance expanded its coverage to provide coverage to more low income adults. The General Assistance Medical Care program ended.

How do I apply for Medical Assistance?

To apply for MA, call or go to the human service agency in the county where you live. County agencies are listed toward the end of this brochure. You can apply even if you are not sure that you are eligible.

When you apply, you will fill out an application form and be asked for proof of some of the information you give. You also will talk with a person who works for the county agency. There are people at the county who can help you fill out the application. You can print a copy of the application from the Web at Minnesota Department of Human Services and mail it in.

Your county agency will let you know if you are eligible for assistance within 45 days (60 days if they need a disability certification; 15 days for pregnant women). If a decision is not made in that time, the county agency will explain why in writing.

If you are found to be eligible, the county will enroll you in the MA program. Every six months a county financial worker will review your situation to see if you are still eligible for health care assistance. You must complete, sign, date and return all forms sent to you by your county agency. If you do not, you will lose your Medical Assistance.

Your financial worker may ask you to provide:

  • your last checking or savings account statement and/or sign a release-of-information form for your bank
  • proof of ownership for stocks, bonds, savings certificates, trust funds or other financial assets
  • proof of current unearned income
  • pay stubs for all employed family members for the last 30 days and/or your most recent tax form

What is MinnesotaCare?

MinnesotaCare is a health care program for uninsured working Minnesotans. MinnesotaCare does not pay for past medical bills. MinnesotaCare is for Minnesota residents who meet income and other eligibility guidelines. MinnesotaCare is paid for with state and federal tax dollars, provider taxes and premiums paid by people who are enrolled.

It takes 30-45 days to process the application. Enrollees pay a monthly premium based on family size, income and the number of people in their family who are covered. Children under age 21 who meet a lower income guideline pay a fixed premium of $4 a month. Coverage starts the first of the month after payment is received. Continued coverage depends on timely payment of premiums. MinnesotaCare enrollees must complete a renewal application every year.

How do I apply for MinnesotaCare?

  • Request an application by calling MinnesotaCare at (651) 297-3862 (Twin Cities Metro) or 1-800-657-3672 (toll-free). For TTY call 711 or 1-800-627-3529. Complete it and mail it in.
  • Print the application from the Minnesota Department of Human Services website, complete it and mail it in.
  • Apply in person at some county human service agencies.
  • Apply in person at the Minnesota Department of Human Services office in downtown St. Paul at 540 Cedar Street, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Ask your local medical providers, schools, and human service agencies if they have an application. Many of them do.

Eligibility requirements for MinnesotaCare:

  • Live in Minnesota.
  • Meet income and asset guidelines.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a qualifying noncitizen.
  • Not currently insured or covered by other health insurance within the last four months (this includes Medicare). Some exceptions apply for people coming from MA and children who meet a lower income guideline.
  • No access to employer-paid insurance with a current employer where the employer pays 50 percent or more of the monthly premium. Does not apply to children who meet lower income guidelines.
  • Current employer has not withdrawn employer-paid (50 percent or more) health insurance in the past 18 months.
  • Asset limit of $10,000 for one person, $20,000 for two or more people. (Pregnant women and children under 21 years old have no asset limits.

Applications require proof of income, such as federal 1040 tax forms, W-2 forms, wage statements or pay stubs.

Will the application information I give to the county or state stay private?

The information you give to the county or state agency is private. No one other than you and certain personnel at government agencies may see this information. You have the right to examine your file to see if the information is correct.

What if I don't qualify for any of these programs?

There are several organizations listed in the "Guide to Additional Health Care Resources" that may be able to help you. Most programs and organizations listed in the guide have eligibility requirements. Take the time to read about the various services available and contact the programs that fit your present situation.


What assistance is available to help Medicare enrollees pay for Medicare?

The Medicare Savings Programs help pay premiums and certain other costs for eligible Medicare beneficiaries. Contact your county human services agency to determine if you are eligible.

  • Medical Assistance for Qualified Individuals (QI-1) helps pay Medicare Part B premiums.

  • Medical Assistance for Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB) helps pay Medicare Part A and Part B premiums and Medicare deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays.

  • Medical Assistance for Service Limited Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB) helps pay Medicare Part B premiums.

The Low Income Subsidy (LIS), often referred to as "extra help," helps pay Medicare Part D prescription drug premiums, co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles for eligible individuals. Depending on your income and assets you may be eligible for full or partial assistance. There is no "doughnut hole" or "coverage gap" when you receive "extra help" but you may have to pay a co-pay or co-insurance. View the Social Security website or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to determine if you are eligible to apply for assistance. You can also contact the Minnesota Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433. Some individuals are automatically provided this assistance and would not need to apply for it.

List of Human Service Agencies by County


Aitkin County Health & Human Service Agency
(218) 927-7200
Courthouse Annex
204 First Street N.W.
Aitkin 56431-1291

Anoka County Human Services Division
(763) 422-7200
Anoka County Government Center
2100 Third Avenue
Anoka 55303-2264

Southern Anoka County Neighborhood Center
(763) 789-4326
3980 Central Avenue N.E.
Columbia Heights 55421-3931

Becker County Human Services
(218) 847-5628
712 Minnesota Avenue
P.O. Box 1637
Detroit Lakes 56502-1637

Beltrami County Human Service
(218) 333-8300
616 America Ave. N.W., Suite 330
Bemidji 56601

Benton County Human Services
(320) 968-5087
531 Dewey Street, P.O. Box 740
Foley 56329-0740

Big Stone County Family Services
(320) 839-2555
340 N.W. Second Street, P.O. Box 338
Ortonville 56278-0338

Blue Earth County Human Services
(507) 304-4335
Blue Earth County Government Center
410 South Fifth Street, P.O. Box 3526
Mankato 56002-3526

Brown County Family Services
(507) 354-8246
1117 Center Street, P.O. Box 788
New Ulm 56073-0788

Carlton County Public Health & Human Services
(218) 879-4583
1215 Avenue C
Cloquet 55720-1610

South Office
(218) 485-8520
316 Elm Avenue, P.O. Box 310
Moose Lake 55767

Carver County Community Social Services
(952) 361-1600
Human Services Building
602 East Fourth Street
Chaska 55318-2191

Cass County Health & Human Services
(218) 547-1340
Social Services Building
400 Michigan Avenue W., P.O. Box 519
Walker 56484-0519

Chippewa County Family Services
(320) 269-6401
Community Service Building
719 N. 7th Street, Suite 200
Montevideo 56265-1397

Chisago County Health & Human Services
(651) 213-5600
6133 402nd St
North Branch 55056

Clay County Social Services Center
(218) 299-5200
715 North 11th Street, Suite 102
Moorhead 56560-2095

Clearwater County Dept. of Human Services
(218) 694-6164
216 Park Avenue North, P.O. Box X
Bagley 56621-0682

Cook County Public Health & Human Services
(218) 387-3620
411 West Second Street
Grand Marais 55604-1150

Cottonwood County Family Service Agency
(507) 831-1891
11 Fourth Street, P.O. Box 9
Windom 56101-0009

Crow Wing County Social Service Center
(218) 824-1250
204 Laurel Street, P.O. Box 686
Brainerd 56401-0686

Dakota County Community Services
(651) 554-5611
North Service Center
1 Mendota Road West, Suite 100
West St. Paul 55118-4773

Dodge County Human Services
(507) 635-6170
22 Sixth Street East, Dept. 401
Mantorville 55955

Douglas County Human Service Board
(320) 762-2302
Social Services Dept.
809 Elm Street, Suite 1186
Alexandria 56308

Faribault - Human Services of Faribault
(507) 526-3265
412 North Nicollet
P.O. Box 217
Blue Earth 56013

Fillmore County Social Services
(507) 765-2175
902 Houston Street NW, Suite 1
Preston 55965-1080

Freeborn County Dept. of Human Services
(507) 377-5400
203 West Clark Street, P.O. Box 1246
Albert Lea 56007-1246

Goodhue County Social Service Center
(651) 385-3200
Citizen's Building, 426 West Ave.
Red Wing 55066-2473

Grant County Social Services
(218) 685-8200
28 Central S., P.O. Box 1006
Elbow Lake 56531-1006

Hennepin County Human Services
Call (612) 596-1300 first to be directed to the correct office.
330 South 12th Street
Minneapolis 55404

Houston County Dept. of Human Services
(507) 725-5811
304 South Marshall, Room 104
Caledonia 55921

Hubbard County Social Service Center
(218) 732-1451
301 Court Avenue
Park Rapids 56470-1483

Isanti County Family Services
(763) 689-1711
Oakview Office Complex
1700 E Rum River Drive South, Suite A
Cambridge 55008-2547

Itasca County Health & Human Services
(218) 327-2941
1209 S.E. Second Avenue
Grand Rapids 55744-3983

Jackson County Human Services
(507) 847-4000
310 Sherman Street, P.O. Box 67
Jackson 56143-0067

Kanabec County Family Service Agency
(320) 679-6350
905 East Forest Avenue, Suite 150
Mora 55051-1316

Kandiyohi County Family Services
(320) 231-6232 or (320) 231-7800
2200 23rd Street NE, Suite 1020
Willmar 56201-9423

Kittson County Social Services
(218) 843-2689
410 South Fifth Street, Suite 100
Hallock 56728-0160

Koochiching County Community Services
(218) 283-7000
1000 Fifth Street
International Falls 56649-2485

Lac Qui Parle County Family Service Center
(320) 598-7594
930 First Avenue, P.O. Box 7
Madison 56256-0007

Lake County Human Services
(218) 834-8400
616 Third Avenue
Two Harbors 55616-1560

Lake of the Woods Social Service Dept.
(218) 634-2642
206 Eighth Avenue SE, Suite 200
Baudette 56623-0200

LeSueur County Dept. of Human Services
(507) 357-8288
88 South Park Avenue
Le Center 56057-1620

Lincoln County
(507) 694-1452
Lincoln, Lyon, and Murray Human Services
319 North Rebecca Street, P.O. Box 44
Ivanhoe 56142-0044

Lyon County
(507) 537-6747
Lincoln, Lyon, and Murray Human Services
607 West Main
Marshall 56258-3099

Mahnomen County Human Services
(218) 935-2568
311 North Main Street, P.O. Box 460
Mahnomen 56557-0460

Marshall County Social Services
(218) 745-5124
208 East Colvin Avenue, Suite 14
Warren 56762-1695

Martin - Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties
(507) 238-4757
115 West First Street
Fairmont 56031-1815

McLeod County Social Service Center
(320) 864-3144
1805 Ford Avenue North, Suite 100
Glencoe 55336-0130

Meeker County Social Services
(320) 693-5300
114 N. Holcombe Avenue, Suite 180
Litchfield 55355-2273

Mille Lacs County Family Service & Welfare Dept.
(320) 983-8208
525 Second Street S.E.
Milaca 56353-1396

Morrison County Social Services
(320) 632-2951
213 S.E. First Avenue
Little Falls 56345-3196

Mower County Human Services
(507) 437-9701
1301 18th Avenue NW, Suite A
Austin 55912-2317

Murray County
(507) 836-6144
Lincoln, Lyon, and Murray Human Services (507) 836-6144
3095 20th St
Slayton 56172

Nicollet County Social Services
(507) 931-6800
108 S. Minnesota Avenue, Suite 200
St. Peter 56082-2516

2070 Howard Drive
(507) 387-4556
North Mankato 56003-1527

Nobles County Family Service Agency
(507) 295-5213
318 Ninth Street, P.O. Box 189
Worthington 56187-0189

Norman County Social Services
(218) 784-5400
15 Second Avenue East
Ada 56510-1389

Olmsted County Community Services
(507) 328-6600
2117 Campus Dr SE #100
Rochester 55904-3711

Otter Tail County Dept. of Human Services
(218) 998-8230
535 Fir Avenue West
Fergus Falls 56537

Pennington County Dept. of Human Services
(218) 681-2880
318 North Knight Avenue, P.O. Box 340
Thief River Falls, 56701-0340

Pine County Dept. of Health and Human Services
(320) 591-1400 or (800) 450-7263
635 Northridge Drive NW
Pine City 55063

130 Oriole Street East, Suite 1
(800) 450-7463 ext 4137
Sandstone 55072-5134

Pipestone County Family Service Agency
(507) 825-6720
1091 N Hiawatha Ave
Pipestone 56164-0157

Polk County Human Service Center
(218) 281-3127
612 N Broadway Room 302
Crookston 56716-1498

East Grand Forks Branch
(218) 773-2431
1424 Central Avenue N.E.
East Grand Forks 56721-1335

Fosston Branch
(218) 435-1585
104 N Kaiser Avenue
Fosston 56542

Pope County Human Services
(320) 634-5750
211 Minnesota Avenue East, Suite 200
Glenwood 56334-1629

Ramsey County Human Service Dept.
(651) 266-4444
160 East Kellogg Boulevard
St. Paul 55101-1494

Red Lake County Social Service Center
(218) 253-4131
125 Edward Avenue, P.O. Box 356
Red Lake Falls 56750-0356

Redwood County Human Services
(507) 637-4050
302 East Third Street, P.O. Box 510
Redwood Falls 56283

Renville County Human Services
(320) 523-2202
105 South Fifth Street, Suite 203H
Olivia 56277-2202

Rice County Social Services
(507) 332-6115
320 Third Street N.W., Suite 2, P.O. Box 718
Faribault 55021-0718

Rock County Family Service Agency
(507) 283-5070
2 Roundwind Road, P.O. Box 715
Luverne 56156-0715

Roseau County Social Services Center
(218) 463-2411
208 Sixth Street S.W.
Roseau 56751-1451

St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services
(218) 726-2101
Government Services Center
320 West Second Street
Duluth 55802-1495

Ely Office: Government Services Center
(218) 365-8220
118 South Fourth Avenue East
Ely 55731-1402

Hibbing Office: Hibbing Courthouse Annex
(218) 262-6000
1814 East 14th Avenue
Hibbing 55746-1314

Virginia Office: Northland Office Center
(218) 749-7137
307 South First Street, P.O. Box 1148
Virginia 55792-1148

Scott County Human Services
(952) 445-7751
Government Center, Room 300
200 Fourth Avenue West
Shakopee 55379-1200

Sherburne County Social Services
(763) 241-2600 or (800) 433-5239
13880 Highway 10
Elk River 55330-1692

Sibley County Human Services
(507) 237-4000
111 Eighth Street, P.O. Box 237
Gaylord 55334-0237

Stearns County Human Services
(320) 656-6000 or (800) 450-3663
Administration Center
705 Courthouse Square, P.O. Box 1107
St. Cloud 56302-1107

Steele County Human Services
(507) 444-7500
630 Florence Avenue, P.O. Box 890
Owatonna 55060-0890

Stevens County Human Services
(320) 589-7400
10 East Highway 28
Morris 56267

Swift County Human Services
(320) 843-3160
410 21st Street South, P.O. Box 208
Benson 56215-0208

Todd County Social Services
(320) 732-4500 or (888) 838-4066
Courthouse Annex
212 Second Avenue South
Long Prairie 56347-1640

Traverse County Social Services Dept.
(320) 563-8255
202 Eighth Street North, P.O. Box 46
Wheaton 56296

Wabasha County Dept. of Social Services
(651) 565-3351
411 Hiawatha Drive East
Wabasha 55981-1589

Wadena Social Services
(218) 631-7605
124 First Street SE
Wadena 56482-1553

Waseca County Dept. of Human Services
(507) 835-0560
299 Johnson Avenue SW, Suite 160
Waseca 56093-2498

Washington County Community Services
(651) 430-6455
Government Center
14949 62nd Street North, P.O. Box 30
Stillwater 55082-0030

Watonwan County Human Services
(507) 375-3294
715 Second Avenue South, P.O. Box 31
St. James 56081-0031

Wilkin County Family Service Agency
(218) 643-7161
300 Fifth Street South, P.O. Box 369
Breckenridge 56520-0369

Winona County Dept. of Human Services
(507) 457-6200
202 West Third Street
Winona 55987-3146

Wright County Human Services
(763) 682-7414
Wright County Government Center, Room 300
10 Second Street NW
Buffalo 55313-1191

Yellow Medicine County
(320) 564-2211
Family Services Center
930 Fourth Street, Suite 4
Granite Falls 56241-1463

For more information contact the Minnesota Health Information Clearinghouse:

By telephone:
(651) 201-5178 or (800) 657-3793

By mail:
Minnesota Department of Health
Minnesota Health Information Clearinghouse
Health Regulation Division
85 East Seventh Place, P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0882

By email:

By fax:
(651) 201-5186

Updated Wednesday, 05-Jun-2019 13:37:37 CDT