What is Medical Assistance for elders and persons with disabilities living at home?

Medical Assistance (MA) is a state health care program for disabled and elderly Minnesotans who have limited income and assets. MA helps pay for health care costs not covered by Medicare or other payers. MA pays for certain home health services such as assistance with personal care, medication setup and administration, other nursing services and speech, physical and occupational therapies.

Persons age 65 and older who participate in MA may receive home care services under regular MA home care or through the Elderly Waiver (EW) program. Under the EW a participant has a case manager (a lead agency public health nurse or social worker) who arranges home and community based services and monitors these services and the participant's well-being. Additional services available through EW that are not available through regular MA home care include respite services, adult day services, homemaking, caregiver supports and companion services.

Eligibility for MA for Elderly and Disabled as of July 1, 2013

Single person -$931/month income & $3000 assets
Couple - $1261/month income & $6000 assets

Eligibility information for a married couple in which one spouse lives at home and the other spouse lives in a nursing home is available through the Minnesota Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care and your county Human Services Agency.

Persons with incomes over the limit may be eligible for MA under a "spend down." If you earn more than the eligible income yet spend a large amount on needed medical expenses, this could be a "spend down."

If, for example, you have an income of $1031 a month (which is $100 over the limit) yet you spend $200 on medical expenses (medications, home health aide, etc.), you will be eligible for MA.

To apply for MA, contact your county human services agency.