256B.056 ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE.
Subdivision 1. Residency.
To be eligible for medical assistance, a person must reside in
Minnesota, or, if absent from the state, be deemed to be a resident of Minnesota in accordance
with the rules of the state agency.
Subd. 1a. Income and assets generally.
Unless specifically required by state law or rule or
federal law or regulation, the methodologies used in counting income and assets to determine
eligibility for medical assistance for persons whose eligibility category is based on blindness,
disability, or age of 65 or more years, the methodologies for the supplemental security income
program shall be used. Increases in benefits under title II of the Social Security Act shall not be
counted as income for purposes of this subdivision until July 1 of each year. Effective upon
federal approval, for children eligible under section
256B.055, subdivision 12
, or for home and
community-based waiver services whose eligibility for medical assistance is determined without
regard to parental income, child support payments, including any payments made by an obligor
in satisfaction of or in addition to a temporary or permanent order for child support, and Social
Security payments are not counted as income. For families and children, which includes all
other eligibility categories, the methodologies under the state's AFDC plan in effect as of July
16, 1996, as required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
of 1996 (PRWORA), Public Law 104-193, shall be used, except that effective October 1, 2003,
the earned income disregards and deductions are limited to those in subdivision 1c. For these
purposes, a "methodology" does not include an asset or income standard, or accounting method,
or method of determining effective dates.
Subd. 1b. Aged, blind, and disabled income methodology.
The $20 general income
disregard allowed under the supplemental security income program is included in the standard and
shall not be allowed as a deduction from income for a person eligible under section
subdivisions 7, 7a, and 12
Subd. 1c. Families with children income methodology.
(a)(1) [Expired, 1Sp2003 c 14
art 12 s 17]
(2) For applications processed within one calendar month prior to July 1, 2003, eligibility
shall be determined by applying the income standards and methodologies in effect prior to July 1,
2003, for any months in the six-month budget period before July 1, 2003, and the income standards
and methodologies in effect on July 1, 2003, for any months in the six-month budget period on or
after that date. The income standards for each month shall be added together and compared to the
applicant's total countable income for the six-month budget period to determine eligibility.
(3) For children ages one through 18 whose eligibility is determined under section
, the following deductions shall be applied to income counted toward the child's
eligibility as allowed under the state's AFDC plan in effect as of July 16, 1996: $90 work expense,
dependent care, and child support paid under court order. This clause is effective October 1, 2003.
(b) For families with children whose eligibility is determined using the standard specified
256B.056, subdivision 4
, paragraph (c), 17 percent of countable earned income shall
be disregarded for up to four months and the following deductions shall be applied to each
individual's income counted toward eligibility as allowed under the state's AFDC plan in effect as
of July 16, 1996: dependent care and child support paid under court order.
(c) If the four-month disregard in paragraph (b) has been applied to the wage earner's income
for four months, the disregard shall not be applied again until the wage earner's income has not
been considered in determining medical assistance eligibility for 12 consecutive months.
(d) The commissioner shall adjust the income standards under this section each July 1 by
the annual update of the federal poverty guidelines following publication by the United States
Department of Health and Human Services.
Subd. 2. Homestead exclusion and homestead equity limit for institutionalized persons.
(a) The homestead shall be excluded for the first six calendar months of a person's stay in a
long-term care facility and shall continue to be excluded for as long as the recipient can be
reasonably expected to return to the homestead. For purposes of this subdivision, "reasonably
expected to return to the homestead" means the recipient's attending physician has certified that
the expectation is reasonable, and the recipient can show that the cost of care upon returning
home will be met through medical assistance or other sources. The homestead shall continue to
be excluded for persons residing in a long-term care facility if it is used as a primary residence
by one of the following individuals:
(1) the spouse;
(2) a child under age 21;
(3) a child of any age who is blind or permanently and totally disabled as defined in the
supplemental security income program;
(4) a sibling who has equity interest in the home and who resided in the home for at least one
year immediately before the date of the person's admission to the facility; or
(5) a child of any age, or, subject to federal approval, a grandchild of any age, who resided
in the home for at least two years immediately before the date of the person's admission to the
facility, and who provided care to the person that permitted the person to reside at home rather
than in an institution.
(b) Effective for applications filed on or after July 1, 2006, and for renewals after July 1,
2006, for persons who first applied for payment of long-term care services on or after January 2,
2006, the equity interest in the homestead of an individual whose eligibility for long-term care
services is determined on or after January 1, 2006, shall not exceed $500,000, unless it is the
lawful residence of the individual's spouse or child who is under age 21, blind, or disabled. The
amount specified in this paragraph shall be increased beginning in year 2011, from year to year
based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (all items;
United States city average), rounded to the nearest $1,000. This provision may be waived in the
case of demonstrated hardship by a process to be determined by the secretary of health and human
services pursuant to section 6014 of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Public Law 109-171.
Subd. 3. Asset limitations for individuals and families.
To be eligible for medical
assistance, a person must not individually own more than $3,000 in assets, or if a member of a
household with two family members, husband and wife, or parent and child, the household
must not own more than $6,000 in assets, plus $200 for each additional legal dependent. In
addition to these maximum amounts, an eligible individual or family may accrue interest on these
amounts, but they must be reduced to the maximum at the time of an eligibility redetermination.
The accumulation of the clothing and personal needs allowance according to section
must also be reduced to the maximum at the time of the eligibility redetermination. The value
of assets that are not considered in determining eligibility for medical assistance is the value of
those assets excluded under the supplemental security income program for aged, blind, and
disabled persons, with the following exceptions:
(a) Household goods and personal effects are not considered.
(b) Capital and operating assets of a trade or business that the local agency determines are
necessary to the person's ability to earn an income are not considered.
(c) Motor vehicles are excluded to the same extent excluded by the supplemental security
(d) Assets designated as burial expenses are excluded to the same extent excluded by the
supplemental security income program. Burial expenses funded by annuity contracts or life
insurance policies must irrevocably designate the individual's estate as contingent beneficiary to
the extent proceeds are not used for payment of selected burial expenses.
(e) Effective upon federal approval, for a person who no longer qualifies as an employed
person with a disability due to loss of earnings, assets allowed while eligible for medical assistance
256B.057, subdivision 9
, are not considered for 12 months, beginning with the first
month of ineligibility as an employed person with a disability, to the extent that the person's total
assets remain within the allowed limits of section
256B.057, subdivision 9
, paragraph (b).
Subd. 3a.[Repealed, 1992 c 513 art 7 s 135
Subd. 3b. Treatment of trusts.
(a) A "medical assistance qualifying trust" is a revocable or
irrevocable trust, or similar legal device, established on or before August 10, 1993, by a person
or the person's spouse under the terms of which the person receives or could receive payments
from the trust principal or income and the trustee has discretion in making payments to the
person from the trust principal or income. Notwithstanding that definition, a medical assistance
qualifying trust does not include: (1) a trust set up by will; (2) a trust set up before April 7, 1986,
solely to benefit a person with a developmental disability living in an intermediate care facility for
persons with developmental disabilities; or (3) a trust set up by a person with payments made
by the Social Security Administration pursuant to the United States Supreme Court decision in
Sullivan v. Zebley, 110 S. Ct. 885 (1990). The maximum amount of payments that a trustee
of a medical assistance qualifying trust may make to a person under the terms of the trust is
considered to be available assets to the person, without regard to whether the trustee actually
makes the maximum payments to the person and without regard to the purpose for which the
medical assistance qualifying trust was established.
(b) Trusts established after August 10, 1993, are treated according to section 13611(b) of the
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA), Public Law 103-66.
Subd. 3c. Asset limitations for families and children.
A household of two or more persons
must not own more than $20,000 in total net assets, and a household of one person must not
own more than $10,000 in total net assets. In addition to these maximum amounts, an eligible
individual or family may accrue interest on these amounts, but they must be reduced to the
maximum at the time of an eligibility redetermination. The value of assets that are not considered
in determining eligibility for medical assistance for families and children is the value of those
assets excluded under the AFDC state plan as of July 16, 1996, as required by the Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), Public Law
104-193, with the following exceptions:
(1) household goods and personal effects are not considered;
(2) capital and operating assets of a trade or business up to $200,000 are not considered;
(3) one motor vehicle is excluded for each person of legal driving age who is employed or
(4) one burial plot and all other burial expenses equal to the supplemental security income
program asset limit are not considered for each individual;
(5) court-ordered settlements up to $10,000 are not considered;
(6) individual retirement accounts and funds are not considered; and
(7) assets owned by children are not considered.
Subd. 3d. Reduction of excess assets.
Assets in excess of the limits in subdivisions 3 to 3c
may be reduced to allowable limits as follows:
(a) Assets may be reduced in any of the three calendar months before the month of
application in which the applicant seeks coverage by:
(1) designating burial funds up to $1,500 for each applicant, spouse, and MA-eligible
dependent child; and
(2) paying health service bills incurred in the retroactive period for which the applicant seeks
eligibility, starting with the oldest bill. After assets are reduced to allowable limits, eligibility
begins with the next dollar of MA-covered health services incurred in the retroactive period.
Applicants reducing assets under this subdivision who also have excess income shall first spend
excess assets to pay health service bills and may meet the income spenddown on remaining bills.
(b) Assets may be reduced beginning the month of application by:
(1) paying bills for health services that would otherwise be paid by medical assistance; and
(2) using any means other than a transfer of assets for less than fair market value as defined
256B.0595, subdivision 1
, paragraph (b).
Subd. 3e. Continuing care retirement and life care community entrance fees.
entrance fee paid by an individual to a continuing care retirement or life care community shall be
treated as an available asset to the extent that:
(1) the individual has the ability to use the entrance fee, or the contract provides that the
entrance fee may be used, to pay for care should other resources or income of the individual be
insufficient to pay for care;
(2) the individual is eligible for a refund of any remaining entrance fees when the individual
dies or terminates the continuing care retirement or life care community contract and leaves
the community; and
(3) the entrance fee does not confer an ownership interest in the continuing care retirement or
life care community.
Subd. 4. Income.
(a) To be eligible for medical assistance, a person eligible under section
256B.055, subdivisions 7, 7a, and 12
, may have income up to 100 percent of the federal poverty
guidelines. Effective January 1, 2000, and each successive January, recipients of supplemental
security income may have an income up to the supplemental security income standard in effect on
(b) To be eligible for medical assistance, families and children may have an income up to
133-1/3 percent of the AFDC income standard in effect under the July 16, 1996, AFDC state plan.
Effective July 1, 2000, the base AFDC standard in effect on July 16, 1996, shall be increased
by three percent.
(c) Effective July 1, 2002, to be eligible for medical assistance, families and children may
have an income up to 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for the family size.
(d) In computing income to determine eligibility of persons under paragraphs (a) to (c)
who are not residents of long-term care facilities, the commissioner shall disregard increases in
income as required by Public Law Numbers 94-566, section 503; 99-272; and 99-509. Veterans
aid and attendance benefits and Veterans Administration unusual medical expense payments are
considered income to the recipient.
Subd. 4a. Asset verification.
For purposes of verification, the value of a life estate shall be
considered not salable unless the owner of the remainder interest intends to purchase the life
estate, or the owner of the life estate and the owner of the remainder sell the entire property.
Subd. 4b. Income verification.
The local agency shall not require a monthly income
verification form for a recipient who is a resident of a long-term care facility and who has monthly
earned income of $80 or less. The commissioner or county agency shall use electronic verification
as the primary method of income verification. If there is a discrepancy between reported income
and electronically verified income, an individual may be required to submit additional verification.
Subd. 5. Excess income.
A person who has excess income is eligible for medical assistance
if the person has expenses for medical care that are more than the amount of the person's excess
income, computed by deducting incurred medical expenses from the excess income to reduce
the excess to the income standard specified in subdivision 5c. The person shall elect to have the
medical expenses deducted at the beginning of a one-month budget period or at the beginning
of a six-month budget period. The commissioner shall allow persons eligible for assistance on
a one-month spenddown basis under this subdivision to elect to pay the monthly spenddown
amount in advance of the month of eligibility to the state agency in order to maintain eligibility
on a continuous basis. If the recipient does not pay the spenddown amount on or before the last
business day of the month, the recipient is ineligible for this option for the following month. The
local agency shall code the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) to indicate
that the recipient has elected this option. The state agency shall convey recipient eligibility
information relative to the collection of the spenddown to providers through the Electronic
Verification System (EVS). A recipient electing advance payment must pay the state agency the
monthly spenddown amount on or before noon on the last business day of the month in order to
be eligible for this option in the following month.
Subd. 5a. Individuals on fixed or excluded income.
Recipients of medical assistance who
receive only fixed unearned or excluded income, when that income is excluded from consideration
as income or unvarying in amount and timing of receipt throughout the year, shall report and
verify their income every 12 months. The 12-month period begins with the month of application.
Subd. 5b. Individuals with low income.
Recipients of medical assistance not residing
in a long-term care facility who have slightly fluctuating income which is below the medical
assistance income limit shall report and verify their income every six months. The six-month
period begins the month of application.
Subd. 5c. Excess income standard.
(a) The excess income standard for families with
children is the standard specified in subdivision 4.
(b) The excess income standard for a person whose eligibility is based on blindness,
disability, or age of 65 or more years is 70 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for the family
size. Effective July 1, 2002, the excess income standard for this paragraph shall equal 75 percent
of the federal poverty guidelines.
Subd. 6. Assignment of benefits.
To be eligible for medical assistance a person must have
applied or must agree to apply all proceeds received or receivable by the person or the person's
legal representative from any third party liable for the costs of medical care. By accepting
or receiving assistance, the person is deemed to have assigned the person's rights to medical
support and third party payments as required by title 19 of the Social Security Act. Persons must
cooperate with the state in establishing paternity and obtaining third party payments. By accepting
medical assistance, a person assigns to the Department of Human Services all rights the person
may have to medical support or payments for medical expenses from any other person or entity
on their own or their dependent's behalf and agrees to cooperate with the state in establishing
paternity and obtaining third party payments. Any rights or amounts so assigned shall be applied
against the cost of medical care paid for under this chapter. Any assignment takes effect upon
the determination that the applicant is eligible for medical assistance and up to three months
prior to the date of application if the applicant is determined eligible for and receives medical
assistance benefits. The application must contain a statement explaining this assignment. For the
purposes of this section, "the Department of Human Services or the state" includes prepaid health
plans under contract with the commissioner according to sections
, paragraph (c), and
; children's mental health collaboratives under section
; demonstration projects for persons with disabilities under section
facilities under the alternative payment demonstration project under section
; and the
county-based purchasing entities under section
Subd. 7. Period of eligibility.
Eligibility is available for the month of application and for
three months prior to application if the person was eligible in those prior months. Eligibility
for months prior to application is determined independently from eligibility for the month of
application and future months. A redetermination of eligibility must occur every 12 months. The
12-month period begins with the month of application.
Subd. 8. Cooperation.
To be eligible for medical assistance, applicants and recipients
must cooperate with the state and local agency to identify potentially liable third-party payers
and assist the state in obtaining third party payments, unless good cause for noncooperation is
determined according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, part
includes identifying any third party who may be liable for care and services provided under
this chapter to the applicant, recipient, or any other family member for whom application is
made and providing relevant information to assist the state in pursuing a potentially liable third
party. Cooperation also includes providing information about a group health plan for which
the person may be eligible and if the plan is determined cost-effective by the state agency and
premiums are paid by the local agency or there is no cost to the recipient, they must enroll or
remain enrolled with the group. For purposes of this subdivision, coverage provided by the
Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association under chapter 62E shall not be considered group
health plan coverage or cost-effective by the state and local agency. Cost-effective insurance
premiums approved for payment by the state agency and paid by the local agency are eligible for
reimbursement according to section
Subd. 9. Notice.
The state agency must be given notice of monetary claims against a person,
entity, or corporation that may be liable to pay all or part of the cost of medical care when the
state agency has paid or becomes liable for the cost of that care. Notice must be given according
to paragraphs (a) to (d).
(a) An applicant for medical assistance shall notify the state or local agency of any possible
claims when the applicant submits the application. A recipient of medical assistance shall notify
the state or local agency of any possible claims when those claims arise.
(b) A person providing medical care services to a recipient of medical assistance shall
notify the state agency when the person has reason to believe that a third party may be liable for
payment of the cost of medical care.
(c) A party to a claim that may be assigned to the state agency under this section shall notify
the state agency of its potential assignment claim in writing at each of the following stages
of a claim:
(1) when a claim is filed;
(2) when an action is commenced; and
(3) when a claim is concluded by payment, award, judgment, settlement, or otherwise.
(d) Every party involved in any stage of a claim under this subdivision is required to provide
notice to the state agency at that stage of the claim. However, when one of the parties to the
claim provides notice at that stage, every other party to the claim is deemed to have provided
the required notice for that stage of the claim. If the required notice under this paragraph is
not provided to the state agency, all parties to the claim are deemed to have failed to provide
the required notice. A party to the claim includes the injured person or the person's legal
representative, the plaintiff, the defendants, or persons alleged to be responsible for compensating
the injured person or plaintiff, and any other party to the cause of action or claim, regardless of
whether the party knows the state agency has a potential or actual assignment claim.
Subd. 10. Eligibility verification.
(a) The commissioner shall require women who are
applying for the continuation of medical assistance coverage following the end of the 60-day
postpartum period to update their income and asset information and to submit any required
income or asset verification.
(b) The commissioner shall determine the eligibility of private-sector health care coverage
for infants less than one year of age eligible under section
256B.055, subdivision 10
, paragraph (d), and shall pay for private-sector coverage if this is determined to be
(c) The commissioner shall modify the application for Minnesota health care programs to
require more detailed information related to verification of assets and income, and shall verify
assets and income for all applicants, and for all recipients upon renewal.
(d) The commissioner shall require Minnesota health care program recipients to report new
or an increase in earned income within ten days of the change, and to verify new or an increase in
earned income that affects eligibility within ten days of notification by the agency that the new
or increased earned income affects eligibility. Recipients who fail to verify new or an increase
in earned income that affects eligibility shall be disenrolled.
Subd. 11. Treatment of annuities.
(a) Any individual applying for or seeking recertification
of eligibility for medical assistance payment of long-term care services shall provide a complete
description of any interest either the individual or the individual's spouse has in annuities. The
individual and the individual's spouse shall furnish the agency responsible for determining
eligibility with complete current copies of their annuities and related documents for review as
part of the application process on disclosure forms provided by the department as part of their
(b) The disclosure form shall include a statement that the department becomes the remainder
beneficiary under the annuity or similar financial instrument by virtue of the receipt of medical
assistance. The disclosure form shall include a notice to the issuer of the department's right under
this section as a preferred remainder beneficiary under the annuity or similar financial instrument
for medical assistance furnished to the individual or the individual's spouse, and require the
issuer to provide confirmation that a remainder beneficiary designation has been made and to
notify the county agency when there is a change in the amount of the income or principal being
withdrawn from the annuity or other similar financial instrument at the time of the most recent
disclosure required under this section. The individual and the individual's spouse shall execute
separate disclosure forms for each annuity or similar financial instrument that they are required to
disclose under this section and in which they have an interest.
(c) An issuer of an annuity or similar financial instrument who receives notice on a disclosure
form as described in paragraph (b) shall provide confirmation to the requesting agency that a
remainder beneficiary designating the state has been made and shall notify the county agency
when there is a change in the amount of income or principal being withdrawn from the annuity
or other similar financial instrument. The county agency shall provide the issuer with the name,
address, and telephone number of a unit within the department that the issuer can contact to
comply with this paragraph.
History: Ex1967 c 16 s 6; 1969 c 841 s 1; 1973 c 717 s 18; 1974 c 525 s 1,2; 1975 c 247 s
10; 1976 c 236 s 3; 1977 c 448 s 6; 1978 c 760 s 1; 1979 c 309 s 4; 1980 c 509 s 106; 1980 c 527
s 1; 1981 c 360 art 2 s 28; 1Sp1981 c 2 s 14; 3Sp1981 c 2 art 1 s 32; 3Sp1981 c 3 s 17; 1982 c
553 s 6; 1982 c 640 s 5; 1983 c 312 art 5 s 15; 1984 c 422 s 1; 1984 c 534 s 22; 1984 c 654 art 5
s 58; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1985 c 252 s 21; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 1 art 8 s 5; 1987 c 403 art 2 s
79,80; 1988 c 689 art 2 s 144,145,268; 1989 c 282 art 3 s 45-47; 1989 c 332 s 1; 1990 c 568 art 3
s 28-32; 1992 c 513 art 7 s 34-38; 1993 c 339 s 13; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 5 s 31; art 6 s 25; 1995 c
207 art 6 s 28,29; 1995 c 248 art 17 s 1-4; 1996 c 451 art 2 s 8,9; 1997 c 85 art 3 s 13-15; 1997
c 203 art 4 s 20,21; 1997 c 225 art 6 s 4; 1998 c 407 art 4 s 15,16; 1999 c 245 art 4 s 32; art
10 s 10; 2001 c 203 s 5,6; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 2 s 16-24; 2002 c 220 art 15 s 6; 2002 c 379 art 1 s
113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 2 s 16; art 12 s 16-18; 2004 c 228 art 1 s 75; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2005 c 98 art
2 s 2; 1Sp2005 c 4 art 8 s 20-26; 2006 c 282 art 17 s 25-27
NOTE: The amendments to subdivisions 5, 5a, 5b, and 7, by Laws 2005, First Special
Session chapter 4, article 8, sections 21 to 24, are effective August 1, 2007, or upon HealthMatch
implementation, whichever is later. Laws 2005, First Special Session chapter 4, article 8, sections
21 to 24, the effective dates.