Learn About Programs
The programs below help children, adults and families in Minnesota. Click on the program name to learn more about a program. You can also find out if you are eligible for these programs by using the Eligibility Screening Tool (click here).
- What is the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
- Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC)
- Medical Assistance (MA)
- Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
- Energy Assistance Program (EAP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP (formerly Food Support)
- School Meal Program
- Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
- Working Family Credit (WFC)
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a set of legislation that was enacted in 2010 to make health insurance coverage more accessible and affordable for all Americans. It attempts to reform the health care system by providing more Americans with affordable quality health insurance and by curbing the growth in health care spending. The ACA is not a new health insurance plan, but rather a set of provisions, rights and benefits that affect the insurance coverage options that we have always had available in this country such as public programs (Medicaid), group coverage (employer sponsored insurance) and private individual market insurance plans.
Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) are a part of the federally-enacted Affordable Care Act, which is effective January 2014. The APTCs provide financial assistance to those who are eligible to enable them to purchase insurance through the private non-group market. It is one of the ways that the Affordable Care Act tries to make health insurance more affordable and accessible. Learn more about APTCs.
MinnesotaCare is a health insurance program for Minnesotans with lower incomes who cannot get affordable insurance through their job or somewhere else. Implentation of the Affordable Care Act on January 1, 2014 will mean significant changes to MinnesotaCare. The information on this site reflects those changes.
Adults (21 and older) can get MinnesotaCare. It is not a free program. People who get MinnesotaCare pay a reduced-cost premium every month. The amount you pay depends on the number of people in your family, the number of people who are getting health insurance (coverage) and your income. You have to live in Minnesota and have a Social Security Number to get MinnesotaCare. You also have to have income within the limits.
Effective January 1, 2014, the Healthy Minnesota Contribution Program will be eliminated.
Notice: Effective March 1, 2011 adults with out children who meet the eligibility criteria can receive Medical Assistance.
Medical Assistance is a health insurance program for some Minnesotans with lower incomes. It is Minnesota’s name for Medicaid. It is usually a free program, although there are some small costs (co-pays) for parents. Children up to age 21, parents, pregnant women, people leaving MFIP, adults without children and people who are elderly, blind or disabled can all get Medical Assistance. Medical Assistance looks at every family member individually to see who can get help. Some people in your family may be able to get MA, but others may not. It is easier for children and pregnant women to get MA than childless adults or parents. You have to be a U.S. Citizen or a legal immigrant to get MA, unless you are pregnant. Most people also have to have income below the limits to get MA. Click here to learn more about Medical Assistance
SNAP is a program that helps people with lower incomes pay for nutritious food, which helps kids to grow up strong and helps adults to stay healthy. SNAP does not pay for all the food that a person or a family needs each month, just some of it. Lots of people can get SNAP, including single adults, families and seniors. Some legal immigrants can get SNAP. Your income also has to be below the limits.
If you get SNAP, you will get a plastic card, called an EBT card, that looks like a credit or debit card. Every month, the card will be filled up with the money for you to buy food at places that accept EBT cards, such as grocery stores. The amount of money you will get each month depends on your income, expenses and the number of people who live with you. The average monthly benefit amount in Minnesota is $47. Click here to learn more about SNAP.
CCAP is not a free program. All parents have to pay part of the cost of child care each month (a co-payment). CCAP has a sliding fee system — that means families that make more money pay more every month than families who make less money. If you get CCAP, you have to find a child care provider who accepts CCAP. Click here to learn more about the Child Care Assistance Program.
Parents (or caregivers) have to be at least 25 years old and under 65 years old to get the WFC. There are also rules about which children count for the WFC. Single adults or couples who are not raising children, but are working can also get a smaller WFC. Lots of people who can get the WFC do not get it, because they do not file their taxes. They miss out on money that is meant for them. Click here to learn more about the WFC.