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Minnesota stabilizes Medicaid insurance for kids

Beginning on Jan. 1, Minnesota children got more stable access to Medicaid health insurance.

A new continuous eligibility policy for children will help provide a healthier and more equitable start for the youngest Minnesotans. All children under age 19 who are eligible for Medical Assistance will have 12 months of continuous coverage at a time. Medical Assistance is Minnesota’s Medicaid program.

This important change will prevent paperwork issues due to temporary changes in a parent’s income from disrupting a child’s health insurance. Families with low and moderate incomes may experience fluctuations in income during a year that briefly exceeds the Medicaid limit because of temporary employment, variable work hours or occasional overtime pay.

“Continuous eligibility will help prevent unnecessary, harmful and expensive gaps in children’s health care coverage,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “This policy will go a long way toward helping Minnesota kids reach their full potential.”

Signed into law in 2023 by Governor Tim Walz, continuous eligibility promotes and supports health equity by preventing gaps in needed care. Minnesota has significant racial disparities in health outcomes, with Black and Hispanic children more likely to experience gaps in coverage.

Medical Assistance in Minnesota covers:

• 64% of Black children

• 54% of American Indian/Alaskan Native children

• 52% of Hispanic/Latino children

• 31% of Asian children

• 17% of white children

Better access to preventive care may lead to healthier children and ultimately result in lower spending in public health care programs, since identifying and treating issues early can reduce the need for costlier treatments.

Although children in Medical Assistance will maintain coverage for a year at a time, they will still be subject to annual eligibility renewals. Renewals were suspended during the COVID-19 emergency but have since resumed. To avoid gaps in coverage, Medical Assistance enrollees are urged to update their contact information and watch their mail for important renewal paperwork.

For more information about Medical Assistance renewals, visit mn.gov/dhs/renewmycoverage.

 

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