People age 65+ with low income may be able to simplify coverage and get more benefits in one plan.
Medicaid (called Medical Assistance in Minnesota) is a federal and state program that provides health plans to people with low income. To get coverage, you have to meet income limits and sometimes asset limits too. If you’re age 65 or older and meet the eligibility requirements, here are your options in Minnesota:
Minnesota Senior Care Plus (MSC+)
MSC+ provides medical, prescription drugs and dental benefits and helps pay for additional services. These services include personal care assistance, home and community-based services (like homemaker services or assisted living) and more, if you qualify. You can have MSC+ only or also have Medicare from the federal government.
You can work with a Care Coordinator for support throughout the stages of your health care journey. Care Coordinators are registered nurses or licensed social workers who explain how your plan works. They partner with you to set health goals, make a care plan, and give you support and tools. And they help you navigate Medicare and Medicaid services if you qualify for them.
Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO)
MSHO is for people who are dual eligible, which means they’re eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. MSHO combines the benefits of Medical Assistance and Medicare into one plan. In addition to medical and dental benefits, it includes Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. MSHO covers home and community-based services, and you work with a Care Coordinator, just like the MSC+ plan.
Here’s how MSHO is different:
- Combining all the coverages together makes it easier for you. You only have one member ID card and less paperwork because one health plan handles all benefits and pays most bills.
- MSHO includes extra benefits that support healthy living. These extra benefits are included in the plan at no cost and are not available with MSC+.
Which plan is right for me?
Here are key features of each type of plan:
|Key features at a glance||Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO)||Minnesota Senior Care Plus (MSC+)|
|$0 monthly premium and deductible||Yes||Yes|
|Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits||Yes||No|
|Coverage for home and community-based services, if you qualify||Yes||Yes|
|Care Coordinator to identify health goals and support you||Yes||Yes|
|One member ID card for all your coverage||Yes||No|
|Less paperwork because one health plan handles all your claims and pays most bills||Yes||No|
|Extra benefits to support healthy living||Yes||No|
The state of Minnesota chooses health insurance companies to offer MSC+ and MSHO plans. The plans available will vary by which county in Minnesota you live within. It’s a good idea to compare plans for these reasons:
- MSC+ plans offer the same benefits, but they have different doctors, clinicians, clinics and hospitals in their networks.
- MSHO plans offer the same core benefits but they also have supplemental benefits, which are different among the plan options. So you’ll want to select a plan that best meets your health needs. They also have different networks of doctors, clinicians, clinics and hospitals.
If you think you’re eligible for an MSC+ or MSHO plan, you can get information from:
- Your County Human Services office
- The Minnesota Department of Human Services website or call 800-657-3739
- Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP); the Senior LinkAge Line® is the SHIP in Minnesota and offers free, independent health plan consulting at 800-333-2433, TTY 711, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
- The sales team at an insurance company that offers MSHO plans
Have more MSHO questions?
Our experts are here to help you find the best Medicare plan for the way you live. Learn more about Minnesota Senior Health Options.