*** The Health Care Programs Manual (HCPM) has been replaced by the Minnesota Health Care Programs Eligibility Policy Manual (EPM) as of June 1, 2016. Please refer to the EPM for current health care program policy information. ***

Chapter 11 - Citizenship and Immigration Status

Effective:  June 1, 2012


Archived:  June 1, 2016 (Previous Versions)

Citizenship and Immigration Status

One eligibility factor for health care coverage is citizenship and immigration status. Some people must verify that they are U.S. citizens (or U.S. nationals) for health care program eligibility; see Verification of U.S. Citizenship for further information.

If they meet all other program requirements, most noncitizens will be eligible for the same health care coverage as U.S. citizens (Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, and General Assistance Medical Care). There are also some types of health care eligibility that are available only to noncitizens (Refugee Medical Assistance, Emergency Medical Assistance, Noncitizens Medical Assistance).


Elena, an applicant for asylum, is applying for MA for herself and her son, Jake, a U.S. citizen. Elena is determined eligible for NMED and Jake is determined eligible for federally funded MA.


Both Elena and Jake will receive the same MA benefit set.

See the guide ”Health Care Eligibility for Noncitizens” for consolidated information and worker tools to assist in determining eligibility for noncitizens.

See the Medical Assistance Immigration Status and Eligibility Table for a summary of MA system coding for noncitizens. For a summary of MinnesotaCare system coding for noncitizens, see the MinnesotaCare Immigration Status and Eligibility Table.

Verification of Immigration Status.

Funding Health Care for Noncitizens.

Sponsored Noncitizens.

Related Topics.

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Verification of Immigration Status

Require verification of immigration status for all clients who report they are lawfully present noncitizens.

Verification of other factors, such as date of entry or status date, may be required in order to determine the correct program or funding source.

Do not contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) without the client's signed consent.

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Funding Health Care for Noncitizens

Eligibility for noncitizens depends on the immigration status granted by USCIS. For some immigrants, eligibility also depends on the date of the person's entry into or length of time in the U.S. These factors also determine whether a noncitizen's health care coverage is federally funded or state-funded.

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Sponsored Noncitizens

Some lawful permanent residents may immigrate to the United States through a petition by a relative sponsor who agreed to support the immigrant as a condition of the immigrant's entry to the United States. See sponsored noncitizens to determine whether the sponsor’s income and assets must be deemed to the noncitizen when determining eligibility.

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Related Topics

For more information, see:

Verification of Immigration Status.

Funding Health Care for Noncitizens.

Changes in Immigration Status.

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