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Minnesota Health Care Programs

1.2.7 Applications for Incarcerated People Preparing for Release (Archive)

A person who is incarcerated and applying for Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) in advance of their release from a state prison, county detention facility, or city jail must apply using a paper application. Applying with a paper application ensures that eligibility dates for health care coverage are correct.

Health Care Application

People who are incarcerated preparing for release may receive application assistance from a discharge planner or facility staff when applying for MHCP. There are two special application procedures for people who are incarcerated so health care coverage can begin on the day they return to the community.

  1. Some incarcerated people may use a shortened application process for Medical Assistance (MA).

  2. Others may complete a new application and an Individual Discharge Information Sheet (IDIS) (DHS-3443).

These procedures help ensure continued treatment of chronic health conditions and successful transition to community life.

Shortened Application Process

People who are incarcerated for less than 12 months and who were MA enrollees at the time of their incarceration may have their MA coverage reopened without a new application by submitting their Request to Re-Open MA (DHS-5038) to their county or tribal servicing agency. DHS-5038 must not be submitted earlier than 45 days prior to release and no later than 10 calendar days after release.

New Application

People who are incarcerated for 12 months or more must complete the appropriate health care application and the IDIS (DHS-3443). Refer to Section 1.2.1 MHCP Application Forms for more information. Discharge planners and facility staff may help incarcerated people complete these forms.

The completed application and DHS-3443 are submitted to the county or tribal servicing agency where the person lived before entering the correctional system. If the previous county of residence is unknown or the person came from another state, the completed forms are sent to the county or tribal servicing agency where the person plans to live.

DHS-3443 must not be submitted earlier than 45 days prior to release.

Incarcerated people who do not apply for MHCP prior to release follow all standard policies when applying for health care after release.

Legal Citations

Minnesota Statute 256B.055, subdivision 14