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Who Medicaid and MinnesotaCare serve

Medicaid and MinnesotaCare provide essential health care to people all across Minnesota.

During the pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 to December 2021, enrollment in Medicaid and MinnesotaCare grew by a little more than 250,000 Minnesotans. Enrollment grew rapidly in 2020, as low-wage workers bore the brunt of the economic impacts of the pandemic. Enrollment growth began to level off in 2021.

Despite the economic impacts of the pandemic, application volumes for Medicaid and MinnesotaCare have consistently been lower by one-third to one-half of pre-pandemic levels. This is likely due to less churn occurring in the programs during the COVID-19 federal public health emergency. Maintenance of coverage requirements in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensure most enrollees keep their coverage with limited exceptions through the federal public health emergency, without being required to go through a renewal or redetermination process. This means fewer enrollees lose coverage for failure to respond to a renewal notice or other notice and do not subsequently have to reapply for coverage, creating a new application after their case is closed. These maintenance of coverage provisions ensured that more Minnesotans did not have to worry about having health care coverage if they needed COVID-19 testing, treatment or vaccines, in addition to ensuring treatment and management of other health care conditions that put people at increased risk of serious complications associated with COVID-19.

MHCP enrollment in pandemic
MHCP applications in pandemic


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, average monthly enrollment in Minnesota’s Medicaid program remained relatively consistent from 2015-2019 with about 1.1 million people covered. In that period, Medicaid served more than half a million children each year. Roughly two-thirds of those covered were parents, children and pregnant women, however this population accounted for only about 25 percent of Medicaid spending. Meanwhile adults 65 or older and people with disabilities make up around 16 to 17% of the people served by public health care programs yet account for about 60% of spending. 

Minnesota Medicaid enrollment is split nearly evenly between the seven-county metro area and Greater Minnesota. However, Medicaid enrollment makes up a higher percentage of the total population in many Greater Minnesota counties compared to the metro area.

MinnesotaCare enrollment makes up a nearly equal percentage of the total regional population throughout Minnesota’s six regions. Enrollment is split nearly evenly between the seven-county metro area and Greater Minnesota.

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