Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) is a program of the State of Minnesota under which people who are not eligible for regular Medical Assistance or any other State program can receive medical coverage benefits.
During the Special Session of 2011 Governor Dayton signed an Ominbus bill which included changes to the Minnesota's Emergency Medical Assistance program. These changes made many Minnesotans and most of their medical conditions ineligible for coverage.
In December of 2011, over 3000 Minnesotans received a notice from the Dept. of Human Services informing them that they and their medical condition(s) were not eligible for coverage as of January 1st 2012 unless they filed an appeal before December 30th 2011; the deadline was later extended to January 8th 2012.
Filing an appeal with DHS is no easy task, but many appeals were received. This was a good message to the Department of Human Services that showed how many people needed continued medical coverage. However, many more people were not able to file an appeal for numerous reasons. These people lost their benefits. Thousands of Minnesotans - both children and adults - were left without their mental health medication, chemotherapy, dialysis, and many other critical medical services.
The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota and other organizations turned to the state legislature for a solution to this problem without much success.
ILCM was involved in filing litigation against the Department of Human Services to restore coverage for some of the most critical services that people needed in order to stay alive.
As a result of the litigation, the Department of Human Services sent another notice to affected individuals giving them 10 days to file an appeal if they believe their medical condition is an emergency medical condition. In addition to the appeal, people will have to submit a form from their doctor or dentist that certifies their need for emergency medical care.
Click here to see a provided copy of possible scenarios justifying EMA funds.
NOTE: EMA will pay for treatment in an emergency room or hospital without the need to file an appeal.