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Medicaid Made Easy: What is MnCHOICES?

Welcome to another blog in our Medicaid Made Easy series. In this blog, we’ll cover the MnCHOICES assessment and how to prepare. MnCHOICES is a single, comprehensive, web-based application that integrates assessment and support planning for all people who seek access to Minnesota’s long-term services and supports.

A person of any age with a disability or in need of long-term services and support can ask for a MnCHOICES assessment. You do not need to be eligible for Medical Assistance or any other publicly funded program to receive an assessment. It’s recommended that you call your county or tribal nation to request an assessment. 

The MnCHOICES assessment helps determine which public programs may pay for your services or helps you learn about other options if you do not qualify for publicly funded programs. 

Some things to know about the assessment:

  • It is free for you 
  • In most cases, the assessment occurs within 20 calendar days of your request  
  • You have a right to request a new assessment if you feel there has been a change in needs for the individual
  • MnChoices assessments are done annually
  • It is an in-person visit where you live or at a place of your choice 
  • It will help identify: 
    • Your support needs
    • Services or programs to meet those needs
    • How to get those services

Once the assessment is scheduled it is normal to be a bit apprehensive and wonder exactly how to prepare.  Think about what is important to you or the individual regarding: 

  • Where the individual lives, goes to school, works, and how they participate in their community
  • Any challenges, barriers, and concerns you have 
  • If you want any family, friends, or others to attend the assessment
  • Gather a list of the individual’s medications 
  • Allow about two hours for the visit. An individual with very complex needs may result in a longer visit

The MnChoices assessors are required to go through training to become certified.  They spend time interviewing the individual or others who can speak for or answer questions about the individual. When answering the questions it is very important to answer honestly and answer based on a “worst day” scenario.  

After the interview, the assessor will summarize what they learned about you and your needs, discuss eligibility, and outline services and supports that may help. You will receive a copy of a planning worksheet at the assessment that outlines the services and supports you may be eligible for.  Sometime following the assessment you will receive a written plan that summarizes your care needs and options for service.  Please know, it is within your rights to appeal the final decision if you disagree with the findings of the assessment. Hopefully, you found this helpful in your Medicaid journey and feel better prepared for requesting a MnCHOICES assessment.

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