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What is PCA?

What is PCA?

Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program is a type of Home Care Service that provides non-medical and services to people who needs help with their day-to-day activities to allow them be more independent in their own home or stay within their community rather than a facility (ie. nursing homes). This program is overseen and regulated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). 


A personal care assistant is an individual trained to help people with basic daily activities and may be able to help you if you have a physical, emotional or mental disability, a chronic illness or an injury. 


What services can a PCA provide?

PCA services must be medically necessary and ordered by a physician. A person must need help to complete activities of daily living, have health-related tasks or need observation and redirection of behavior to use these services listed below.

  • Activities of daily living (ADLs) * - eating, toileting, grooming, dressing, bathing, transferring, mobility, positioning

  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) * - meal planning and preparation, managing finances or paying bills, shopping for food, clothing, and other essential items, performing essential household chores, communication by telephone and other media, getting around and participating in the community

  • Complex health-related functions**- under state law, functions that can be delegated or assigned by a licensed health care professional to be performed by a personal care assistant:

    • Self-administered medications

    • Interventions for seizure disorders that includes monitoring and observation

    • Range of motion to maintain a person's strength and muscle functioning.

  • Observation and redirection of behavior** - includes monitoring and redirecting behavior


PCPO vs. PCA Choice

Traditional PCA Option known as Personal Care Provider Organization (PCPO) - under this option, the PCA agency is responsible finding, hiring, train, pay the PCA staff, and schedule hours according the Care Plan. The agency must also find back-up PCA staff, monitor and evaluates the PCA staff. 


PCA Choice - allows you to choose who you want to provide care for you. This individual can be a family member or a friend. This provider is there to serve as the fiscal intermediary for you and the staff you hire to ensure all necessary training, background check are completed, bills DHS and pays your PCA. 

A PCA must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old or

  • Be 16-17 years old with additional training 

  • Must pass a criminal background check

  • Must be employed by a PCA Agency 

  • Must complete training before they can provide care

  • Be able to provide the services you need 


Family members as a PCA may not be the following:

  • The spouse of the recipient

  • Paid legal guardian of an adult

  • A legal guardian of a minor

  • Parent or stepparent of a minor child recipient

  • The recipient of PCA services

  • The Responsible Party (RP) of the recipient


PCA provider agencies may not have or enforce any agreements, requirements or non-compete clause prohibiting, limiting or restricting an individual PCA from working with a recipient or different PCA provider agency after leaving a PCA provider agency, regardless of the date the agreement was signed.


Who pays for PCA?

In Minnesota, there are programs that can help pay for the care that you need.  For most individuals, PCA Services are free for those who qualifies in Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare.

  • Medical Assistance (MA) - Minnesota's Medicaid program for people with low income; in some cases, free to those individuals.

    • Waiver Service Programs

      • Alternative Care (AC)

      • Brain Injury (BI) Waiver

      • Community Alternative Care (CAC) Waiver

      • Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver

      • Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver

      • Elderly Waiver (EW)

  • MinnesotaCare - this program is for those with low incomes who do not have access to affordable health care coverage. Individuals pays a low affordable premium.

    • Health Plans with Managed Care Programs 

      • Prepaid Medical Assistance Program (PMAP)

      • Minnesota SeniorCare Plus (MSC+)

      • Minnesota Senior Health Option (MSHO)

      • Special Needs BasicCare (SNBC)


Who is eligible for PCA Services?

To be eligible for the personal care assistance program, a person must meet all these criteria:

  • Need constant supervision  or direct care in order to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).

  • Be eligible to receive Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare Expanded (pregnant women and children)

  • Require services that are medically necessary and ordered by a physician

  • Be able to make decisions about your own care or have someone who can make decisions for you


How to receive PCA Services?

Your County Lead Agency or Social Worker will help arrange an assessment with a Public Health Nurse (PHN). During your assessment, the PHN will ask a series of questions and observe you to determine the kind of care you will need, how many hours you will get. Contact us and we will help you get set-up and do the rest of the communications. 


Are you ready to get started? Call us today!


*Care4Everyone provides ONLY non-medical services. 

**Care4Everyone DOES NOT provide medical care services.

Transfer PCA Services

If you currently have PCA and want to change your service over to Care4Everyone, here's what you will need to do:


  1. Complete and submit the Change Request Form via email at or fax to (612) 278-2297.

  2. If you want to have your PCA move with you, have your PCA contact us at (651) 300-2073 as soon as possible to complete a background check and onboarding forms.


Please Note: It takes about 14-30 days to transition between agencies in accordance to Minnesota's timeframe requirements. Care4Everyone will handle all communications for you.

What services can a PCA provide?
PCPO vs. PCA Choice
PCA Requirements
Not Allowed PCAs
Who pays for services?
Who is eligible for PCA Services?
How to receive PCA Services?
Transfer PCA Services
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