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Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers provide states an avenue to test new approaches in Medicaid that differ from federal program rules. Waivers can provide states considerable flexibility in how they operate their programs, beyond what is available under current law, and can have a significant impact on program financing. As such, waivers have important implications for beneficiaries, providers, and states. While there is great diversity in how states have used waivers over time, waivers generally reflect priorities identified by states and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Looking ahead, states are likely to continue to request waivers to implement provisions not allowed under current law. The Trump administration recently signaled in a letter to governors that CMS would be open to considering waiver requests concerning work requirements in Medicaid, for instance, and some states may wish to experiment with premiums and cost-sharing requirements. This page highlights key resources examining Section 1115 waivers and, farther down, also provides the standard search result page for a site-wide search on the “waivers” tag.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Vermont’s Choices for Care Medicaid Long-Term Services Waiver: Progress and Challenges As the Program Concluded Its Third Year

Vermont's Choices for Care experiment in long-term services, created through a five-year Medicaid waiver in 2005, was designed to increase access to home and community-based services while reducing the use of institutional services and controlling overall costs. In exchange for agreeing to a federal funding cap, Vermont was able to…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Section 1115 Waivers in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program: An Overview

A new policy brief provides a description of the Section 1115 law, its history, and an overview of how it plays a role in the restructuring of Medicaid and SCHIP.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The New Medicaid and CHIP Waiver Initiatives

A new report describes past waiver activity, the principles of the new HIFA initiative, and related policy implications. Background Paper Appendix: Side-by-Side Comparison

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Explaining the State Integrated Care and Financial Alignment Demonstrations for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries

This paper provides an overview of the joint efforts of states and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop more integrated ways of paying for and delivering health care to the 9 million people who are eligible for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Dual eligible beneficiaries…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Colorado Section 1115 Waiver Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid as a Health Insurer: Current Benefits and Flexibility

This issue brief focuses on one subset of “flexibility” issues: the current federal benefits and cost-sharing rules that apply with respect to acute care. Issue Paper (.pdf)

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Assessing the Role of Recent Waivers in Providing New Coverage

This analysis finds that recent waivers have expanded coverage in important ways in a few states, but, overall, the number of people who have gained new coverage under recent waivers has been quite limited, well below projections and small compared to overall growth in Medicaid enrollment.Issue Paper (.pdf)

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Louisiana’s Proposed Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Project: Estimating the Numbers of Uninsured and Projected Medicaid Costs

This brief analyzes the composition and medical costs of the uninsured in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. The estimates in the brief are the first available that are based on a detailed analysis of who the uninsured are in Louisiana, their current medical spending, and what their spending might be under…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicaid Expansion in Pennsylvania: Transition from Waiver to Traditional Coverage

This fact sheet describes Pennsylvania’s approved 1115 waiver demonstration, Healthy PA, which will implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Key Themes in Capitated Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Waivers

This issue brief analyzes key themes in 19 capitated § 1115 and § 1915(b)/(c) Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) waivers approved to date by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with a focus on covered populations and services, provisions aimed at expanding beneficiary access to HCBS, beneficiary protections, and quality measurement and oversight.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.