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; however, it is not yet clear what role Section 1115 waivers will play as the new administration and Congress move to repeal the ACA and debate possible broader changes to Medicaid financing. 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.
Featured Waivers Resources
This issue brief focuses on Section 1115 waivers that implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and highlights themes in approved, pending, and denied provisions to date as well as key issues to watch looking ahead. Additional detail about each state’s waiver is provided in the Appendix tables.
Seven states (Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, and New Hampshire) currently are implementing the ACA’s Medicaid expansion through a Section 1115 demonstration waiver. The previous Administration denied Ohio’s waiver application. Two states (Kentucky and Indiana) currently have Medicaid expansion waivers pending before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
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Related Waivers Resources
- An Early Look at Medicaid Expansion Waiver Implementation in Michigan and Indiana
- Proposed Changes to Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky
- Medicaid Expansion Waivers: What Will We Learn?
- CMS’s Denial of Proposed Changes to Medicaid Expansion in Ohio
- Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: Overview and Key Issues in Medicaid Expansion Waivers
- Medicaid Premium Assistance Programs: What Information is Available About Benefit and Cost-Sharing Wrap-Around Coverage?
- A Look at the Private Option in Arkansas
- Medicaid Section 1115 Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Waivers: A Survey of Enrollment, Spending, and Program Policies
- Key Themes From Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Waivers in 4 States
- An Overview of Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Waivers
- Michigan’s Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver to Address Effects of Lead Exposure in Flint
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. This brief answers key questions about Section 1115 waiver authority, the current landscape of demonstration waivers and what to watch going forward.
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The Financing of Pharmacy Plus Waivers: Trade Offs Between Expanding Rx Coverage and Global Caps in Medicaid
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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.Issue Brief Read More
A new report describes past waiver activity, the principles of the new HIFA initiative, and related policy implications. Background Paper Appendix: Side-by-Side ComparisonReport Read More
This issue brief provides some general background on Vermont's Medicaid program and the Global Commitment waiver; answers a series of key questions about how it is designed to work; and discusses the potential implications for the state of Vermont, beneficiaries, and the Medicaid program.In the fall of 2005, Vermont secured…Issue Brief Read More
One mechanism for ensuring that health insurance provides value to consumers for the premiums that they pay, or that others pay on their behalf, is to require insurers to meet a minimum “medical loss ratio” or MLR standard. The MLR is the share of premium revenues that an insurer or…Fact Sheet Read More
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), beginning in 2014, Medicaid eligibility will expand to 133% of the federal poverty level for nearly all individuals. Arizona is one of the few states that already cover adults without dependent children in Medicaid through a longstanding Section 1115 waiver. This report, based on…Issue Brief Read More
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…Report Read More
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…Issue Brief Read More