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Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid plays a key role in efforts to reduce the number of uninsured by expanding eligibility to nearly all low income adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,242 per year for an individual in 2015) with 100 percent  federal financing for the first three years, gradually decreasing to 90 percent. However, the 2012 Supreme Court ruling on the ACA’s constitutionality effectively made the expansion a state option. As of July 2016, 32 states including DC have adopted the expansion, and nearly all are implementing it as set forth by the law. A limited number of states have obtained or are seeking approval through Section 1115 waivers to implement the expansion in ways that extend beyond the flexibility provided by the law.  In some cases, these alternative models to implement the expansion are seen as a politically viable way to extend coverage and capture enhanced federal matching funds for newly eligible adults.  This page highlights some key resources examining ACA Medicaid expansion waivers and, farther down, also provides the standard search result page for a site-wide search on the “waivers” tag.
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3 Key Questions: Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waivers

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.

Data Note: Data Do Not Support Relationship Between States’ Medicaid Expansion Status and Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Waiting Lists

Some policymakers have been discussing whether state choices to adopt the ACA’s Medicaid expansion come at the expense of providing Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) to seniors and people with disabilities. This data note analyzes Medicaid HCBS waiver waiting list data for 2014 and 2015 and concludes that there does not appear to be a relationship between a state’s Medicaid expansion status and changes in its HCBS waiver waiting list.

What Might a Trump Administration Mean for Medicaid?

This new fact sheet examines key questions around the potential changes President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congress may seek to make in Medicaid, a program that covers 73 million people nationally. Depending on how it is structured, a repeal of the Affordable Care Act could reverse the expansion of…

Key Medicaid Questions Post-Election

This fact sheet provides insight into how a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and changes in the financing structure would affect Medicaid, including the Medicaid expansion, and how a Trump administration could change Medicaid through administrative actions.

CMS’s Denial of Proposed Changes to Medicaid Expansion in Ohio

This fact sheet discusses CMS’s denial of Ohio’s proposed changes to its existing Medicaid expansion . It also provides an overview of the proposed changes as included in the state’s Section 1115 demonstration waiver application.

Proposed Changes to Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky

On June 22, 2016, Governor Bevin released his proposed Section 1115 demonstration waiver application called Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health) as an alternative to the current Medicaid expansion which is being implemented through a state plan amendment according to the terms in the ACA. This fact sheet summarized the proposed changes to the current Medicaid expansion in Kentucky.

What’s At Stake in the Future of the Kentucky Medicaid Expansion?

On June 22, 2016, Governor Bevin released his proposed Section 1115 demonstration waiver proposal called Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health) as an alternative to the current Medicaid expansion. This brief examines what has happened to coverage, access and utilization and the economic impact of the Medicaid expansion in Kentucky and the implications for changes going forward.

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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.