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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; 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.

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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.

Michigan’s Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver to Address Effects of Lead Exposure in Flint

On February 13, 2016, Governor Rick Snyder submitted a Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver proposal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to address issues related to lead exposure in Flint, Michigan. This fact sheet provides some insight into the situation in Flint, Michigan, the history of Medicaid disaster relief waivers and the details of the Medicaid waiver request.

Medicaid Expansion Waivers: What Will We Learn?

Section 1115 waivers authorize research and demonstration projects that, in the view of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, further the purposes of the Medicaid program. The ACA implemented new requirements for these waivers, including that states must have a publicly available, approved evaluation strategy. This brief examines some of the major research questions and hypotheses relevant to the federal and state evaluations of Medicaid expansion Section 1115 waivers and explores key challenges that may hamper research and evaluation efforts.

A Guide to Understanding Medicaid Expansion Waivers as States Debate What to Do Under the ACA

With the recent governors’ elections in Kentucky and Louisiana refocusing attention on state Medicaid expansion decisions, a newly updated issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides an overview of the waivers obtained by six states – Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, New Hampshire and Montana — that are pursuing alternative Medicaid expansions under the Affordable Care Act.

The ‘Private Option’ Medicaid Expansion in Arkansas Has Helped Reduce the Uninsured Rate and Uncompensated Care Costs While Boosting the State’s ACA Marketplace

A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that Arkansas’ “private option” Medicaid expansion has helped reduce the number of uninsured and bring down uncompensated care costs while strengthening the state’s ACA marketplace. A Look at the Private Option in Arkansas draws upon early data as well as…

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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.