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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Premium assistance programs use federal and state Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to purchase private coverage. Overall, few states have premium assistance programs, but interest in premium assistance remains high. This brief examines six state premium assistance programs (in Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia)…Issue Brief Read More
Health Affairs Article: Florida's Medicaid Reform: Informed Consumer Choice?Florida's Medicaid reform program aims to encourage consumer choice and market competition by giving health plans new authority to vary benefits and having enrollees choose among the different plans. However, about three in 10 enrollees were not aware that they needed to…Report Read More
Washington’s Managed FFS Demonstration to Integrate Care and Align Financing for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries
Washington is the first state to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to test a managed fee-for-service (FFS) financial alignment model for beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, beginning on April 1, 2013. Washington’s managed FFS demonstration uses…Issue Brief Read More
Over the last four years, the Commission has been tracking the national development of the three main Medicaid HCBS programs that states can operate. The Commission also began to survey the policies, such as eligibility criteria and waiting lists that states can use to control the growth of spending on…Issue Brief Read More
Premium Assistance Programs: How Are They Financed and Do States Save Money?This brief examines premium assistance programs implemented under section 1115 waivers in five states (Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah) to determine how they are financed; their eligibility, benefit, and cost sharing requirements; their methods for determining cost-effectiveness;…Issue Brief Read More
This fact sheet summarizes and compares seventeen states’ approved Medicaid waivers related to Hurricane Katrina evacuees.Fact Sheet (.pdf)Fact Sheet Read More
Massachusetts and Washington: Financial Alignment Demonstrations for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries Compared
This fact sheet examines the similarities and differences between the five-year demonstrations in Massachusetts and Washington state to integrate care and align financing for people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The states finalized memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in fall 2012, and…Fact Sheet Read More
Medicaid, the nation’s public health insurance program for low-income people, now covers nearly 60 million Americans, including many working families, low-income elderly, and individuals with disabilities. Medicaid beneficiaries tend to be poorer and sicker than those enrolled in private insurance. Given these characteristics, federal law limits the extent to which…Issue Brief Read More
This policy brief provides background on Section 1115 Medicaid waiver activity, discusses the common provisions of the approved and proposed Section 1115 waivers since 1993, and briefly summarizes the current application of Section 1115 AFDC waivers. It also examines implications of the Section 1115 waivers on the Medicaid program and…Issue Brief Read More
The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has been monitoring the development of the Pharmacy Plus waiver initiated by the Bush Administration in 2002 and tracking the states that have pending or approved plans. The Commission has developed some materials describing the initiative, examining the financing mechanism, and discussing…Issue Brief Read More