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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

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

Premiums and Cost-Sharing in Medicaid

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…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Five Key Questions And Answers About Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers

This issue brief provides an overview of what Section 1115 Medicaid waivers are, how they are approved and financed, how states have used them, and how they are impacted by health reform. For many years, Section 1115 waivers have been used by states to test new coverage approaches not otherwise…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Texas Health Care Landscape

This fact sheet summarizes the Texas health care landscape, including data on demographics, population health, the uninsured and the state Medicaid program. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Massachusetts Health Care Landscape

This fact sheet summarizes the Massachusetts health care landscape, including data on demographics, population health, the uninsured and the state Medicaid program. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

An Overview of Recent Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver Activity

This brief summarizes and examines the implications of recent Section 1115 Medicaid waiver activity. Section 1115 waivers provide states flexibility to test new approaches in Medicaid that differ from federal program rules and can have significant impacts for beneficiaries, providers, and states. While recent waivers and waiver proposals vary in…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

California and Texas: Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waivers Compared

This fact sheet compares and contrasts key provisions of the California and Texas Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers. The Texas waiver, approved in December 2011, is modeled, in part, on the California waiver, which has been underway in that state since November 2010. Both waivers affect hundreds of thousands of…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Federal Medicaid Waiver Financing:  Issues for California

Federal Medicaid Waiver Financing: Issues for CaliforniaThis issue brief focuses on the potential fiscal implications of a section 1115 Medicaid waiver for California.Report (.pdf)

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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.