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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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Tennessee’s New “Medically Necessary” Standard:  Uncovering the Insured?

Tennessee's New “Medically Necessary” Standard: Uncovering the Insured?This policy brief describes a new standard passed by Tennessee’s legislature for determining whether an item or service is “medically necessary” under the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare. The brief concludes with some questions regarding the implications of the new standard for the populations…

Healthy Indiana Plan: Key Facts and Issues

This issue brief provides an overview of Indiana's new Medicaid waiver program, the Healthy Indiana Plan, which is the first that allows a state to use Medicaid funds to provide a benefit package modeled after a high-deductible plan and health savings account to previously uninsured adults. This piece examines key…

Can States Stretch the Medicaid Dollar Without Passing the Buck? Lessons from Utah

With the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, states have gained increased flexibility over benefits and cost sharing for certain currently eligible Medicaid populations without having to obtain a waiver of Medicaid rules. New findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2004 survey of the experiences of Medicaid beneficiaries…

KYHealth Choices Medicaid Reform: Key Program Changes and Questions

This fact sheet summarizes the key changes Kentucky has approved for its Medicaid program as a result of the new flexibility available through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Kentucky uses new options related to benefits, cost sharing and long-term care.Fact Sheet (.pdf)

Family Coverage Under SCHIP Waivers

Currently, eleven states cover parents with SCHIP funds via a federal waiver. This paper examines these programs and considers them within the context of the states' efforts to cover children. Issue Brief (.pdf)

Medicaid 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Service Programs: Data Update

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…

Premium Assistance Programs:  How Are They Financed and Do States Save Money?

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;…

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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.