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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 December 2015, 31 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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Section 1115 Medicaid and SCHIP Waivers: Policy Implications of Recent Activities

This policy brief provides an overview of recent Section 1115 waivers and a discussion of key issues. The HIFA initiative, combined with state fiscal pressures, have led to an increase in the number of states seeking Section 1115 waivers. Many of these recent waivers stake out new ground in terms of the scope of changes in coverage that they permit.

Pharmacy Plus Waivers: Trade Offs Between Expanding Rx Coverage and Global Caps in Medicaid

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…

Florida Medicaid Reform Waiver: Early Findings and Current Status

Florida Medicaid Reform Waiver: Early Findings and Current StatusThis policy brief provides an overview of the Florida Medicaid reform and a summary of available research findings to date from various evaluators of the program. It was issued at the same time as a separate Health Affairs article highlighting findings from…

State Options That Expand Access to Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services

This background paper examines various aspects of the Medicaid program that can expand access to home and community-based services (HCBS) and rebalance long-term care spending in favor of HCBS. As a result of the long-standing requirement that states cover facility-based care, the majority of Medicaid long-term care (LTC) expenditures historically…

The Role of Section 1115 Waivers in Medicaid and CHIP: Looking Back and Looking Forward

For many years, Section 1115 waivers have been used in the Medicaid program, and to a lesser degree in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, to provide states an avenue to test and implement coverage approaches that do not meet federal program rules. While these waivers have facilitated important program evolutions…

Choosing Premium Assistance: What Does State Experience Tell Us?

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)…

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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.