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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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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…

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.

Massachusetts Health Care Reform: Six Years Later

In 2006, then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed Massachusetts’ comprehensive health reform designed to provide near-universal health insurance coverage for state residents. Building on a long history of health reform efforts, the state embarked on an ambitious plan to promote shared individual, employer, and government responsibility. This brief examines Massachusetts’ experience with…

The Vermont Choices for Care Long-Term Care Plan: Key Program Changes and Questions

The Vermont Choices for Care Long-Term Care Plan: Key Program Changes and QuestionsThis fact sheet summarizes Vermont’s Section 1115 waiver to make fundamental changes to its Medicaid program that provides long-term services and supports to eligible, low-income state residents. The waiver was designed to increase access to home and community-based…

Recent Growth in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Service Waivers

Medicaid spending on home and community-based service (HCBS) waivers dominates spending on community-based long-term care services offered through the Medicaid program. This paper examines trends in HCBS waiver enrollment and spending in recent years. Report (.pdf)

Coverage Gains Under Recent Section 1115 Waivers: A Data Update

This brief assesses the extent to which recent Section 1115 waivers have helped reduce the number of uninsured people and finds that there has been a net gain in coverage of 426,329 people under recent waivers.Issue Paper (.pdf)

Medicaid Section 1115 Waivers: Current Issues

This fact sheet provides a brief introduction to Section 1115 waivers in the Medicaid program and highlights policy issues related to recent waiver activity. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

New Developments in Medicaid Coverage: Who Bears Financial Risk and Responsibility?

A few recent state Medicaid initiatives have emerged that take the program into new directions. States have expressed a number of objectives in developing these approaches, including offering beneficiaries greater choice, promoting personal responsibility and healthier behaviors among enrollees, and, in some cases, relying more heavily on the private marketplace.…

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