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.
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
- 3 Key Questions: Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waivers
- 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
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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)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
Transitioning Beneficiaries with Complex Care Needs to Medicaid Managed Care: Insights from California
This brief examines how health service providers, plan administrators, and community-based organizations in Contra Costa, Kern, and Los Angeles Counties experienced the transition of Medi-Cal-only seniors and persons with disabilities (SPDs) to managed care as part of the state’s “Bridge to Reform” Medicaid waiver. Findings presented may inform similar transitions of high-need beneficiaries in other states and coverage expansions in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.Issue Brief Read More
This brief provides and update of the health care and health policy environment in California, discussing the budgetary environment, implementation of the state’s “Bridge to Reform” Medicaid waiver, and efforts to prepare for coverage expansions and new coverage options in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.Issue Brief Read More
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…Issue Brief Read More
Half of all Medicaid enrollees receive care through comprehensive risk-based managed care organizations (MCOs). Most Medicaid MCO enrollees today are low-income children and parents, but states are increasingly moving beneficiaries with more complex needs into MCOs. Managed care enrollment may grow more rapidly as states work with the Centers for…Issue Brief Read More
Medicaid: Current Benefits and FlexibilityTwo issue briefs discuss the minimum requirements for states to receive federal Medicaid matching funds and the options states have under federal law and waivers to tailor their Medicaid programs.Medicaid as a Health Insurer: Current Benefits and FlexibilityMedicaid as a Long-term Care Program: Current Benefits and…Issue Brief Read More
Medicaid is a jointly financed partnership between the federal government and states. The federal-state financing and administrative structure of Medicaid provides a framework of federal core requirements along with broad state options for program design and administration. This issue brief presents an overview of the current Medicaid program framework, with…Fact Sheet Read More
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…Issue Brief Read More