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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 July 2016, 32 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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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)

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…

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…

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…

Vermont’s Global Commitment Waiver: Implications for the Medicaid Program

This issue brief provides some general background on Vermont's Medicaid program and the Global Commitment waiver; answers a series of key questions about how it is designed to work; and discusses the potential implications for the state of Vermont, beneficiaries, and the Medicaid program.In the fall of 2005, Vermont secured…

Quick Take: Medicaid MCOs and Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Requirements

One mechanism for ensuring that health insurance provides value to consumers for the premiums that they pay, or that others pay on their behalf, is to require insurers to meet a minimum “medical loss ratio” or MLR standard. The MLR is the share of premium revenues that an insurer or…

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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.