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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. 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.

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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…

The Massachusetts Health Care Landscape

This fact sheet summarizes the Massachusetts health care landscape, including data on demographics, population health, the uninsured and the state Medicaid program. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

An Overview of Recent Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver Activity

This brief summarizes and examines the implications of recent Section 1115 Medicaid waiver activity. Section 1115 waivers provide states flexibility to test new approaches in Medicaid that differ from federal program rules and can have significant impacts for beneficiaries, providers, and states. While recent waivers and waiver proposals vary in…

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…

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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.