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
- Medicaid Waiver Requests in Wisconsin and Maine Seek to Impose Work Requirements and Time Limits for Beneficiaries
- 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 fact sheet compares the two Medicaid premium assistance authorities (state plan option and demonstration waiver) and identifies key beneficiary protections in Medicaid expansion premium assistance programs.Fact Sheet Read More
Development of the Financial Alignment Demonstrations for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries: Perspectives from National and State Disability Stakeholders
This issue brief provides an early snapshot into disability community perspectives on state design and implementation efforts related to the new financial alignment demonstrations for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, with an emphasis on non-elderly beneficiaries and those who use long-term services and supports.Issue Brief Read More
Medicaid Expansion through Premium Assistance: Key Issues for Beneficiaries in Arkansas’ Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Proposal
This issue brief provides background about Medicaid premium assistance in the individual health insurance market, summarizes major components of Arkansas’ Section 1115 demonstration waiver application to implement the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion through premium assistance, and considers key issues affecting beneficiaries.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
Premium Assistance in Medicaid and CHIP: An Overview of Current Options and Implications of the Affordable Care Act
Premium assistance is the use of public funds through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to purchase private coverage. States have pursued premium assistance with varied objectives, including covering parents not otherwise eligible for public coverage and promoting the use of private coverage. Implementation of the Affordable Care…Issue Brief Read More
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…Issue Brief Read More
Massachusetts and Washington: Financial Alignment Demonstrations for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries Compared
This fact sheet examines the similarities and differences between the five-year demonstrations in Massachusetts and Washington state to integrate care and align financing for people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The states finalized memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in fall 2012, and…Fact Sheet Read More
Washington’s Managed FFS Demonstration to Integrate Care and Align Financing for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries
Washington is the first state to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to test a managed fee-for-service (FFS) financial alignment model for beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, beginning on April 1, 2013. Washington’s managed FFS demonstration uses…Issue Brief Read More
Massachusetts is the first state to finalize a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to test CMS’s capitated financial alignment model for beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, with enrollment beginning on April 1, 2013. Starting in 2013, CMS will…Issue Brief Read More