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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Explaining the State Integrated Care and Financial Alignment Demonstrations for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries
This paper provides an overview of the joint efforts of states and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop more integrated ways of paying for and delivering health care to the 9 million people who are eligible for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Dual eligible beneficiaries…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
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), beginning in 2014, Medicaid eligibility will expand to 133% of the federal poverty level for nearly all individuals. Arizona is one of the few states that already cover adults without dependent children in Medicaid through a longstanding Section 1115 waiver. This report, based on…Issue Brief Read More
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…Issue Brief Read More
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)Fact Sheet Read More
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…Issue Brief Read More
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…Fact Sheet Read More
For many years, Section 1115 waivers have been used in the Medicaid program to provide states an avenue to test and implement coverage approaches that do not meet federal program rules, but there have been longstanding concerns about the lack of public input and transparency in the waiver approval process.…Fact Sheet Read More
This fact sheet summarizes the Texas health care landscape, including data on demographics, population health, the uninsured and the state Medicaid program. Fact Sheet (.pdf)Report Read More
This fact sheet compares and contrasts key provisions of the California and Texas Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers. The Texas waiver, approved in December 2011, is modeled, in part, on the California waiver, which has been underway in that state since November 2010. Both waivers affect hundreds of thousands of…Fact Sheet Read More