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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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Federal Core Requirements And State Options In Medicaid: Current Policies And Key Issues

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…

West Virginia Medicaid State Plan Amendment: Key Program Changes and Questions

This fact sheet summarizes the key changes West Virginia has approved for its Medicaid program as a result of the new flexibility available through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. West Virginia will change the benefit package for children and parents, parents will sign a member agreement for themselves and…

Primers on Key Health Care Topics and Programs

The Kaiser Family Foundation maintains a number of primers providing overviews of key health care programs and issues. Written by Foundation staff, each primer provides key data and information that helps illustrate the topic and its relevance for the nation's health care system.Medicaid: A PrimerMedicare: A PrimerThe Uninsured: A PrimerHealth…

Recent Growth in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Service Waivers

Medicaid spending on home and community-based service (HCBS) waivers dominates spending on community-based long-term care services offered through the Medicaid program. This paper examines trends in HCBS waiver enrollment and spending in recent years. Report (.pdf)

New Developments in Medicaid Coverage: Who Bears Financial Risk and Responsibility?

A few recent state Medicaid initiatives have emerged that take the program into new directions. States have expressed a number of objectives in developing these approaches, including offering beneficiaries greater choice, promoting personal responsibility and healthier behaviors among enrollees, and, in some cases, relying more heavily on the private marketplace.…

The Vermont Choices for Care Long-Term Care Plan: Key Program Changes and Questions

The Vermont Choices for Care Long-Term Care Plan: Key Program Changes and QuestionsThis fact sheet summarizes Vermont’s Section 1115 waiver to make fundamental changes to its Medicaid program that provides long-term services and supports to eligible, low-income state residents. The waiver was designed to increase access to home and community-based…

Coverage Gains Under Recent Section 1115 Waivers: A Data Update

This brief assesses the extent to which recent Section 1115 waivers have helped reduce the number of uninsured people and finds that there has been a net gain in coverage of 426,329 people under recent waivers.Issue Paper (.pdf)

Medicaid Section 1115 Waivers: Current Issues

This fact sheet provides a brief introduction to Section 1115 waivers in the Medicaid program and highlights policy issues related to recent waiver activity. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

Section 1115 Medicaid and SCHIP Waivers: Policy Implications of Recent Activities

This policy brief provides an overview of recent Section 1115 waivers and a discussion of key issues. The HIFA initiative, combined with state fiscal pressures, have led to an increase in the number of states seeking Section 1115 waivers. Many of these recent waivers stake out new ground in terms of the scope of changes in coverage that they permit.

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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.