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 issue brief provides an overview of California’s “Bridge to Reform” Medicaid Demonstration Waiver, which was approved in 2010 and will make up to roughly $8 billion in federal Medicaid matching funds available to California over a five-year period to expand coverage to low-income uninsured adults and preserve and improve…Fact Sheet Read More
This background paper examines various aspects of the Medicaid program that can expand access to home and community-based services (HCBS) and rebalance long-term care spending in favor of HCBS. As a result of the long-standing requirement that states cover facility-based care, the majority of Medicaid long-term care (LTC) expenditures historically…Report Read More
This issue brief provides an overview of what Section 1115 Medicaid waivers are, how they are approved and financed, how states have used them, and how they are impacted by health reform. For many years, Section 1115 waivers have been used by states to test new coverage approaches not otherwise…Issue Brief Read More
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…Fact Sheet Read More
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) held a 9:30 a.m. ET briefing on Thursday, September 30 to examine the challenges facing states as they continue to struggle with the lingering impacts of the recession and begin preparing to implement health reform. Three reports were released…Event Read More
For many years, Section 1115 waivers have been used in the Medicaid program, and to a lesser degree in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, to provide states an avenue to test and implement coverage approaches that do not meet federal program rules. While these waivers have facilitated important program evolutions…Issue Brief Read More
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…Issue Brief Read More
Vermont’s Choices for Care Medicaid Long-Term Services Waiver: Progress and Challenges As the Program Concluded Its Third Year
Vermont's Choices for Care experiment in long-term services, created through a five-year Medicaid waiver in 2005, was designed to increase access to home and community-based services while reducing the use of institutional services and controlling overall costs. In exchange for agreeing to a federal funding cap, Vermont was able to…Report Read More
Health Affairs Article: Florida's Medicaid Reform: Informed Consumer Choice?Florida's Medicaid reform program aims to encourage consumer choice and market competition by giving health plans new authority to vary benefits and having enrollees choose among the different plans. However, about three in 10 enrollees were not aware that they needed to…Report Read More
Florida Medicaid Reform Waiver: Early Findings and Current StatusThis policy brief provides an overview of the Florida Medicaid reform and a summary of available research findings to date from various evaluators of the program. It was issued at the same time as a separate Health Affairs article highlighting findings from…Issue Brief Read More