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; however, it is not yet clear what role Section 1115 waivers will play as the new administration and Congress move to repeal the ACA and debate possible broader changes to Medicaid financing. 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
- 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
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. This brief answers key questions about Section 1115 waiver authority, the current landscape of demonstration waivers and what to watch going forward.
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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
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
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
This issue brief provides an overview of Indiana's new Medicaid waiver program, the Healthy Indiana Plan, which is the first that allows a state to use Medicaid funds to provide a benefit package modeled after a high-deductible plan and health savings account to previously uninsured adults. This piece examines key…Issue Brief Read More
Premium assistance programs use federal and state Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to purchase private coverage. Overall, few states have premium assistance programs, but interest in premium assistance remains high. This brief examines six state premium assistance programs (in Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia)…Issue Brief Read More
Louisiana’s Proposed Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Project: Estimating the Numbers of Uninsured and Projected Medicaid Costs
This brief analyzes the composition and medical costs of the uninsured in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. The estimates in the brief are the first available that are based on a detailed analysis of who the uninsured are in Louisiana, their current medical spending, and what their spending might be under…Issue Brief Read More
Currently, eleven states cover parents with SCHIP funds via a federal waiver. This paper examines these programs and considers them within the context of the states' efforts to cover children. Issue Brief (.pdf)Issue Brief Read More
This fact sheet summarizes the key changes Kentucky has approved for its Medicaid program as a result of the new flexibility available through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Kentucky uses new options related to benefits, cost sharing and long-term care.Fact Sheet (.pdf)Fact Sheet Read More
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…Fact Sheet Read More