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
- 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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A new report describes past waiver activity, the principles of the new HIFA initiative, and related policy implications. Background Paper Appendix: Side-by-Side ComparisonReport 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
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.Issue Brief Read More
This brief focuses on one subset of “flexibility” issues: the current federal benefits and cost-sharing rules that apply with respect to long-term care.Issue Paper (.pdf)Issue Brief Read More
An Overview of the Independence Plus Initiative to Promote Consumer-Direction of Services in Medicaid
This issue brief provides an overview of the Independence Plus Initiative, compares core program features with the Cash and Counseling Demonstration program, and discusses several policy issues that arise in the implementation of this initiative.Issue Paper (.pdf)Issue Brief Read More
Long-Term Services and Supports in the Financial Alignment Demonstrations for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries
This issue brief compares the treatment of LTSS in the seven approved capitated financial alignment demonstrations for dual eligible beneficiaries.Issue Brief Read More
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Healthy Indiana Plan, Indiana’s 1115 waiver demonstration project, and how it relates to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.Fact Sheet 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
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
This brief provides an overview of Section 1115 waiver authority, describes major provisions of waivers that extend coverage to childless adults, and identifies key issues and implications of these waivers looking forward to the Affordable Care Act and beyond.Issue Brief Read More