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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.

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Restructuring Medicaid: Key Elements and Issues in Section 1115 Demonstration Waivers

This policy brief provides background on Section 1115 Medicaid waiver activity, discusses the common provisions of the approved and proposed Section 1115 waivers since 1993, and briefly summarizes the current application of Section 1115 AFDC waivers. It also examines implications of the Section 1115 waivers on the Medicaid program and…

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.

Medicaid 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Service Programs: Data Update

Over the last four years, the Commission has been tracking the national development of the three main Medicaid HCBS programs that states can operate. The Commission also began to survey the policies, such as eligibility criteria and waiting lists that states can use to control the growth of spending on…

Premium Assistance Programs:  How Are They Financed and Do States Save Money?

Premium Assistance Programs: How Are They Financed and Do States Save Money?This brief examines premium assistance programs implemented under section 1115 waivers in five states (Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah) to determine how they are financed; their eligibility, benefit, and cost sharing requirements; their methods for determining cost-effectiveness;…

The Role of Section 1115 Waivers in Medicaid and CHIP: Looking Back and Looking Forward

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…

The Impact of Medicaid Reductions in Oregon:  Focus Group Insights

The Impact of Medicaid Reductions in Oregon: Focus Group InsightsOregon is one state that has significantly restructured its Medicaid program, known as the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), in response to budget pressures. As part of these changes, it has implemented significant benefit reductions and increased premiums and cost sharing in…

Increasing Premiums and Cost Sharing in Medicaid and SCHIP: Recent State Experiences

Over the past few years, a number of states have implemented new or increased existing out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries in their Medicaid, SCHIP, or other public coverage programs. This brief reviews the key findings from this recent activity, including the impact on enrollment in public coverage programs, access to care,…

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