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
State interest in Medicaid Section 1115 behavioral health waivers, including mental health and substance use disorders, remains high. As of November, 2017, there are 15 approved and 11 pending behavioral health waivers in 22 states. This issue brief describes recent waiver activity in four areas: using Medicaid funds to pay for substance use and/or mental health services in “institutions for mental disease” (IMDs), expanding community-based behavioral health benefits, expanding Medicaid eligibility to cover additional people with behavioral health needs, and financing delivery system reforms.
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Related Waivers Resources
- Medicaid Retroactive Coverage Waivers: Implications for Beneficiaries, Providers, and States
- Section 1115 Medicaid Expansion Waivers: A Look at Key Themes and State Specific Waiver Provisions
- How Medicaid Section 1115 Waivers Are Evolving: Early Insights About What to Watch
- Medicaid and Work Requirements
- Medicaid Enrollees and Work Requirements: Lessons From the TANF Experience
- Medicaid Waiver Requests in Wisconsin and Maine Seek to Impose Work Requirements and Time Limits for Beneficiaries
- Don’t Expect Medicaid Work Requirements to Make a Big Difference
- 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: A Look at the Current Landscape of Approved and Pending Waivers
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 basic questions about Section 1115 waiver authority and discusses the current landscape of approved and pending demonstration waivers.
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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
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…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
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.…Issue Brief Read More
This issue brief provides some general background on Vermont's Medicaid program and the Global Commitment waiver; answers a series of key questions about how it is designed to work; and discusses the potential implications for the state of Vermont, beneficiaries, and the Medicaid program.In the fall of 2005, Vermont secured…Issue Brief Read More
With the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, states have gained increased flexibility over benefits and cost sharing for certain currently eligible Medicaid populations without having to obtain a waiver of Medicaid rules. New findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2004 survey of the experiences of Medicaid beneficiaries…Report Read More
A Case Study of the Utah Primary Care Network Waiver: Insights into Its Development, Design, and Implementation
This report examines the creation and implementation of Utah’s waiver through interviews with key stakeholders and an analysis of state enrollment data and quarterly reports. Also see Health Affairs article, Can States Stretch the Medicaid Dollar Without Passing the Buck? Lessons from UtahReport (.pdf)Report Read More