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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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Premiums and Cost-Sharing in Medicaid

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…

Five Key Questions And Answers About Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers

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…

The Texas Health Care Landscape

This fact sheet summarizes the Texas health care landscape, including data on demographics, population health, the uninsured and the state Medicaid program. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

The Massachusetts Health Care Landscape

This fact sheet summarizes the Massachusetts health care landscape, including data on demographics, population health, the uninsured and the state Medicaid program. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

An Overview of Recent Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver Activity

This brief summarizes and examines the implications of recent Section 1115 Medicaid waiver activity. Section 1115 waivers provide states flexibility to test new approaches in Medicaid that differ from federal program rules and can have significant impacts for beneficiaries, providers, and states. While recent waivers and waiver proposals vary in…

California and Texas: Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waivers Compared

This fact sheet compares and contrasts key provisions of the California and Texas Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers. The Texas waiver, approved in December 2011, is modeled, in part, on the California waiver, which has been underway in that state since November 2010. Both waivers affect hundreds of thousands of…

Tennessee’s New “Medically Necessary” Standard:  Uncovering the Insured?

Tennessee's New “Medically Necessary” Standard: Uncovering the Insured?This policy brief describes a new standard passed by Tennessee’s legislature for determining whether an item or service is “medically necessary” under the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare. The brief concludes with some questions regarding the implications of the new standard for the populations…

Federal Core Requirements And State Options In Medicaid: Current Policies And Key Issues

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…

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