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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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Medicaid:  Current Benefits and Flexibility

Medicaid: Current Benefits and FlexibilityTwo issue briefs discuss the minimum requirements for states to receive federal Medicaid matching funds and the options states have under federal law and waivers to tailor their Medicaid programs.Medicaid as a Health Insurer: Current Benefits and FlexibilityMedicaid as a Long-term Care Program: Current Benefits and…

Can States Stretch the Medicaid Dollar Without Passing the Buck? Lessons from Utah

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…

KYHealth Choices Medicaid Reform: Key Program Changes and Questions

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)

Family Coverage Under SCHIP Waivers

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)

Healthy Indiana Plan: Key Facts and Issues

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…

West Virginia Medicaid State Plan Amendment: Key Program Changes and Questions

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…

Primers on Key Health Care Topics and Programs

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 Primer Medicare: A Primer The…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.