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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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Wisconsin’s BadgerCare Program and the ACA

This fact sheet provides an overview of changes to BadgerCare, Wisconsin’s 1115 waiver demonstration project, and how it relates to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid Beneficiaries Who Need Home and Community-Based Services: Supporting Independent Living and Community Integration

This report features nine seniors and people with disabilities living in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee, who rely on home and community-based services (HCBS). These profiles illustrate how beneficiaries’ finances, employment status, relationships, well-being, independence, and ability to interact with the communities in which they live—in addition to their health care—are affected by their Medicaid coverage and the essential role of HCBS in their daily lives.

Profiles of Medicaid Outreach and Enrollment Strategies: The Cook County Early Expansion Initiative

The brief provides an overview of the Cook County, Illinois “CountyCare” early expansion waiver experience, which may help inform continued efforts as the Medicaid expansion is implemented across states. It finds that, in just over 12 months, more than 82,000 Cook County residents successfully enrolled in CountyCare coverage, allowing the state and county to get a significant jump start on the Medicaid expansion. Illinois implemented the full Medicaid expansion in January 2014 and automatically transitioned CountyCare enrollees to the expansion. As of March 2014, CountyCare members account for nearly half of the total statewide enrollment of adults into the Medicaid expansion.

Key Themes From Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Waivers in 4 States

Building on an earlier brief that provided an overview of the components of DSRIP waivers, this analysis relied upon interviews with stakeholders to identify emerging trends and themes from DSRIP waivers in four states – California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas. It highlights that DSRIP waivers are spurring major change in relationships among providers; allowing providers to launch new initiatives aimed at improving care and reducing costs; and fostering a stronger focus on the social service needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. At the same time, the rapid pace of implementation is straining the ability of stakeholders to keep pace, including consumer advocates who are hard-pressed to track and respond to the DSRIP-driven changes that are fundamentally re-shaping the way that care is delivered to Medicaid beneficiaries.

What’s At Stake in the Future of the Kentucky Medicaid Expansion?

On June 22, 2016, Governor Bevin released his proposed Section 1115 demonstration waiver proposal called Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health) as an alternative to the current Medicaid expansion. This brief examines what has happened to coverage, access and utilization and the economic impact of the Medicaid expansion in Kentucky and the implications for changes going forward.

Proposed Changes to Medicaid Expansion in Kentucky

On June 22, 2016, Governor Bevin released his proposed Section 1115 demonstration waiver application called Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health) as an alternative to the current Medicaid expansion which is being implemented through a state plan amendment according to the terms in the ACA. On July 3, 2017, Kentucky submitted an amendment, proposing several changes, to its pending waiver application to the new Administration. This fact sheet summarizes the proposed changes to the current Medicaid expansion in Kentucky.

A Guide to Understanding Medicaid Expansion Waivers as States Debate What to Do Under the ACA

With the recent governors’ elections in Kentucky and Louisiana refocusing attention on state Medicaid expansion decisions, a newly updated issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides an overview of the waivers obtained by six states – Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, New Hampshire and Montana — that are pursuing alternative Medicaid expansions under the Affordable Care Act.

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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.