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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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Pharmacy Plus Waivers: Trade Offs Between Expanding Rx Coverage and Global Caps in Medicaid

The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured has been monitoring the development of the Pharmacy Plus waiver initiated by the Bush Administration in 2002 and tracking the states that have pending or approved plans. The Commission has developed some materials describing the initiative, examining the financing mechanism, and discussing…

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…

California's "Bridge to Reform" Medicaid Demonstration Waiver

This issue brief provides an overview of California’s “Bridge to Reform” Medicaid Demonstration Waiver, which was approved in 2010 and will make up to roughly $8 billion in federal Medicaid matching funds available to California over a five-year period to expand coverage to low-income uninsured adults and preserve and improve…

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…

Briefing on State Medicaid Programs, the Recession and Health Reform

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) held a 9:30 a.m. ET briefing on Thursday, September 30 to examine the challenges facing states as they continue to struggle with the lingering impacts of the recession and begin preparing to implement health reform. Three reports were released…

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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.