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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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Quick Take: Medicaid MCOs and Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Requirements

One mechanism for ensuring that health insurance provides value to consumers for the premiums that they pay, or that others pay on their behalf, is to require insurers to meet a minimum “medical loss ratio” or MLR standard. The MLR is the share of premium revenues that an insurer or…

Assessing the Role of Recent Waivers in Providing New Coverage

This analysis finds that recent waivers have expanded coverage in important ways in a few states, but, overall, the number of people who have gained new coverage under recent waivers has been quite limited, well below projections and small compared to overall growth in Medicaid enrollment.Issue Paper (.pdf)

Issues Facing Medicaid and CHIP

Cindy Mann, senior fellow of the Commission, testified to the Senate Subcommittee on Public Health of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on how to sustain and expand health care coverage for low-income children and families, and disabled and elderly people in these challenging times.

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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.