Waiver 1115 Information

Section 1115 Medicaid waivers allow states to explore new options for providing health coverage to persons who would otherwise not be eligible and allow states to examine innovative ways to deliver care by waiving certain requirements of the Medicaid Act.

While waivers can be important tools that can help states respond to the needs of low-income individuals, they also present concerns for health advocates working to protect the rights of Medicaid enrollees and promote transparency in state waiver processes.

Sec. 1115 of the Social Security Act allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive some requirements of the Medicaid Act so that states can test novel approaches to improving medical assistance for low-income people.

Under the current administration, several states are seeking waivers to impose harmful cuts and restrictions. The first set of harmful waivers have been approved for Kentucky and Arkansas, with a number of states seeking to enact similar changes to Medicaid. Learn more about Medicaid waivers and how the National Health Law Program is combating the Trump administration’s illegal use of waivers to weaken Medicaid.

View 1115 Waiver Resources By State

results by Rachel Holtzman in Waivers and Demonstrations.
  • Arkansas Waiver Program and Its Adverse Impact on Reproductive Health Services

    Work requirement programs in Medicaid are not only legally suspect, but they are nonsensical, undermining the intent of Medicaid - to provide health care to low-income individuals and families (so that they are able to find and keep work). The Trump administration is pushing states to add work requirements to their Medicaid programs. It recently approved Arkansas's Medicaid waiver program that includes a pernicious work requirement program that will undermine access to comprehensive reproductive health care for thousands of low-income people in the state. National Health Law Program's Candace Gibson and Rachel Holtzman in this fact sheet examine myriad ways the so-called "Arkansas Works" project will cut off women of color, low-income women and other underserved communities from vital reproductive health care. "For example," Gibson and Holtzman write, "a woman or a transgender man subjected to these provisions may not be able to receive a prescription for hormonal contraception or may not be able to receive contraceptive counseling from their providers because of the disruption in coverage these provisions will create."

  • Arkansas’s Sec. 1115 Medicaid Waiver & Its Impact on Health Equity

    The so-called "Arkansas Works" Medicaid waiver scheme recently approved by Trump's HHS is not only legally suspect,  but will disproportionally harm people of color who need health care the most -- these are groups of people who have long been discriminated against in the health care system. The National Health Law Program's Mara Youdelman and Rachel Holtzman explain how the Arkansas Medicaid work requirement will cut off Medicaid to women, Blacks, Hispanics, nonelderly Asians and Native Americans.

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