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

  • NHeLP Comments on HHS Regulations Rule (aka SUNSET Rule)

    In the Regulations Rule, HHS seeks to retroactively impose a mandatory expiration date on an estimated 18,000 duly promulgated regulations. Even long-standing rules would be automatically rescinded unless they survive a complex process of assessment and review. Programs like Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could be devastated if important regulations are arbitrarily rescinded. In comments, NHeLP pushes back against this unlawful and ill-conceived proposal designed to sabotage HHS safety net programs.

  • Abortion is Health Care

    The National Health Law Program believes that abortion is health care and should be covered and accessible like any other medical intervention. This issue brief examines a brief history of abortion in the United States, defines abortion procedures as common and safe medical interventions, presents the myriad of populations and reasons for seeking an abortion, and discusses how abortion restrictions are a public health crisis.

  • California Policy Needs During COVID and Beyond: Access to Medi-Cal Services

    The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of creativity and flexibility in delivering critical care when individuals are not able to receive health care services and supplies in person. During the Public Health Emergency (PHE), California has implemented various policy changes to ensure that Medi-Cal beneficiaries are receiving the health care they need. Many of the state’s policy changes should be continued after the pandemic ends so that telehealth services can continue to improve access to health care, while others should not because they are not in the interest of Medi-Cal beneficiaries. This brief is part of NHeLP’s California Policy Needs During COVID and Beyond series. Additional entries include: California Policy Needs During COVID and Beyond: Telehealth California Policy Needs During COVID and Beyond: Reproductive and Sexual Health  California Policy Needs During COVID and Beyond: Due Process

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