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
- Show all
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- February 18, 2020
HHS is attempting to roll back important protections for individuals seeking services from religiously-affiliated providers in a rulemaking it calls “Ensuring Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Providers.” The proposed rule would encourage religiously-affiliated providers to refuse to employ non-adherents and require that all employees and applicants for employment conform to the religious tenets of the organization. The rule also eliminates important consumer protections, including requiring a written notice explaining that beneficiaries need not participate in religious activities to receive federally-funded health care and other services. HHS would also eliminate the requirement to provide referrals, when practicable, to an alternative provider. In comments, NHeLP explains how the proposed rule, if implemented, would impede access to health care and other important services; and would exacerbate health disparities, particularly for LGBTQ people, women, persons with disabilities, persons living in rural communities, people of color, and other under-served communities.
- February 12, 2020
On August 12, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a final rule redefining the term “public charge.” The rule made fundamental changes to the longstanding application of public charge to the receipt of public benefits for certain immigrants. On January 27, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the nationwide preliminary injunctions that had prevented the Trump Administration from implementing the rule. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security announced that its public charge rule will go into effect on February 24, 2020. The purpose of this issue brief is to provide background information about public charge with a focus on the impact of the final rule in the health care context. (Updated Feb. 23, 2020)