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.
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- August 20, 2018
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed for failure of establishing jurisdiction, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's lawsuit against the Kentucky plaintiffs in Stewart v. Azar, seeking to shut that litigation. Download and read the district court's rejection of Gov. Bevin's lawsuit.
- August 18, 2018
National Health Law Program in comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, again, urged the agency to reject Kentucky's proposed Medicaid waiver plan that was invalidated by a U.S. District Court in Stewart v. Azar. The Kentucky plan is again before HHS because the district court remanded it to the agency with direction to re-consider, within the bounds of Medicaid law, the legality of Kentucky's proposed plan. National Health Law Program again argues that the Kentucky waiver plan will lead to substantial numbers of individuals and families losing health care coverage, with many of them unable to meet the onerous requirements of Kentucky's work requirement. The work requirement's attempt at exempting "medically frail" individuals, data shows, will not do so adequately leaving many individuals with disabilities "more likely to lose benefits."