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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- December 23, 2019
On Monday, December 23, 2019, the National Health Law Program sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma asking her to extend the public comment period for Tennessee’s section 1115 waiver application that seeks to transform the State’s Medicaid program into a block grant. The CMS comment site is blocking and/or deterring submission of comments from the public—a problem first detected over the weekend.
- December 19, 2019
NHeLP comments to Tennessee's 1115 waiver project requesting to implement a Medicaid block grant.
- November 26, 2019
In a letter to administrator Seema Verma, the National Health Law Program has asked CMS to return Tennessee’s recently submitted section 1115 application to the State. Tennessee says the proposal would create a block grant. However, the NHeLP letter says the proposal is so short on specifics and is vague to the point where the public will not be able to meaningfully review and comment on it.