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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Medicaid Expansion is Good for Children The new health care law expands the Medicaid program to provide healthcare for millions of uninsured individuals, primarily parents and low-income adults. The Supreme Court ruled in June that states can choose whether or not to accept the Medicaid expansion. Low-income children, even if they are already eligible for Medicaid, have much to gain if Tennessee expands its Medicaid program to cover their parents. Over 80,000 Tennessee children are eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled.1 Many of these children will enroll in Medicaid and stay enrolled if their parents are covered. Getting kids insured makes them healthier. For some, it can change their lives. Here?s what the research shows about why expanding Medicaid to cover low-income parents is important for Tennessee?s children: ? Expanding Medicaid to cover parents means that more eligible children will enroll. Children who are eligible for health insurance are three times more likely to enroll if their parents also have insurance. Previous expansions of Medicaid coverage for parents have led to a significant increase in enrollment of eligible children and a drop in the number of…