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
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- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
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- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- December 6, 2019
In comments to the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Health Law Program urges HHS to reject Utah's proposed project, which would impose a number of unlawful conditions on coverage and access to care. Utah requested a number of restrictions, including: capping enrollment in the expansion population; imposing work requirements; charging premiums (and terminating coverage and imposing a lockout penalty for failure to pay); charging an amount higher than otherwise permitted for non-emergency use of the emergency room; eliminating hospital presumptive eligibility; imposing a lockout penalty for an "intentional program violation;" eliminating EPSDT for people ages 19 and 20; cutting services for parents; and ignoring various managed care protections. The comments explain why the proposed project does not comply with the requirements of § 1115 of the Social Security Act.
- May 30, 2014
Myths and Facts on Medicaid Expansion This blog post by the Utah Health Policy Project can serve as a useful template for advocates pushing for implementation of the adult Medicaid expansion. UHPP takes on the top seven arguments against closing Utah's coverage gap, with facts about the costs and benefits of Medicaid expansion. Topics include the 100% federal matching rate, Medicaid spending as a percentage of a state's budget, who qualifies under the Medicaid expansion and who ultimately benefits by extending coverage to those without health insurance.