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Testing New Program Features through Section 1115 Waivers

Section 1115 waivers allow states to test approaches to coverage that are not allowed under traditional Medicaid. Under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can waive almost any Medicaid state plan requirement under Section 1902 of the Act to the extent necessary to carry out a demonstration or experimental project furthering the goals of the program. States use these waivers for a wide variety of different purposes. This brief focuses on recently adopted state waiver programs that make changes to eligibility and enrollment policies, benefit design, and cost-sharing requirements for low-income adults who are not eligible for Medicaid on the basis of disability.

This issue brief summarizes the main design features of approved waivers, including populations covered, eligibility and enrollment, benefits, premiums and cost sharing, and the delivery system. The information in this issue brief is current as of June 2020. The Biden Administration has since withdrawn authority for work and community engagement requirements in many states. The Biden Administration also notified these states that other elements of their demonstrations are under review. State-specific waiver information is summarized at the individual links below.

Fact Sheets