In the absence of federal legislation, states are actively seeking tools to reform their health care systems. While 1115 waivers rightly get a lot of attention, because of their ability to reshape state Medicaid programs, the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1332 waivers continue to be a promising avenue for states to stabilize their health insurance marketplace. SHVS is tracking state activity and has many resources, including a template, for states interested in pursuing a Section 1332 waiver.
In recent months, states have increasingly introduced proposals for individuals above Medicaid eligibility levels to “buy-in” to Medicaid or leverage the Medicaid program to strengthen coverage across the individual market and Medicaid. State Health and Value Strategies is tracking current state activity and has mapped out which states are pursuing a program and those that are establishing task forces to understand the impact of a Medicaid buy-in program.
On March 27, for the second time, a federal judge vacated the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approval of Kentucky’s Medicaid 1115 demonstration waiver to test, among other things, a work requirement as a condition of Medicaid eligibility. In a related case of Arkansas’s Medicaid work requirements demonstration, the judge likewise vacated the federal approval, remanding it to CMS for further consideration. Notably, because Arkansas, unlike Kentucky, had already implemented the work requirements, the decision requires the state to cease its work requirement and related Medicaid disenrollments. This expert perspective reviews the court’s decision and its implications for both Kentucky and Arkansas and other states with similar approved or pending waiver requests, as well as for states contemplating imposing work or other “community engagement” requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries.