Medicaid Section 1115 Research and Demonstration Waivers

January 10, 2020

An increasing number of states are seeking greater flexibility in administering their Medicaid programs. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) give states the opportunity to test innovative or alternative approaches to providing health care coverage to their Medicaid populations through Section 1115 Research and Demonstration Waivers (otherwise known as "1115 waivers"). States must demonstrate that their waivers promote the objectives of the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) and CMS must use general criteria to determine whether the objectives of the Medicaid/CHIP programs are met.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) actively reviews and submits written comments on 1115 waivers at both the state and federal levels. ACS CAN’s key concern in evaluating these waivers is the potential impact on cancer patients’, survivors’, and enrollees’ access to preventive services and treatment.