Definitions for "Section 1115 Waiver"
A statutory provision that allows a State to operate its system of care for Medicaid enrollees in a manner different from that proscribed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in an attempt to demonstrate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of an alternative delivery system through research and evaluation.
Medicaid research and demonstration (Section 1115) waivers are normally used to make broad changes in eligibility, services or the service delivery system.
Under section 1115 of the Social Security Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to waive compliance with many of the requirements of the Medicaid statute to enable states to demonstrate different approaches to "promoting the objectives of" the Medicaid program while continuing to receive federal Medicaid matching funds. In 1999, 17 states or counties were operating Medicaid section 1115 waivers affecting some or all of their eligible populations. The waivers, which are granted (or renewed) for 5-year periods, are administered by HCFA.