April 12, 2017

How Much Medicaid Flexibility Do States Already Have?

Congressional proposals have argued that states deserve more flexibility in their Medicaid programs.

But states already have great flexibility in their Medicaid programs.

Every state has its own Medicaid plan, which can be permanently altered. This series of informational briefs seeks to show in clear and simple ways how states can change the payments rates, services covered, benefits and benefit limits, and their cost-sharing in partnership with the federal government. We hope you find them helpful.

Our first one-pager outlines what state plan amendments are, and how states can use them to tailor their specific Medicaid programs to more closely match their specific situation and population. We show some different ways in which states have used SPAs to make meaningful changes in their Medicaid programs, and how citizens can get involved to provide input into the process. Others in the series describe the different type of state plan waivers, and how citizens can provide important input to help shape their state’s Medicaid program.

Bottom line: states can tailor their programs to meet their needs.

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