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1115 Waiver Research and Demonstration Projects

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Overview of the 1115 Waiver research and demonstration projects. Under 1115 of the Social Security Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services can allow states to "experiment, pilot or demonstrate projects which are likely to assist in promoting the objectives of the Medicaid statute." The statute authorizes the Secretary to waive compliance with any state Medicaid plan requirements, to develop plans that suit states' health care needs and goals.
Many states apply for 1115 waivers to provide health care coverage to more of their low-income residents, who are not currently eligible for public coverage. Los Angeles County is the sole local demonstration project. The terms "experimental" and "pilot" suggest 1115 cannot be used to permanently waive or exempt states from statutory requirements. However, with approved