CMS paves path for 1135 Medicaid waivers

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Friday, March 20, 2020

WASHINGTON – CMS has approved an 1135 Medicaid Waiver for the state of Washington.

A national emergency declared by President Trump allows CMS to grant waivers to states to offer flexibility and remove barriers to needed services. Washington state, which has seen one of the worst outbreaks in the country, had submitted its request on March 15.

“I recognize that Gov. Inslee and his team are working around the clock to respond to the escalating crisis in Washington State,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We are committed to stripping away any red tape that gets in the way of states or providers effectively managing this public health emergency.”

Florida has also received approval for a waiver.

CMS offers guidance for states on how to apply for Section 1135 waivers through the Medicaid Disaster Response Tool Kit, which can be found here*. CMS will continue to expeditiously review and approve as appropriate all Section 1135 waivers and other requests that the agency receives to ensure that it is providing state partners with the maximum flexibility they need to care for their Medicaid beneficiaries during the public health emergency.

To support these efforts, CMS is developing checklists and tools to expedite requests and approvals for waivers and other commonly requested flexibilities.