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CMS Approves Section 1332 Waivers in Wisconsin, Maine

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved applications for Section 1332 Innovation Waivers in Wisconsin and Maine.

Section 1332 waivers allow states to waive certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act and pursue alternative health insurance reforms, as long as they provide comparable access and affordability without adding to the federal deficit.

Both states requested waivers to stabilize their individual health care markets. The waivers allow the states to create reinsurance programs projected to lower premiums in the market. Through the programs, the states will use a combination of federal and state funds to reimburse qualifying individual health insurers for a percentage of the costs associated with high-cost enrollees.

In letters to the governors of Wisconsin and Maine, dated July 29 and July 30, respectively, CMS approved the waivers to take effect in 2019 and run through 2023.

CMS has approved similar reinsurance programs in Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Oregon. Several other states have Section 1332 waiver applications pending with the agency.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Rachel Schwartz is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.