Centering Health Equity in Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstrations

Prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies program

Long-standing structural racism and related health inequities experienced by people of color further laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic have mobilized leadership in many states to take action on health equity. While addressing structural racism in health care requires collaborative and sustained efforts across state agencies, local governments, communities and other stakeholders, many states are looking to Medicaid as a critical lever for advancing health equity.

States seeking to test new or innovative ideas related to health equity in their Medicaid programs are tapping Section 1115 demonstrations as one key strategy. Across all demonstrations, including those that may not identify specific policies to advance health equity, state policymakers have an opportunity and imperative to center health equity at each stage in the demonstration lifecycle.

In two new issue briefs prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies program, Manatt Health examines the role of Medicaid Section 1115 demonstrations in advancing health equity. “Centering Health Equity in Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstrations: A Roadmap for States” explores Medicaid’s role in promoting health equity and describes ways states can advance health equity through each demonstration lifecycle stage. The companion issue brief, “Centering Health Equity in Medicaid: Section 1115 Demonstration Strategies,” outlines specific, innovative policies to advance health equity via Section 1115 demonstrations.

To read “Centering Health Equity in Medicaid Section 1115 Demonstrations: A Roadmap for States,” click here.

To read “Centering Health Equity in Medicaid: Section 1115 Demonstration Strategies,” the companion issue brief, click here.

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