Shapiro Administration Announces Public Comment Opportunity for Federal Application Proposing New Medicaid Program Flexibilities to Help Improve Pennsylvanians’ Health DHS

If approved, the 1115 federal waiver would allow DHS to introduce innovative programs and services that address health-related social needs for Pennsylvanians receiving Medicaid benefits. 

Harrisburg, PA - Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh today announced the opening of a public comment period for a proposed federal flexibility that, if approved, would allow states to make changes to their Medicaid programs with the goal of helping people live healthier lives. DHS is seeking public feedback on the draft Federal Section 1115 Demonstration application, which proposes expanding opportunities in the Medicaid program to include services that address health-related social needs.  

The public comment period will take place from December 2, 2023, through January 2, 2024. During this period, anyone interested can review the draft waiver application and provide comment online, in writing via mail, during multiple advisory and stakeholder meetings, or through three upcoming virtual forums. 

“The 1115 waiver is an opportunity for the Shapiro Administration to leverage federal resources and provide additional tools in our toolbox that can improve the health and quality of life for certain vulnerable groups covered by Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program. This is an opportunity to increase federal investment in the Commonwealth to expand options available through the Medicaid program that can more holistically support a person or family’s health, stability, and success,” said Secretary Arkoosh. “Listening to the public and collecting feedback is a vital part of this federal application process, and I look forward to hearing thoughts from our partners and people with lived experience as we seek to build more flexibility to help Pennsylvanians live healthy, productive lives.”  

Section 1115 of the Social Security Act gives the federal government the ability to waive certain federal rules that govern Medicaid to allow states to design and evaluate new state pilot projects that promote the general goals of the Medicaid program, helping people live healthier lives. Section 1115 waivers are a major pathway for state innovation in the Medicaid program that many states have leveraged. If approved, this would allow DHS to introduce innovative programs and services that address health-related social needs that can improve health and quality of life for Pennsylvanians who access health care through Medicaid. 

During the public comment period, DHS will accept written and verbal comments on the draft application. DHS will be presenting the application to multiple advisory committees and stakeholders for feedback through the comment period, and DHS is also offering the public the opportunity to come to virtual forums to learn more about the application and the proposed services on December 11, 12, and 15, 2023. Learn more about the public information process here. For more information and to register to attend a virtual forum visit here

To learn more about the proposed Federal Section 1115 Demonstration application visit; .  

Visit here to submit a comment on the proposed Federal Section 1115 Demonstration application. 

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