CMS Approves 38th Section 1135 Waiver


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Today, in keeping with its commitment to ensure states have the necessary tools to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved an additional four state Medicaid waiver requests under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act (Act), bringing the total number of approved Section 1135 waivers for states to thirty  eight.  The waivers offer states new flexibilities to focus their resources on combatting the outbreak and providing the best possible care to their Medicaid beneficiaries. These waivers support President Trump’s commitment to operating a COVID-19 response that is locally executed, state managed and federally supported. All Section 1135 approval letters will be posted here as they are issued.  Additional information about all of the Section 1135 Waivers that CMS has approved can be found here.

CMS approved waivers for the following states today:

  • Montana
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

CMS provides guidance to states on how to apply for Section 1135 waivers through the Medicaid Disaster Response Tool Kit, which can be found here. To further the agency’s efforts, CMS has developed checklists and tools to expedite requests and approvals for waivers and other commonly requested flexibilities.  CMS will continue to expeditiously review and approve, as appropriate, all Section 1135 waivers and other requests that the agency receives to ensure that we are providing our state partners with the maximum flexibility they need to care for their Medicaid beneficiaries during the public health emergency.

These waivers, and earlier CMS actions in response to COVID-19, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, visit For a complete and updated list of CMS actions, and other information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.  Additionally, CMS has launched a dedicated,, COVID-19 resource page that will be continually updated with relevant information.