Medi-Cal waivers are programs under Medi-Cal that provide additional services to specific groups of individuals, limit services to specific geographic areas of the state, and provide medical coverage to individuals who may not otherwise be eligible under Medicaid rules.
When California wants to make significant changes to its Medicaid program, it must take one of two steps: either (1) amend its State Medicaid Plan – the State’s contract with the federal government; or (2) receive an exemption or Medicaid waiver from portions of Title XIX of the Social Security Act by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
Source: Medicaid Waivers: California’s Use of a Federal Option; March 2000; Valerie Lewis, M.P.P., M.P.H.; pp. 7-8
Source: The Guide to Medi-Cal Programs; 2006; Manjusha P. Kulkarni, J.D. for California HealthCare Foundation; p. 34