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How do States Deliver Care in Medicaid?

States administer their Medicaid programs and determine how to deliver care. Federal law requires states to provide certain “mandatory” benefits and allows states the choice of covering other “optional” benefits. Comparisons across states should consider differences in their benefits and care delivery approaches. For example, some states choose to deliver Medicaid health benefits and additional services through managed care organizations. States may also use waiver authorities to offer coverage or extend benefits to a target population. The following data show examples of the ways states can vary in benefit coverage and how they deliver care.