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Express Lane Eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP Coverage

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The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) included many provisions designed to give states the tools they need to effectively enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). One of the key tools that CHIPRA created is the express lane eligibility (ELE) option. ELE provides states with important new avenues to ensure that children eligible for Medicaid or CHIP have a fast and simplified process for having their eligibility determined or renewed.

ELE permits states to rely on findings, for things like income, household size, or other factors of eligibility from another program designated as an express lane agency (ELA) to facilitate enrollment in health coverage. Express lane agencies may include: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), School Lunch, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Head Start, National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) among others. A state may also use information from state income tax data to identify children in families that might qualify and so that families do not have to submit income information.

We provide information below on how states are implementing Express Lane Eligibility. Learn more about the requirements for Express Lane Eligibility.

State CHIP Medicaid ELE Agency
Alabama No Yes SNAP & TANF
Colorado Yes Yes NSLP
Iowa No Yes SNAP Medicaid
Louisiana No Yes SNAP & NSLP
Massachusetts Yes Yes SNAP
South Carolina No Yes SNAP & TANF
South Dakota No Yes

Updated as of August 6, 2021