Government safety net programs aim to protect families during tough times—before they fall into poverty. But rising unemployment, foreclosures, and economic distress are putting pressure on a system already in need of updates and repairs.
Urban Institute experts, building on decades of welfare reform research, evaluated public safety nets and proposed new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing. Read more.
With ELE, a state's Medicaid and/or CHIP program can rely on another agency's eligibility findings to qualify children for public coverage. Using 2007 to 2011 quarterly enrollment data, we estimate difference-in-difference equations with quarter and state fixed effects to measure the effect of ELE on enrollment. The estimated impacts of ELE on Medicaid enrollment were consistently positive across model specifications, ranging between 4.0 and 7.3 percent. The analysis also finds that ELE increased Medicaid/CHIP enrollment. Our results imply that ELE has been an effective way for states to increase new enrollment or improve retention among eligible children.
The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) reauthorized CHIP and funded it through 2013. Under CHIPRA, Congress provided states with new policy tools to address shortfalls in enrollment and retention, one of which is Express Lane Eligibility (ELE). With ELE, a state's Medicaid and/or CHIP program can rely on another agency's eligibility findings to qualify children for public health coverage. This evaluation describes existing state ELE programs including the administrative costs and ELE enrollment trends, estimates the impact of ELE adoption on total enrollment, and previews the issues that will be examined through future evaluation activities.
States expanding Medicaid eligibility under the ACA can substantially expedite Medicaid enrollment and retention for SNAP participants, 97 percent of whom will qualify for Medicaid, according to this study. Even in states where SNAP provides broad-based categorical eligibility that extends SNAP’s gross income limits to at least 185 percent of the federal poverty level, 94 percent of SNAP recipients will qualify for Medicaid. Data showing SNAP receipt can thus verify Medicaid applicants’ financial eligibility, allow administrative renewal for Medicaid beneficiaries, and facilitate Medicaid enrollment for numerous eligible consumers when expanded coverage begins in early 2014.