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Issue Brief
October 2010

Express Lane Eligibility: What Is It, and How Does It Work?

For the first time, express lane eligibility rules under CHIPRA (the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act) allow states to use data from another public agency to determine that a child is eligible for Medicaid or CHIP—even if the other program calculates income differently.

More than 70 percent of uninsured, low-income children live in families who participate in SNAP (food stamps), the National School Lunch Program, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This makes tapping into the databases for these programs an invaluable tool for identifying children who are likely to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.

This piece discusses how this new option will benefit children and people with low incomes.