Express Lane Eligibility: How to Enroll Large Groups of Eligible Children in Medicaid and CHIP

This issue paper explores the potential for increasing enrollment in children’s health insurance programs through “Express Lane Eligibility.” Express Lane Eligibility is the accelerated enrollment of low-income uninsured children already participating in other income-comparable publicly funded programs, such as WIC or school lunch, into Medicaid or CHIP. The paper reviews Express Lane Eligibility’s potential impact on Medicaid and CHIP enrollment, analyzes different models, discusses key challenges with implementation, and suggests steps states and localities can take to initiate the implementation of Express Lane Eligibility.