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Focus on Regulation

HHS Taking Comments on New Process to Enroll in Certain Health Programs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opened a 30-day public comment period on its proposed project to evaluate the implementation of the Express Lane Eligibility (ELE).  Through ELE, state Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) can enroll individuals in the program based on other agencies’ findings of eligibility, even if those agencies use different methods of determining eligibility.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) authorized HHS to conduct a study of ELE to (1) examine state implementation of ELE and (2) evaluate subsequent changes in coverage or administrative costs. HHS expects to also use the evaluation to explore other mechanisms states are using to simplify enrollment, and how those strategies compare to ELE.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) will conduct the evaluation.  ASPE will rely primarily on the following data collections: (1) administrative cost data from ELE and non-ELE states, (2) enrollment data from ELE and non-ELE states, (3) case studies in ELE and non-ELE states, including key informant interviews and focus groups, (4) a 50-state, plus DC, survey, and (5) quarterly monitoring calls with 30 states.  HHS is seeking comments on the burden or other aspects of this information collection, and comments are due by May 30, 2012.