In addition to New Jersey’s second ELE partnership with the NSLP, which had been implemented in all counties by October 2011, three new states—Colorado, Georgia, and South Carolina—have received approval from CMS to implement ELE programs since January 2011. Below are brief descriptions of these states’ ELE processes based on our review of secondary sources.
Colorado’s ELE program began implementation in October 2011 and features a partnership with Colorado Department of Education-approved school districts that administer the NSLP and Colorado’s Medicaid program. At the time the state plan amendment was approved in March 2012, 24 of 176 school districts were participating. The program aims to simplify the initial application process by using eligibility information from the school lunch program to determine state residency, household size, and gross household income. Remaining requirements, such as citizenship and identity, are verified through the standard process.
Georgia’s ELE program began in 2011 and features a partnership with the state’s WIC program to establish eligibility for Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids (the state CHIP program). Families who apply to WIC are asked if they would like to be referred to Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids. If they consent, WIC information for the eligible child (including identity, income, household size, age, and residency) is shared with the state’s eligibility contractor, who pre-populates a joint Medicaid/PeachCare application and sends it to the family, asking for the child’s social security number (SSN) and proof of immigration status and including WIC-provided information for confirmation. The application also requests information for other children in the family, and WIC income information is used to determine eligibility for all children in the household. This process enables Georgia’s ELE partnership to reach to older children, even though WIC eligibility is limited to children under age 5. In October 2011, Georgia reported more than 1,000 Medicaid enrollments and 900 PeachCare enrollments through its partnership with WIC.
South Carolina’s ELE program, effective April 2011, uses income data from the TANF and SNAP programs to complete renewals for its Healthy Connection program (the state’s Medicaid and Medicaid-expansion CHIP program). The process requires no involvement by families or eligibility staff. As of October 2011, the state reports that eligibility for 65,000 children had been renewed through the streamlined program. South Carolina is also exploring additional data-matching opportunities with the Department of Education and NSLP.