CHIPRA further authorized a comprehensive, independent, and rigorous evaluation of ELE, with reports of evaluation findings to be submitted to Congress; this is the first of two reports that will fulfill the mandate. This report has three purposes:
- To describe existing ELE programs, including the costs and new enrollment trends associated with ELE implementation
- To estimate the impact of ELE adoption on total enrollment
- To preview the issues that will be examined through future evaluation activities and presented in the final evaluation report, due to Congress in September 2013
Federal and state policymakers are keenly interested in understanding the full implications of ELE as a route to enrolling children, or keeping them enrolled, in public coverage. This evaluation provides an important opportunity to document ELE implementation and understand the implications of adopting the policy. In its later phases, the study will also provide an opportunity to understand other methods of simplified or streamlined enrollment that states have pursued and to assess the benefits and potential costs of these methods compared with those of ELE. Taken together, findings from the study will help Congress and the nation better understand ELE and assess its value.