The Affordable Care Act and you: part 19

By WEEK Producer

February 12, 2014 Updated Feb 12, 2014 at 8:47 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- A local health department is making it easier to enroll for health insurance, while helping college students at the same time.

The McLean County Health Department has computer stations set up in their lobby. They are open to anyone wishing to enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Dontae Gilbert, 22, of Bloomington was in the DCFS system and is now eligible for the state's expanded Medicaid.

"This will do a lot for me because of my health, before I had it (coverage) stomach ulcers…migraines,”Gilbert said. “I'll be able to be eligible so I can have my health intact, where it needs to be."

The process took Dontae an hour, but it might have taken longer if not for Sarah Mura.

She is a student at Illinois State's University’s School of Social Work.

For several hours every Tuesday, Mura and other students help those using the kiosk find the right plans and enroll. It is part of their required volunteer work.

"A lot of the times they weren't expecting to qualify for Medicaid or for even some of the other assistance programs. Turns out they were, and it was just a big relief,” Mura said.

"I feel more at ease going to the doctor,” said Barbara.

Getting enrolled has been a life-changer for Bonvouloir. She had been uninsured for several years. Now she can go to the doctor, and have Medicaid pick up the tab.

"You know, if I had a better job that had health insurance I could do it on my own,” she said. “It's not like I'm a deadbeat or something like that who wants to sit on the ground and not do anything and get free stuff."