The Affordable Care Act and you: Part 2

By WEEK Producer

August 28, 2013 Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- Over the next few months, we will be bringing you a series of reports on health care reform, the Affordable Care Act which becomes law on January 1, 2014.

It mandates that every American have health insurance or pay a penalty.

In our first report, we outlined how if you don't get insurance through your job or by other means, you will be able to purchase a plan through a health insurance marketplace.

Pre-existing conditions will no longer hurt your eligibility. You can start shopping on October 1.

However, what if you simply can't afford insurance and you're being mandated to have it?

The answer is Medicaid.

On July 22, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a key part of ACA expanded Medicaid for low-income residents.

You qualify based on income and family size.

If you're eligible, you get free or low-cost care and don't need to buy a marketplace plan.

It is expected that 750,000 Illinoisans will qualify.

Bill Shock is with the Unland Companies in Pekin, and is serving as in house consultant for us on the ACA.

"The Medicaid issue will run on a degree of poverty level, so at 1.38 times poverty level, those folks will be eligible for Medicaid and as they access the marketplace that's how they'll be directed,” said Shock.

With Medicaid it is possible you may have to pay a small part of the cost, like a co-payment for some medical services.

To see if you qualify for Medicaid coverage, log on to

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