Updated July 23 9:01 a.m. with reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky
Illinois is beginning to implement the Affordable Care Act. The Governor signed a major component of it into law Monday.
Government backed health insurance is available to seniors; Medicare kicks in at age 65.
And Medicaid's available to low-income children, and their parents.
The new law will extend Medicaid to childless adults with incomes under $16,000.
State Senator Heather Steans, the Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legislation.
Ambulance and fire agencies in Illinois have seen their budgets crunched. Some clients pay using Medicaid, the Illinois-backed insurance for the poor. But the state is months behind on those payments.
According to Josh Ross, operations manager for America Ambulance in Springfield, Illinois is nearly six months behind. That's a total of $330,000.
"The Medicaid problem is kind of a double-edged sword," Ross said. "On one is the fact we're not receiving the payments, but the other is the fact that the actual reimbursement is so much lower."
St. Louis Public Radio is a service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.