Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation expanding who can sign up for Medicaid starting in January.
The move is one of the central components in implementing the affordable care act.
Illinoisans who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, which comes out to $15,860 for an individual and $32,500 for a family of four, will be eligible for subsidized coverage.
The state expects nearly 200,000 people to sign up in the first year.
The federal government is contributing upwards of $12 billion for the program.
Governor Quinn expects expanding coverage will create jobs.
The next step in implementing the 2010 health care overhaul will be setting up state exchanges to purchase insurance.
In Illinois, 957,000 residents will be eligible for tax credits to purchase coverage through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace.
The state has until the end of the month to review the 165 plans offered by six insurers. Rates have not yet been released.
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