Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) started on January 1, 2014, many changes to our nation’s health insurance system have taken place.

These changes have had an impact on all types of health insurance, both private health insurance and public health insurance programs.

Under the ACA rules, income eligibility for adults over age 19, with and without disabilities, has changed. Financial eligibility now needs to follow new rules, called MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) rules. Implementing these new rules, in the case of adults with disabilities applying for Medicaid for the first time, has sometimes caused confusion and misunderstanding. A number of self-advocates, families and guardians have contacted us for assistance and clarification.

We are fortunate to have good working relationships with both the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS). Our colleagues at both of these agencies listened to our questions and worked with us to clarify these issues.

Here is a link to our newest fact sheet, Update on Medicaid Eligibility Changes, which we developed in close collaboration with HFS staff members.

Please be aware that these guidelines are for general information only. HFS has informed us that they expect additional guidance on this topic from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) shortly. We will share any updates with you as soon as they are available.

For information about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility and applications for adults age 18 and over, please see . For information regarding filing federal income tax returns and declaring a Disabled Adult Child to be a dependent for tax purposes, please contact your tax advisor or visit

We look forward to your feedback, suggestions and questions about this information..

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)