Workers without benefits looking forward to ACA

By Anna Carrera

Published 09/30 2013 04:13PM

Updated 09/30 2013 06:21PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Punching a time card is enough to earn a paycheck, but it doesn't always add up to benefits. Last year, more than 15% of full-time workers in the U.S. didn't have health insurance. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more.

Many of those people are looking forward to Tuesday. A lot of people say they're still unsure how it will work, but they're excited for the opportunity to try it all out.

While many others are heading home from work, Matthew Fear is getting ready to start his shift. He's bounced around to a handful of different jobs since moving to Champaign.

"I've worked for a catering company, I've worked as a karaoke DJ," said Fear. "This is the second coffee shop I've worked at."

This is his second month of making mochas at Cafe Kopi.

"It's as full-time as I can get, I guess," said Fear. "It's not 40-hours a week, but it's close."

Fear doesn't mind the money he makes, but says he wishes he got something more.

"I get coffee," said Fear, "which is a good benefit."

Even though a shot of java can help cure a case of the Mondays, it doesn't do much for medical aches and pains.

"A few weeks ago, I did something to my back and I was in a lot of pain," said Fear. "But I just kind of had to suck it up."

Fear doesn't get insurance for working there, but he says that's been "the usual" for a long time. That's why he's looking forward to next month and the opportunities the new health care program could bring him.

"People don't have to worry about their health as much if they can go see a doctor and not have to worry about selling a kidney to go get a checkup," said Fear. 

Because, even though Fear still feels like he has a lot of questions, he hopes more answers will be on the menu soon.

Many people will qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs with the new program. To find out how much you're eligible for, you'll need to have your income information from your W2's or pay stub.

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