Uninsured Americans reaches four year high

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COLUMBIA - With the open enrollment period for 2019 ending over a month ago, America reached a four-year high in 2018 of uninsured adults. Over 13 percent of Americans are living without health insurance.

The percentage increased over two percent since 2016, leaving 7 million more people uninsured.

In Missouri, there was a 25 percent decrease in enrollment compared to last year. Over 100,000 people qualify for health insurance that haven't enrolled.

This is the fist year there is no penalty for individuals without coverage. The open enrollment date ended December 15.

There is a special enrollment period to get health insurance. You must apply to find out when your special enrollment period is.

Health insurance special enrollment period is around 30 days.

Some ways to qualify for the special enrollment period are having a child, losing a job that provided health insurance, moving to a new state or getting married or divorced.

James Coyne, a broker of over 25 years, agrees with the extension and wants people who haven't applied for the special enrollment period to consider it.

"If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing and keeping yourself covered, and your situation changes. You shouldn't have to re-up for the health stuff that happened while you were insured," Coyne said. 

Coyne said health insurance covers hospitalization, prescription drug, doctor services, operations and more. It also helps with critical unplanned events. 

"That's when it becomes really important I think, is on the big things. When life throws you a curve ball, because it can absolutely devastate a person for the rest of their life financially," Coyne said.