With deadline looming, Affordable Care Act enrollment is down in Missouri, Kansas

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you haven’t gotten enrolled for your health care plan through the Affordable Care Act, you aren’t the only one.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, roughly 170,000 people in Kansas and Missouri haven’t -- and the deadline is Saturday.

Also, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the last-minute enrollment rush is down about 12 percent from this time last year.

Insurance advisor Marcus Hood has spent more than 15 years in the insurance business, and for the last six weeks, he's worked 12 hour days for the ACA Open Enrollment Period. But for one of the busiest times of his year, he isn't that busy.

"It's slowed down," he said, as his phone rang and his desktop chimed with a new email. "I've basically been able to stay on top of it. I don't have to turn people down like I have in the past."

But Hood said there are many reasons for that.

For one, people are making more money than they used to, so their income doesn’t allow them to qualify for some coverage. Another: Some people’s premiums with ACA can be as high as $1,000 a month. And a third, he said: There’s no financial penalty for not having insurance in 2019.

"People who are going to buy health insurance are going to buy health insurance," he said. "The ones who are not are just not going to buy it -- no matter if there’s a penalty or not."

Hood said many of his clients were re-enrolled automatically.

"The only reason to re-enroll would be to pick out a better health insurance plan that's better for you, or maybe find one that is less expensive," he said.

Those who already signed up or were automatically re-enrolled might still be getting a lot of emails, and those will continue until the official deadline: Saturday.

As of Tuesday, the Kasier Family Foundation noted roughly 57,000 Kansans were uninsured but qualified for a free plan using federal credits. In Missouri, it's double that: 116,000 Missourians qualify, but haven't enrolled yet.

If you need help enrolling, you may be able to find it here.

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