With the deadline of February 15 fast approaching to sign up for health-care coverage, Santa Barbara’s Public Health Department will hold two meetings at which people can ask questions about and enroll in comprehensive health insurance. Lompoc Health Care Center (301 N. R St.) hosts the first on Saturday, February 7, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and the second takes place at Santa Barbara’s Eastside Library (1102 E. Montecito St.) on Monday, February 9, 1:30-7 p.m.

Both Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange that complies with the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Medi-Cal enrollments will be available at the two meetings. Medi-Cal covers children and adults with limited income and resources. In addition, people can schedule appointments to enroll at health care centers in Carpinteria (560-1050), Santa Maria (346-7230), Lompoc (737-6400), S.B. (681-5488), and at the Franklin Center in S.B. (568-2099).

Public Health’s efforts to get people to join up have led to more than 15,600 more people with health insurance countywide since January 2014. Enrolling now, for those who are going without, also means you avoid the tax penalties imposed for dodging the effort to ensure the entire nation has health-care coverage. For single people earning $40,000 or more, the penalty is $594 for 2015. For families earning more than $70,000, the penalty is $988. More about the two health insurance programs is available here.


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