If you want to sign up for health insurance – and get help paying for it – you only have until Sunday to get it done. The healthcare marketplace’s annual open enrollment period closes January 31st and won’t reopen until the fall. If you don’t have insurance, there’s a penalty of about 700-dollars per person at tax time. Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, says despite massive outreach and marketing efforts, there are still people who haven’t explored their options.
|Cut 17345 :10 "People know there is a penalty. But over one-third of those eligible for subsidies that are uninsured do not know subsidies are available. That’s a remarkable gap, given all we’ve done."
Tag: It’s estimated that 11 percent of Californians are uninsured, a figure seven percent lower than before the Affordable Care Act took effect two years ago. That works out to an additional one-point-three million people in the Golden State who now have health insurance.
Second Cut: Lee suspects the penalty will motivate some procrastinators – but points out there’s a lot more at stake.
|Cut 18345 :10 "The bigger penalty is the risk of going without coverage and showing up at the ER and walking out with a $30,000 bill; or the penalty of having a cancer go undiagnosed."
Tag: To sign up for health insurance through the marketplace, or find a trained navigator who can help you with the signup process, look online at "coveredCA.com."
A very pregnant woman in Kelseyville ended up in the hospital along with the passenger in her car after a drunken head on crash. Lakeport Police responded to the crash over the weekend and found two cars with serious damage. The driver who was hit was a 19 year old, 9 months pregnant and a male passenger who had serious injuries. Police say the suspect who crashed into them was 31 year old Athina Cook who cops say had no injuries but was drunk and arrested. Police found that she was also on probation for a previous drunk driving offense. She had a blood alcohol test at a hospital and then was taken to jail and booked for felony drunk driving causing injury, reckless driving on a highway, driving while on drunk driving court probation, reckless driving causing a specified injury, reckless driving with injury and for being in violation of probation. She was in custody on a NO BAIL hold. Her last drunk driving incident in October 2012 where police say she blew a blood alcohol test of more than twice the legal limit, almost hit a cop and 3 pedestrians.
Lake County District 4 Supervisor Anthony Farrington says he’s not going to run for re-election. This is currently his 4th term and he was the chair of the board last year. Lake Co News reports Farrington saying he’s going to take a break from public life and grow his law practice which has expanded into Mendocino County. He was first elected to office 15 years ago and has worked on such issues as getting the first environmental impact report to allow harvesting and treating lake weeds and filing for surface water rights to Clear Lake. He also was instrumental in trying to get a half-cent sales tax for the lake to get funding to invest in Clear Lake and its watershed, and protect the lake from invasive mussels. He worked on buying the Lucerne Castle and solicited for proposals for colleges to take over the space. He also worked on getting meth making cold meds behind the counter, instead of over the counter plus as Lake Co News reports, so much more.
State Sen. Mike McGuire’s bill to renew a program to allow Lake County teens work experience and on the job training at pear packing plants over the summer got unanimous support in its second committee hearing. The Senate Appropriations Committee all voted yay and now the bill goes to the Senate floor for a vote. The senator says since the Lake County pear crop is important to the economy and it’s part of a long tradition for Lake County residents to work the harvest, he’s excited the legislation was advanced. This would mean a special exemption in state law so that pear packing plants could hire 16 and 17 year olds for up to 10 hours a day during the peak harvest season of four to six weeks in the late summer. School is not in session during this time.
New assessed values for several homes damaged in the summer’s wildfires have been adjusted by the assessor. Nearly 1,000 properties with damage from the Rocky, Jerusalem and Valley fires have corrected property tax bills which were sent out to the mailing address of the property. If they go back to the office as undeliverable, the assessor’s office says they’ll continue to do what they can to find a new mailing address, to resend the bill. Some fire-damaged homes and properties are still being analyzed for tax corrections so they’ve not yet been sent. Anyone who has a home that was damaged or totally destroyed who doesn’t get their corrected bill by Feb. 15th should call the Lake County Assessor’s Office at 707-263-2302.
A man from Fort Bragg had to airlifted to a hospital after being hit by a car on Highway 1. Fort Bragg Police report getting a call to Hwy. 1 at Manzanita Street January 15th and found a 21 year old man lying in the middle of the intersection. Witnesses say they found the man was hit as he crossed the street and the car that hit him, a Honda Accord driven by a 58-year-old Fort Bragg woman. The victim flown to a trauma center. No word if the driver was cited.
Police in Fort Bragg still searching for a generator stolen from an area business earlier this month. Police say it happened Jan. 5th, officers took the report Jan. 9th. They saw surveillance footage of the theft and arrested a man seen on tape, Colin Roach, for suspicion of grand theft. The generator has been described as a 10,000-watt Craftsman which has still not been found. Cops say anyone with it could be charged with felony possession of stolen property.
A woman in Willits has been sent to prison for 5 years for arson. Lacee Ross pleaded no contest and had other charges dropped as part of a deal. She has to spend at least 85 percent of the term in state prison before she’s eligible for parole. Police say they found the motive was revenge after she was told she was being evicted from the apartment above John’s Place bar. Cops say she made several statements to witnesses saying she’d quote “burn the place down” if they tried to evict her. In November of 2014, that’s what she did, barricading herself inside and threatened to shoot emergency responders while waving a gun. Police used a taser on her but the fire had already spread and destroyed the bar, some apartments, a convenience store and a pre-school.
The Ukiah City Council is considering demolishing a home near the Grace Hudson Museum so they can allow some affordable housing in for low-income seniors. A public hearing is set on the matter of three, two-story apartment buildings on a 1.5-acre at 517 S. Main St. But the city has to have the home removed first. It’s currently vacant, but it’s more than 50 years old, so the council has to check in with the public to decide if the home is historically significant. There was a meeting last Wednesday, but they have to have another one because the address on the agenda was listed incorrectly. The hearing on the planned demolition at the council’s next meeting Feb. 3rd.
The Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin and Lake County Fire Protection District Chief Willie Sapeta have received a check from the Rotary Club for the Lake County Office of Emergency Services. The $3,000 set aside for a contract for a Public Alert Warning System. The new system is more modern and works well with the country’s alert and warning infrastructure. Federal, State, territorial, tribal and local authorities can use the new system which uses the Common Alerting Protocol standards. It would help warn residents of serious emergencies using the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio, and other public alerting systems from a single interface.
Since Harbin Hot Springs was decimated by the Valley Fire, residents are finding other local hot springs instead. But hundreds of devotees have emailed, called and visited the resort’s Facebook page since the fire. The spokesperson for the resort says they’ve received calls from all over the word and some have offered to help rebuild. The resort has received donations of more than $200,000, given to employees affected by the fire. But former guests have descended on Orr Hot Springs in Mendocino County and Wilbur Hot Springs in Colusa County. Both hot springs are clothing-optional.
Criminal charges have been tossed in the case of a protester arrested in 2013 for getting in the way of construction of the Willits bypass project. Will Parrish of Ukiah sat on top of a crane’s tower for 11 days. He’s been ordered to pay almost $9,500 in restitution but got two misdemeanor trespass-related charges reduced to infractions. He also finished up 100 hours of community service. The money he paid goes to Caltrans for costs because of delays. Caltrans says the amount is actually much less than what it actually cost them, which was more like $100,000.
State police in Vermont have arrested a drunk driver who they say drove into the gazebo featured in the 1988 Chevy Chase movie "Funny Farm." Police say 71-year-old David Page of Connecticut is charged with DUI after the accident last Friday on the Townshend town common. Cops say Page’s blood-alcohol content was .181 percent — more than twice the legal limit.
A human skull found along with eight containers that may have more have been found at a spiritual shop in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s dept says they got a call to a business in Compton last week after a woman complained of animal cruelty. They say they went to a business where they found a skull inside a pot. The responding deputy says the coroner’s office collected the skull and eight other pots but says there’s no evidence of a murder and it looked like the skull might have been purchased from a legal source and was being used for a religious ceremony.