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Covered California officials on Tuesday will provide a snapshot of the latest insurance enrollment numbers, the officials said Monday.

Last March 276,350 Bay Area residents enrolled in Covered California, which offers discounts to some state residents on brand-name health insurance and where others can sign up for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program.

About 1.4 million people statewide enrolled in Covered California last March. The new numbers may be up 20 percent over last year, a Covered California spokesman said recently.

White House archive Affordable Care Act, and subsequently Covered California, signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010.

Covered California spokesman James Scullary said:

“We’ve seen significant interest in enrollment.”

This year’s enrollment period ended Jan. 31.

Last year was a down year because no penalty existed for people who did not have insurance, he said.

But state legislators enacted a law that took effect Jan. 1 that requires most California residents to have insurance or face a penalty at tax time. No penalty exists at the federal level anymore.

Scullary said the penalty provides an economic “nudge” for people to get insurance.

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