The Washington Post, December 19, 2013
The nation's health insurance industry decided Wednesday to extend the deadline until Jan. 10 for Americans to pay for coverage that starts on New Year's Day, as enrollment through the new federal and state insurance marketplaces appears to be surging. After meager participation during the first two months, more than half a million people have chosen plans in the federal exchange since the beginning of December, according to government figures that have not been made public. Several states running their own exchanges are reporting sizable enrollment upswings, as well. Just a few days remain before a Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for coverage that will begin Jan. 1, and the last-minute blitz that federal health officials have predicted appears to be materializing.