Living under a rock? Don't have TV? What other excuse could a U.S. adult have for not knowing that today is the last day folks can sign up for health coverage via a public exchange if they want coverage to begin Jan. 1?

The government's promotional efforts around Dec. 15 might be mistaken for a campaign to make the day a new national holiday. But after last year's disastrous experiences with the official federal health insurance website,, the Obama administration is taking no chances.

Midnight tonight is the deadline for new insurance customers to select a plan, and for those with an existing plan to make modifications to their coverage package.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.