With less than a month left to sign up for private insurance under the federal health care law, California's enrollment numbers are closing in on the magic number of 1 million as 8,000 people sign up every day.
If only everyone would pay their premiums.
Roughly 15 percent of the Californians who had enrolled by Jan. 31 still haven't sent in their first month's payment, according to four major health insurance companies participating in the Covered California exchange. So those lofty enrollment numbers could soon be dropping substantially.
"In order to receive access to health care, they need to pay their premiums," said Brad Kieffer, a spokesman for Health Net.
Health plans say they are doing everything possible to contact those enrollees who didn't pay -- through email, phone and snail mail. But it's becoming increasingly likely that tens of thousands of Californians could end up the way they started -- uninsured.
That's not to say that the insurance companies haven't been extremely accommodating.
In late December, with huge numbers of applications piling up, all of the exchange's 11 health plans agreed to extend premium payment deadlines through various dates in January.
People who paid by the end of the grace periods saw their health insurance retroactively start the first of the year.
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 struck off of the Northern California coast Sunday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The quake struck about 10:18 p.m. and was centered about 50 miles west of Eureka, the USGS reported
A suicide bomber driving a truck loaded with explosives attacked a security checkpoint in the southern Iraqi city of Hilla on Sunday, killing at least 45 people and wounding more than 140, security officials said.
More than 30 cars waiting at the checkpoint were set on fire by the blast, and some of the drivers and passengers were trapped inside.
Speaking from a hospital in Hilla, Ahmed Muhammed, a college student, said: “I was sitting in the car waiting to be searched by the police when suddenly it became dark. Then my car was going back, and my legs were no longer there.”
The attack killed security officers and civilians, including women and children, officials said.
The Iraqiya state television channel said two of its employees were among the dead.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Bombings and other attacks killed more than 8,000 Iraqis last year, according to the United Nations, and violence has continued unabated this year.
Many of the attacks have struck in and around Baghdad and in southern Iraq, but the government is also battling militants in Anbar Province, in the west, who have seized parts of Falluja and Ramadi.
Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is coming to Washington this week to discuss Russian troops taking control of the Crimea region of his country, the White House confirmed Sunday to Fox News.
President Obama will welcome Yatsenyuk of Ukraine to the White House on Wednesday, according to the administration.
Russian troops began taking control of facilities in the region about a week ago, amid the political uprising in Ukraine in which residents have ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.
Obama has spoken by phone twice with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that taking control of Crimea violates Ukraine's sovereignty.
The visit will highlight the United States' support for the people of Ukraine. And the discussions will focus on finding a peaceful resolution to Russia’s ongoing military intervention and how the international community can help Ukraine confront the resulting economic challenges, the White House said.
(Military personnel scanning the sea aboard a Vietnamese Air Force aircraft in a search mission for Malaysia Airlines aircraft missing en route to Beijing - Photo by Trung Hieu, Thanh Nien Vietnam News March 9)
The debris that has been spotted by Vietnamese authorities today is in the same location as the 2 oil slicks that werefound yesterday
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Vietnamese authorities searching waters for the missing Boeing 777 jetliner spotted an object Sunday that they suspected was one of the plane's doors, as international intelligence agencies joined the investigation into two passengers who boarded the aircraft with stolen passports.
More than a day and half after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing, no confirmed debris from the plane had been found, and the final minutes before it disappeared remained a mystery. The plane, which was carrying 239 people, lost contact with ground controllers somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam after leaving Kuala Lumpur early Saturday morning for Beijing.
The state-run Thanh Nien newspaper cited Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, deputy chief of staff of Vietnam's army, as saying searchers in a low-flying plane had spotted an object suspected of being a door from the missing jet.
It was found in waters about 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of Tho Chu island, in the same area where oil slicks were spotted Saturday.
During an interview with ABC 'This Week, Ted Cruz called Rand Paul a friend, but drew a distinction between himself and the KY senator on foreign policy, saying the U.S. “has a responsibility to defend our values.”
“I’m a big fan of Rand Paul. He and I are good friends. But I don’t agree with him on foreign policy,” Cruz said. “I think U.S. leadership is critical in the world. And I agree with him that we should be very reluctant to deploy military force abroad. But I think there is a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did… The United States has a responsibility to defend our values”
Ted Cruz drawing line with Rand on foreign policy is further indication that he will run in 2016