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Delays hamper California's health insurance exchange on opening day

Like other states, California's online enrollment system for its new health insurance marketplace was experiencing delays as it opened Tuesday.

Some consumers reported difficulties trying to log in to the Covered California website, and wait times to the state's call center were running more than 30 minutes in some cases.

Other states reported early technical difficulties. Maryland and Minnesota postponed online sign-ups until midday Tuesday.

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The website for accessing federally run marketplaces froze when some consumers tried to create accounts, the first step in selecting a health plan.

California officials had warned the public for months about the potential for bumps in the road, and much of the concern has centered on the readiness of a $313-million online enrollment system.

Other states, such as Oregon, had said their websites wouldn't be fully operational Oct. 1. But California officials had plowed ahead and insisted the website would be ready.

A spokesman for Covered California couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

The glitches could frustrate consumers and hamper early enrollment efforts. Enrollment in the state exchange is open for six months through March 31 and officials don't expect traffic to pick up until November.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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