By CHRIS BLANK Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Only 751 Missouri residents have selected a health insurance plan through the federally run online marketplace during the first month of its troubled launch, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Wednesday.

The insurance exchange had more than 14,000 completed applications from Missouri between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2, seeking coverage for nearly 28,000 people.

Missouri and 35 other states are allowing the federal government to run their health insurance exchange. The shopping site is a key part of the 2010 health care law signed by President Barack Obama and is intended to help people without employer-sponsored health insurance find coverage at affordable rates.

The rollout has been rocky from the start, and the federal agency reported Wednesday that fewer than 27,000 people from the 36 states have signed up using the federal website.

Missouri largely has taken a hands-off approach toward health insurance exchanges. The Republican-led Legislature referred a measure to the ballot approved last year by voters that bars state officials from setting up an insurance exchange or providing “assistance or resources of any kind” to the federal government to implement one unless such actions are authorized by a state law or required by a federal law.

Missouri had about 835,000 uninsured people in 2010 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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