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Calif. Health Exchange Processed 16K Applications

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Officials with California's health insurance exchange say more than 16,300 applications were processed during the marketplace's first five days of operation.

Covered California officials released the figures Tuesday in the first of what they say will be a series of weekly updates.

An additional 27,300 California households have partially completed applications. Applications can cover more than one person, such as a spouse or child.

Officials are not yet releasing information about how many applicants have selected a plan or paid their portion of the premium.

Tuesday's update came as the federally run exchanges remain hampered by technical problems that are slowing the enrollment process.

Covered California executive director Peter Lee says the agency handled more than 59,000 telephone calls and reduced wait times from 40 minutes to less than 4 minutes.

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