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MADISON, Wis. - Federal health officials say nearly 71,500 Wisconsin residents have signed up for health insurance through online federal exchanges.

The data the U.S. Department of Health Services released Tuesday tracks enrollments from Oct. 1 through March 1. The figures show 71,443 signups, up 26 percent from 56,436 as of mid-February. About 56 percent of the signees were women.

The largest age group - 41 percent of all signees - was between the ages of 55 and 64. The next largest age group was 45 to 54. That group made up 22 percent of all signees.

The most popular coverage option continued to be the silver plan, which covers about 70 percent of medical costs.

The federal government has projected 79,000 Wisconsin residents will sign up by March 31, when enrollment ends.

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