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ST. PAUL, Minn. - The call center for Minnesota's health insurance exchange is struggling to handle a crush of questions from people who are trying to get coverage in place in time for 2013.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/JeoIZV ) that callers to the MNsure help line were told Tuesday afternoon they had to wait 60 minutes for assistance.

MNsure spokeswoman Jenni Bowring-McDonough says the exchange is adding staff and joining with the Department of Human Services to try to reduce call center wait times. She says MNsure recently added 27 newly trained staff to answer calls, and 15 more will be added next week.

Rebecca Lozano of Portico Healthnet, a nonprofit that's helping consumers sign up, says 60-minute wait times are unusual. She says it's usually less than 45 minutes or so.

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