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ST. PAUL, Minn. - A late scramble to finalize health coverage before the new year is cramming the call center at Minnesota's insurance marketplace.

People looking to guarantee coverage from Wednesday forward had to complete enrollment by Tuesday. The call center was the fallback for shoppers vexed by the troubled MNsure website.

An Associated Press reporter testing wait times was on hold for more than two hours without reaching a live operator.

More than 53,000 people had successfully enrolled in a health plan through the Minnesota marketplace as of Friday. MNsure officials say there had been 72,000 applications in some phase of the process that account for 125,000 people on individual and family plans.

Updated figures that factored in the last-minute enrollment crush won't be released until a later date.

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