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SEATTLE -- During the first few months of health insurance enrollment in the new system, Washington state signed more people up for insurance than all but a handful of states.

According to a new federal report, only California, Michigan, North Carolina, New York and Texas have signed up more people up for health insurance since Oct. 1. All of those states have larger populations than Washington.

More than 71,000 people have signed up for private insurance on Washington's new health care exchange. Another 72,000 will be enrolled after they complete payment on their insurance. The Washington exchange had a goal of getting 130,000 people into private insurance plans by Jan. 1.

The total number of people purchasing private insurance and those enrolling in free insurance through Medicaid is now more than 248,000.

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