Like the rest of the country, MNsure experiences some growing pains

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More than 500 Minnesotans signed up for MNsure, the state's new health exchange, within an hour after the website made a later-than-expected launch Tuesday afternoon.

Minnesota Public Radio says MNsure officials spent most of the day ironing out glitches, including a bug that prevented some users from creating online accounts.

Also unavailable Tuesday was a key function that allows users to look up whether a specific medical provider is part of an insurance plan network, Finance & Commerce pointed out.

Some options are not yet accessible like enrollment for small business employees. They'll have to wait until later this year to sign up.

On the other side of the exchange, thousands of insurance brokers and "navigators" intended to help sign people up for coverage were waiting on MNsure for access, the Star Tribune reported. MNsure officials say those individuals won't be certified until Wednesday, according to Finance & Commerce.

Despite a few hiccups, the website got 100,000 hits Tuesday, the second-highest day of any state website, MPR said.

Minnesota is not alone. Technical problems plagued exchanges across the country, CNNMoney reports. In New York, users received an "internal server error" message Tuesday while Maryland's exchange website experienced "connectivity problems" most of the afternoon.

Millions of people from 36 states trying log onto the federal exchange bogged down the website.

"We'll be speeding things up in the next few hours to handle all this demand," President Obama said Tuesday afternoon.

California's state website was overloaded with high traffic.

The enrollment section of MNsure won't be available from 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. to mirror the schedule for the federal hub, which confirms details to determine eligibility for subsidies and public health plans, the Star Tribune said.

The downtime also allows for maintenance, weeding out bugs and preparing for future enhancements.

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