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Most of Wash.'s newly insured sign up for Medicaid

SEATTLE (AP) -- About 35,000 Washington residents have signed up for insurance through the state's new health care exchange since it opened on Oct. 1.

Officials with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange said Monday that most qualified for free insurance through Medicaid. That includes more than 11,000 who found out about their eligibility through the exchange but would have qualified without the Medicaid expansion. Another 19,000 qualify for Medicaid starting in January after the state's expansion of that free insurance program goes into effect.

Another 56,000 people have completed online applications for insurance but won't officially be signed up until they pay the insurance company. Those payments are due in December for coverage that begins in January.

Before health care reform went into effect, an estimated one million Washington residents did not have health insurance.