SEATTLE (AP) — Some Washington residents were able to sign up for health insurance before the state’s new health exchange website was shut down to assess why it was operating so slowly.


Michael Marchand, a spokesman for the new health insurance marketplace, said at midday Tuesday that the problem was not related to the volume of visitors or to the federal government shutdown.


But Marchand was not sure how long the site would continue to be offline.


He compared the experience to any new software launch and said glitches come with the territory.


Meanwhile, people continue to sign up for health insurance in Washington by telephone or in person.


Washington residents have six months to buy health insurance through the new exchange during the first enrollment period, which ends in March.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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