SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s health exchange says more than 1.2 million Californians enrolled in private insurance plans by the initial deadline earlier this week.

The exchange released preliminary figures Thursday that nearly met the Obama administration’s original target of 1.3 million. Covered California has since extended the deadline for two weeks for applicants who say they attempted to start the process before midnight Monday but were thwarted by technical problems.

Exchange officials disputed the projection for California enrollment that President Barack Obama’s administration has been using all along, including this week when the president hailed the 7.1 million enrollees nationwide.

Instead, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee says the state had set a lower bar, originally projecting 830,000 enrollees by the deadline.

Despite the sign-ups, as many as 4.5 million Californians remain uninsured.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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