MNsure officials said the state's new online insurance exchange hit a "milestone" of more than 10,000 accounts on Friday as it rounded out its first 10 days of operation.

While complaints keep rolling in of consumers getting repeatedly kicked off the site or being told to try again later, exchange director April Todd-Malmlov said "a high-90 percent of individuals are getting through."

Many of the lingering problems, she maintained, come when questions aren't answered correctly or don't match the federal database that is verifying users' identities as a security measure. She suggested that those who keep hitting roadblocks consider using a paper form, which she said staff have been processing quickly.

MNsure officials have ticked through a daily accounting of progress and explanations since the website launched in the afternoon of Oct. 1. They won't release details about how many people are actually buying insurance policies until next week.

In an afternoon news briefing, Todd-Malmlov said she was encouraged by the interest, and expects the number of Minnesotans shopping on the site to "grow exponentially" as community outreach efforts become more robust and the marketing campaign continues. About 300 of the 10,000 accounts came from small-business owners, Todd-Malmlov said.

The exchange was created under the federal health law as a way for small-business owners and those who don't get coverage at work to more easily comparison-shop for coverage. □