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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey officials say enrollment will end next week in a temporary health insurance program for patients with pre-existing medical conditions.

The state blames a federal directive for shutting new applicants out of NJ Protect after March 1st.

The program is considered a temporary measure to get people medical coverage until next year when federal law requires most people have medical insurance. New Jersey officials are asking to be allowed to continue the enrollments through this year.

A medical exchange where people can buy their own policies is to launch in October.

And more residents will be eligible for Medicaid coverage starting Jan. 1 in states that expand that offering.

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance spokesman Ed Rogan would not say Friday whether New Jersey will expand Medicaid.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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