HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut residents are running out of time to sign up through the state’s online health insurance exchange for coverage starting in the new year.

Access Health CT says the open enrollment period for Jan. 1 ends at midnight Friday. The agency plans to keep its call center open until 8 p.m. to assist with last-minute signups.

Customers must also pay their first-month bills to insurers to ensure coverage in the new year.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman stressed Thursday that elimination of the health insurance mandate in the new Republican tax bill does not take effect until 2019 and Connecticut residents are still required to have coverage in 2018.

Access Health said it was on track to match or exceed last year’s total of about 110,000 sign-ups.

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