ST. CLOUD (AP) - Minnesota counties are gearing up to begin processing thousands of paper applications for the state's online health insurance exchange next month.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is shifting its backlog of unprocessed paper applications to counties starting Nov. 17, as well as any new paper applications after that date. Local officials say the move will cause even more work for counties that have already added additional health care duties as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

The state was awarded $155 million in federal grants for the creation of MNsure, an online health insurance exchange. Although the new system encourages Minnesota residents to apply online, it's legally required to provide paper applications as well.

A Stearns County official says technical issues have driven many people to submit paper applications.