ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Seventy percent of private insurance buyers so far on Minnesota's health insurance exchange have qualified for federal tax credits.

Officials with MNsure released updated statistics Wednesday on insurance shopping as open enrollment nears a big deadline. People who want insurance in place by Jan. 1 have until Tuesday to sign up.

The new figures show just shy of 50,000 enrollments to date. But only about one-third of those are in private plans, with the rest in a publicly managed care program.

People who bought a plan last year through MNsure will be automatically enrolled again unless they don't choose a new option. Half of the insurance buyers are at least 55 years old.

The federal health law requires people to have insurance or pay a penalty at tax time.