HELENA, Mont. -

Federal officials say more than 36,000 people in Montana selected insurance plans under the nation's health-care overhaul law by the March 31 deadline.

That exceeds health officials' original target of signing up 31,000 Montanans by the end of the open-enrollment period.

The Department of Health and Human Services released the data Thursday.

The department says 55,675 people in Montana completed applications and were eligible for coverage. Of those, 39,572 were eligible for financial assistance and 4,638 were eligible for Medicaid of the Children's Health Insurance Program.

A total of 36,584 people selected plans in the state. Of that number, 53 percent are women and 31 percent are between the ages of 55 and 64.

More than half chose the second-lowest "silver" plans out of the four levels of coverage.