ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Record-breaking signups in the state's health insurance exchange belies a startling trend: Fewer Minnesota residents are buying coverage on their own.

Nearly 270,000 residents bought insurance last year on the individual market, where shoppers who aren't covered by employers or public programs get insurance. As Minnesota's open enrollment closed this week, it fell to 190,000.

Industry experts and state officials say shoppers were scared away by Minnesota's skyrocketing premiums and uncertainty about the future of the federal health care law. And they worry a smaller pool may mean more price hikes.

Lawmakers are discussing a state program to help cover insurers' unexpected losses for 2017 to limit premium increases for next year. Republican Sen. Michelle Benson says the Legislature has to act before they get direction from the federal government.