ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missourians trying to use a call center to sign up for the state's Medicaid program are running into long delays, prompting nearly half of them to hang up before they get help.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1nmrSbc ) the delays and busy signals violate the state's contract with the private company that runs the call center.

The Department of Social Services has told the company, Mississippi-based YoungWilliams, to correct the problems within five business days of Aug. 28 or the state might withhold 10 percent of the company's next monthly payment.

A YoungWilliams official says 10 more staffers are beginning work this week and another seven are in the new hiring process.

To date, YoungWilliams has been paid about $9.4 million for its call center services.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com