COBRA enrollment rates remain high even though laid-off workers aren't receiving any more federal help to pay for premiums.

June was the first month the federal COBRA subsidy program wasn't available to involuntarily terminated workers, but a study from Hewitt Associates shows one in five terminated employees was enrolled in COBRA coverage. This is almost twice as high as historical, pre-subsidy enrollment rates. The historical monthly average rate is 12 percent; Enrollment in June was 21 percent.

When looking only at the subset of workers who were involuntarily terminated and eligible for the COBRA subsidy, Hewitt's analysis showed the average monthly enrollment rate was 38 percent, with enrollments peaking in June 2009 at 46 percent. For May 2010–the last month that the subsidy was available–the COBRA enrollment rate for involuntarily terminated workers was 31 percent.

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