Introduced in March 2009, the federal COBRA subsidy covered 65 percent of the cost of COBRA premiums for up to 15 months.

In order to qualify for the subsidy, recipients must have originally become eligible for COBRA as the result of an involuntary termination of employment occurring between September 2008 and May 2010. The subsidy's last group of recipients — those who began receiving assistance in May 2010 — roll off the subsidy this week. As a result, they face a 186 percent increase in their monthly COBRA premiums 

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