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COBRA enrollments doubled as the U.S. government enacted a new subsidy to make the coverage more affordable as part of the federal economic stimulus package, according to an analysis by Hewitt Associates, a human resources company. The analysis found monthly COBRA enrollment rates for eligible Americans rose to 38% between March 2009 and June 2009 from 19% between September 2008 and February 2009.
Under the original COBRA rules, workers had to pay 100% of their healthcare premiums plus an additional 2% for an administrative fee, Hewitt said. The subsidy now leaves workers responsible for paying only 35% of the COBRA premium.