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Insurance

Federal health insurance starts to expire for those who lost jobs

CHAMPAIGN — The financial misery for many Americans affected by recession job cuts took a turn for the worse this week, as a temporary helping hand from Uncle Sam to pay for health insurance began to expire.

The nine-month subsidy that helped people losing their jobs pay for extended coverage through their former employers’ health plans ran out Nov. 30 for the first people who began receiving it in March.

More people will lose this COBRA subsidy in succeeding months, and those losing their jobs after Dec. 31 won’t have any help with their COBRA costs at all, according to Families USA, a national health care consumer organization.

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