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Help on Health Care

Congress appropriated nearly $25 billion in the economic stimulus package to help jobless Americans keep their health insurance after they are laid off. Here's how the subsidy works:

— To qualify, workers must have lost jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, and had insurance through their employer.

— Those who elect COBRA coverage will have to pay only 35 percent of the premium cost for up to nine months. (Employers will recoup the remaining 65 percent through a tax refund.) Workers who lost their jobs between Sept. 1 and now who did not sign up for COBRA because it was too expensive will have up to 60 days to sign up.

— Those seeking aid will have to attest that their same-year income will not exceed $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families. They should contact their employers for further details.