When an employer involuntarily terminates an employee, the employee is eligible for COBRA benefits. Under COBRA, a federal law, an employee who faces involuntary termination can pay out of his own pocket to continue his or her health insurance. This is usually too expensive for employees who just lost a job. That is why, in response to the recession, Congress previously enacted legislation that provided subsidies to people eligible for COBRA benefits so that they could buy COBRA coverage. Those subsidies were set to expire on December 31, 2009. However, on December 21, 2009, the President signed legislation that extended the eligibility for the subsidy to those individuals who are involuntarily terminated and become eligible for COBRA coverage before February 28, 2010.