From the April 2010 issue ofConsumer Driven.

To work in the arena of COBRAadministration without good legal advice is like going into apitch black room, swinging a stick and hoping to hit the lightswitch. In this rapidly changing area, the key to success is accessto accurate and timely legal information. And when that informationis being disseminated by the IRS or Department of Labor, it helpsto be as close to those entities as possible.

When the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act became law onFeb. 17, 2009, it provided a 65 percent subsidy of COBRA premiumsfor up to nine months for anyone who experienced an involuntarytermination on or after Sep. 1, 2008, and on or before Dec. 31,2009. Employers then proceeded to experience roughly double thenumber of those electing COBRA continuation. A rash of long nightsand headaches broke out throughout the ranks of some COBRA softwarevendors and administrators. We urged caution, kept our ears onCapitol Hill and advised clients every step of the way.

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