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COBRAGuard Offers Free Action Plan Webinar to Assist Employers with COBRA Subsidy Extension

MISSION, Kan., Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- President Obama signed the bill containing the COBRA subsidy extension into law on Dec. 19, 2009. With this extension, employers must act quickly to fulfill their notice obligations, update carriers and adjust administrative procedures. To smooth the transition, COBRAGuard Inc. is offering a free Webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. Central Time. The Webinar is entitled, "How to Get it Right the First Time - Your Action Plan for the ARRA Extension." Company President Robert Meyers says, "A lot of people are talking about the core elements of the bill, but no one is saying much about what exactly must be done. Our goal is to give employers a practical guide."

The free Webinar is open to the first 1,000 people who enroll online at Employers, third party administrators and insurance brokers are welcome. In addition, other Webinars are scheduled for COBRAGuard members. The Action Plan Webinar will cover notice obligations, eligibility and subsidy timelines. It will also go beyond the basics to delve into the practical dilemmas and potential stumbling points, such as:

  • How to retroactively deal with COBRA participants that exhausted the original 9-month subsidy
  • How to communicate with those who are now eligible but weren't previously
  • How this change affects open enrollment and how you can be sure that you don't leave anyone behind
  • What steps should be taken to notify new carriers of extension-eligible participants
  • How to balance year-end reporting and 941 forms

"We've been anticipating the extension for a while and we've already modified our systems, notices and invoices so that our employers and their COBRA participants will have a seamless experience," Meyers says. "We're ready to pave the way for others because we've already explored many of the intricacies."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was enacted back in February 2009, includes a 65 percent COBRA subsidy that helps defray COBRA insurance premiums for up to 9 months. The December 19 bill extends the COBRA subsidy expiration date from Dec. 31 to until Feb. 28, 2010, and adds six months to the subsidy to allow for a maximum of up to 15 months of assistance.

Many believe that this extension is just a band-aid, and that another extension will be passed prior to the Feb. 28 expiration date. "It's a challenging situation for employers who are trying to manage COBRA in-house. Just when they've met their notice requirements this coming February, it's quite likely that the next phase of the extension will hit, and they'll have to start adapting all over again," Meyers explains.

About COBRAGuard Inc.

COBRAGuard Inc. is a Certified COBRA Administrator (CCA), helping employers control risks and liabilities, prevent adverse claims and save time and money. The company serves more than 3,000 organizations nationwide and it stands behind its services with a 100 percent compliance guarantee. For more information, and to enroll in the free Action Plan Webinar, visit the company's Web site at or contact Robert Meyers at 913-499-4860.

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit




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