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Entries in HR Outsourcing (17)

Monday
Jul082013

PEO Broker Blog Stirs Lively Linkedin Discussion

 

PEOs, The PPACA and Health Care Reform Debated

Our previous blog post on Healthcare Reform and Professional Employer Organizatiions started a lively discussion after we distributed the article to various LinkedIn discussion groups. More than 30 individuals added their comments in the Healthcare Exchange Linkedn discussion group The subject attracted a wide range of opinions from a diverse group of health insurance brokers, HR professionals, and small business owners.

Whose Employees Are They?

Aaron Hoffman Vice President, RSS Insurance Services in Denver, Colorado asked • Bruce- I have a question for you as a PEO. Are the FTE calculations based on the employees reported under the PEO’s UITR or the employees managed by the specific worksite employer?

Jeffrey Buchanan a broker with West Callaway Stotka, Inc. in Pleasant Hill, California agreed • Great question—sort of a double edge sword. If the employees are common law employees of the employer (the business) then the FTE count lies with the business. If the PEO is the common law employer, I believe the PEO has the FTE count to deal with. So if it’s the business whi is the common law employer and the business has 45 FTE’s the business can avoid the shared responsibility payment. If the PEO is held to be the common law employer (must offer coverage), the PEO will have to have a plan in place. Will they, the PEO mandate the business pay for coverage? Small employer may be better off not in the PEO? I really don’t know? The regs are vauge. Any thoughts?

Eric Kane Account Executive at Cool Insuring Agency Inc. in Albany, New York  added • The proposed regulations do not address how the pay or play provisions apply to PEOs. The general rule is that leased employees are not considered employees of the service recipent for purposes of ACA”s pay or play provisions, it is still unclear as to how this applies to PEOs. There is some indication that the pay or play provisions will attach at the client level, thus making the client company the “employer” for this purpose. However, until guidance is issued on the pay or play rules with respect to PEOs, these organizations should use the common law standard to determine whether an employement relationship exists.

Margie Brownlee, RHU, REBC  Account Mgr at OMS Staff Solutions, LLC in Lakeland, Florida followed up • Hi Eric, I am looking at Federal Register Vol 78 page 221 “As noted in Notice 2011-36, section 414(n), which treats leased employees (as defined in section 414(n)(2) as employees of the service recipient for various purposes, does not cross-reference section 4980H (and is not cross-referenced by section 4980H) and accordingly does not apply for section4980H purposes. I am taking this to mean that leased employees are not tied to Section 4980H. The employment relationship may apply to some aspects but not to 4980H. Guess we will have to wait for further clarification as it involves PEOs.

Our Response  @Eric @Margie @Jeff - Great points, and I agree with your observations and interpretations. My understanding is that credit will be applied at the client level. The standard is whoever exercises “care and control” of the “recipient” worksite co-employer.

The IRS is aware of the PEO reporting issue and the need for clarity. They are in the process of implementing guidelines, updating forms, and will be focusing on compliance, not only for the purpose of applying Small Business Health Insurance Credits but for reporting and collecting unemployment taxes as well.
 

http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2011reports/201140103fr.html

PEO Master Group Medical Plans

Armand Smith, CIC Insurance and Employee Benefits Broker Chicago, Illinois stated • I have worked for a couple of PEOs and both of them their plans rates blew up because eventually the claims were more than they could handle and the good groups moved on.

Michael Schunk, CEBS President of Employee Benfits Advisors, LLC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida agreed • Armand, good point. - I’ve seen PEOs place groups in a preferred rating tier simply to write the business. Then at renewal the group gets a huge rate hike. Bottom line is the People with integrity will do the right thing, regardless of whether they are an insurance agent or a PEO salesman.

Our Response • @Michael @ Armand @Dave- You seem shocked that some PEOs and PEO clients may have experienced higher claims than expected. That is what happens when underwriting small group health insurance. Are you telling us that carriers never “lowball” rates to gain market share, then increase rates 40% or 50% at renewal? PEOs to not operate in a vacuum. The are subject to the same market conditions as the carriers, who for the most part, dictate underwriting guidelines and pricing to the PEOs.

Our job, as consultants is knowing which markets can provide our clients with the most favorable rates based on census, underwriting, and your client’s plan preferences.

Gary Whiddon Principal at Digital Benefit Advisors, Los angeles, California wanted to know • Do PEO’s have to adhere to the 85% MedicAl Loss Ratio while small groups insurers require only a 80%?

Our Response @Gary - PEOs are not insurance companies. Less than 10% of the over 700 PEOs operating in the US offer a “master group health insurance policy”. Most of these health plans are available from the larger national and regional PEO’s. They are usually fully insured plans from carries like Aetna, Humana, and the Blues. The larger PEOs work with brokers like Aon and Marsh. Most smaller PEOs provide coverage written in the standard markets using either an in-house agency or a broker relationship.

http://news.regence.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=4755

It is the carriers who must satisfy the MLR rules, not the PEO.

The PEOs handle all of the enrollment, on-boarding, benefits administration, and client support services internally or through established 3rd party relationships. Plan designs, markets, networks, pricing, choice, quality and level of service will vary by PEO.

We wish to thank everyone for their participation in the Linkedin discussion  group. We welcome your questions, comments and contributions. Please submit any questions and comments you may have about The Patient Protection and Afforadable Care Act or Obamacare and how a professional employer organization can help you. We will attempt to address and clarify any issues or concerns you have about co-employment administration, employee leasing, HR outsourcing and professional employer organizations.

 

 

Saturday
May182013

PEO.com on Health Care Reform

Are Employers and PEOs Ready For Health Care Reform?

 Our friends at PEO.com make an interesting point about health care reform. Everyday, employers who are searching for employee leasing or trying to find a professional employer organization rely on PEO.com to locate an HR outsourcing provider. Rod Diekema, the founder of PEO.com, is an industry veteran who speaks with small and midsize business owners across the country daily. This gives him a unique prospective on what is going on in the business community. 

“The number one issue today is health care reform” he told me in a conversation last week. “Employers are just waking up to all the additional responsiblities, compliance and reporting that will be required. The regulations are complicated for sure”. After our discussion, Rod wasted no time in writing about his experience and suggestions in his blog on PEO.com.

Click on this link to his blog post entitled “Health Care Confusion Making You Crazy”.

Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday
Feb292012

Employee Leasing for Franchise Business Owners

PEOs Offer Employee Management Solutions for Franchise Owners

While attending the 2012 Franchise Expo South at the Miami Convention Center, I was amazed to see all the new and exciting franchise opportunities that were present this year. Every aisle featured a wide array of franchise enterprises offering almost every category of business and consumer products and services. The Expo represented a who’s who of the franchise industry.

Exhibitors included well known veteran operators like Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream and Sign-A-Rama, as well as two new entrants from Palm Beach County, FL. The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company and Hurricane Grill and Wings, were rolling out fresh new restaurant concepts with delicious and original menu items that are sure to please the entire family.

A variety of personal service concepts were on hand, from accounting and financial services to health care, home care, and personal security, to beauty services and spas. There was one common theme throughout—the franchise industry was alive and well despite a weak economy and tight credit environment.

The Advantages to Owning a Franchise

The advantages that successful franchise systems offer are numerous. First time business owners acquire a franchise system’s time-tested formula. Individuals willing to invest their time and money can purchase a recognized brand within a protected territory from an organization that provides training, marketing support, and a proven business model.

There is no shortage of potential franchise business owners either. The economic downturn and high unemployment has created a large pool of potential entrepreneurs yearning to operate their own business. Thousands of returning American Veterans can take advantage of special financing and training programs from over 400 franchise systems who participate in the International Franchise Association’s VetFran (www.vetfran.org) program.

Leading franchisors help entrepreneurial servicemen and women, and inexperienced business owners to hit the ground running by offering a “turn-key” operation. The franchise team supplies all the required expertise, guidance and support, beginning with site selection through vendor relations, making certain that every new franchisee is generating revenue from day one.

Congratulations Franchise Owner - Now What?

Most franchise systems help franchise owners get up and running. They provide the model and the franchisee operates the business. However, many franchised business models can’t operate without employees, and many owners have never recruited, trained or managed a workforce before. Fortunately, small business owners can turn to HR outsourcing companies, called professional employer organizations, which can pick-up where the franchise system leaves off. PEOs or staff-leasing firms assume many of the employment responsibilities that franchise owners must contend with.

The majority of new franchise operators are unaware of the myriad of Federal and State laws imposed on small businesses today. Failure to comply with labor and wage and hour rules, submitting timely payroll reports and tax payments can result in severe penalties and fines. Defending your firm against a wrongful termination, independent contractor dispute, or sexual harassment can lead to expensive litigation, and have a catastrophic effect on your bottom line. All too often, a business owner hires a ‘bad apple’ whose behavior causes accidents, costly claims, and disrupts your ability to maintain an engaged and productive workforce.

PEO - Not Just a Payroll Company

Just as a successful franchise system provides a “One Stop” solution for operating a business, employee leasing and PEO companies are the answer to managing franchise employees. They are true HR companies providing comprehensive human resource services to employers under a co-employment agreement. Franchise owners operate the business, while the HRO or PEO acts as the administrative employer of record.  Employment-related reporting, HR compliance, payroll administration, workers compensation and workplace safety are handled by an experienced staff of HR and payroll professionals. Highly trained safety engineers and risk managers are assigned to examine and evaluate any worksite for potential hazards.

Another advantage employee leasing and professional employer organizations share with the franchise industry is that they both achieve economic efficiencies by bringing together large numbers of subscribers. By serving thousands of small business owners, many PEOs offer franchise operators a wide range of discounted insurance programs, employee benefit plans, and workers’ compensation coverage at significant savings to small business group rates. Franchisees gain a high level of HR and safety expertise, valuable employee benefit and incentive programs, and the latest HRIS technology at one low cost. Outsourcing your tedious and non-productive employee administration responsibilities to a comprehensive HR company is a win-win for the franchise owner and franchise employee alike.

For additional information click here.

Sunday
Sep042011

Find a Professional Employer Organization at PEO.com

Leading Website to Locate PEOs and Employee Leasing Companies

Are you a small business owner or busy executive searching for assistance with managing your employee administration, benefits, and HR compliance responsibilities? Discovering the right solution has never been easier. Today, help finding an employee leasing or professional employer company is just a click away. Just type PEO on Google, Bing, Yahoo or your favorite search engine. Usually PEO.com appears first or second in the natural search, testimony to the site’s authority, content, and duration.

Click on the logo above to go the the PEO.com website  

The website is the brainchild of industry veteran and visionary Rod Diekema, who developed and launched PEO.com in 1997. The interface has changed over the years, with each new version contributing to an easy and safe user experience for the busy HR manager or business owner. Vistors to the site are treated to a soft and welcoming home page which offers the choice of searching for an HR outsourcing company by location or keyword. Trying to find local employee leasing companies in your state? Simply scroll down and pick the city nearest you.

Does your company require the services of a large national professional employer?  A search of PEO.com’s extensive database reveals Accord HR headquarted in Oklahoma City, OK has offices in Littleton, CO, New York and Syracuse, NY, Tampa, FL, and Tulsa OK. Boise, ID based Employers Resource serves clients with offices located from Anaheim CA, Atlanta, GA, to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Tx.

Maybe your the owner of a  small family business who is looking for a local “hands-on” HR company to relieve you of your payroll, HR administration, and employee benefit problems? High touch, high service professional employers like St. Louis, MO based Simploy HR or Employee Capital Management serving Michican and Illinois can be found with the click of a mouse.

Don’t take my word for it. Find an employee leasing firm or professional employer company that is right for you at PEO.com today. Not sure which types of PEO or HR organization is right for you? No problem. Knowledgeable PEO consultants and industry veterans are available to advise you of all your HR outsourcing options, and will help you find the best personnel management company for your company.

Sunday
Jul252010

PEO Group Health Insurance Premium Renewal Rates Increase

Professional Employers Experience Double Digit Increases Again

Group health insurance premium renewals are going out and the reports are not encouraging. It’s that time of the year when employee leasing companies and professional employers send small business owners their new health rates for the coming year. Employers across the nation are being told what to expect, and it’s not exactly what they want to hear. Especially now, when the economy is starting to stabilize.

Many of our small business clients who have been relying on their PEO partner to keep their health insurance rates low, are finding out that it’s no longer the case. Business owners with some of America’s best known and largest human resource outsourcing firms, Administaff, ADP Totalsource, and TriNet / Gevity HR have experienced another round of double digit increases. CFO’s and HR managers have complained about increases from Alphastaff HR, another “Top 10” provider. Their clients renew in September, and a few said they received cost masters with 35% rate increases across the board from Aetna.

Bait and Switch?

Many of our small business clients are learning that some of their health plan choices have been replaced with new healthcare plans that offer more limited networks with fewer in-network providers, or of medical plans that are restricted by geographical location. Just last week we were contacted by a primary care practice with 3 offices in West Virginia. They told us how  their current PEO had just informed them that an entire network of plans was  being eliminated. The majority of their employees will be left with just one  option, and a very expensive one at that. Needless to say, they are now looking to us to help the doctors find a better option for their staff.

It May Only Be RoundOne ?

The worst may be yet to come. September through January is when over 75% of group health insurance plans are set to renew. This includes most of the nation’s largest and most successful staff leasing, HR outsourcing, and professional employer services firms. Yet to announce their new health plan renewals are leading HR and employee benefits providers Advantec HR, Oasis Outsourcing, and SCI Staffing Concepts, who are scheduled to renew in the month of October, Frank Crum’s health rates are good until November, and Accord HR and Fortune Business Solutions renew in January 2011.

It is important to note that while these industry giants, and their highly compensated employee benefits advisors, are still battling it out with their health insurers, the fate of hundreds of thousands of small and midsize businesses are being decided. Combined, these PEOs and employee leasing companies represent about two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) business owners and about five million (5,000,000) employees nationwide. Let’s hope for the best.