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ACA Operational Flowchart

Your Guide to Compliance in a Few Easy Steps

The text of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the website is 906 pages, about two reams of copy paper. The Computational Legal StudiesTM website ( posts a version that comes in more than twice as long, at 1990 pages. The official, certified version on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website is 2,409 pages. According to, the 109 final regulations account for a combined 10,535 pages in the Federal Register. Ugh.

Okay, so the size of the various versions depends on type size and margins, but the ACA is still big and confusing, as PEOs have seen over the last four years of learning to comply with the law and its regulations. PEOs have always dealt with complicated and confusing things for their small business clients, and the ACA is no different.

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How to Say It Best

Last year, I penned several articles for PEO Insider® discussing powerful ways to explain how PEOs help clients. Those articles offered a simplified value proposition: “We solve problems in the areas of human resources, workers’ compensation, risk management, employee benefits, and payroll. Our goal is to help you increase profitability, maximize employee productivity, reduce time spent doing transactional human resources activities, reduce employment-related liability, and ultimately lower labor costs.” In this article, I am going to address the benefits administration value proposition and how we actually deliver on the value proposition. Every PEO offers different services, so it will be important for you to filter your explanation of the value proposition based on your PEO’s service offering.

Risk Management

EPLI Claims

We frequently hear that ours is a litigious society. In fact, one need only turn on the television or drive down a highway to see the proliferation of attorney commercials and billboards. Business litigation is no exception. I’m astounded at the sheer volume of employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) claims in recent years throughout the U.S. and have theorized, as have others, that people become more litigious during difficult economic times. Logically speaking, though, the numbers speak for themselves. The more terminations that take place, the more possibilities exist for claims alleging that the terminations were done for an unlawful reason.

Executive Office

The Affordable Care Act

It is hard to imagine another law as far-reaching and impactful to both PEOs and businesses than the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, with every cloud comes a silver lining, and the ACA is no exception. As an industry, we have always worked within the law to find ways to bring cost savings to our clients. We’ve worked hard to develop a more efficient way for our clients to work. As business and our industry have changed over the years, and markets have hardened, we’ve found ways to survive. But, survival is not a long-term strategy—we’ll never grow as an industry, or as individual companies, if we focus on surviving. We must look forward, into, and through the ACA to find our next competitive advantage. To do that, we must finally solve the biggest problem that has faced our industry for nearly three decades: real visibility. With business awareness of PEOs hovering around 5 to 10 percent, we remain the best-kept secret in business. But, the ACA has created such a massive opportunity through misunderstanding, misinterpretation, and fear of failure to comply that we have the chance we’ve been waiting for to shine. We have a market that not only needs us, but also is begging for the message.


In the Trenches After the ACA

In the PEO world, benefits manager is not an ivory-tower position. I work with my team to enter, reconcile, and correct benefits information on a daily basis. Each person on the team fields phone calls from co-employees and clients. Normal life for us was complex and demanding before the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Up Front

Huge Opportunity for PEO Industry Abram Finkelstein

It is without question that, in most states, workers’ compensation compliance is a critical issue in PEO operation. For more than 20 years, the Florida Workers’ Compensation Institute has put on an educational event that has expanded to become one of the premier events in workers’ compensation compliance throughout the country.

Statehouse Update

States and the Minimum Wage Paul Richman and Daniel Harris

In 2013, President Obama first proposed an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour. Subsequently, in 2014, the president proposed an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

Small Business Perspective

While Congress Vacations, Small Business Struggles Dan Danner

For much of America’s history, optimism has been a common trait among small business owners, but, for most of the past five years, the outlook among Main Street’s entrepreneurs has been pretty dismal.

PEO Spotlight

Continuing to Move the PEO Industry to the Next Level Stephanie Oetjen

Today, people entering the PEO industry find a much more inviting business environment than those who entered in the early days. Joel Duncan, president and CEO of Merit Resources, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, can tick these advantages off on his fingers...

NAPEO Notebook

So Much for the Summer Doldrums… Patrick J. Cleary

June and July were busy months here at NAPEO—so much for the summer doldrums. June, of course, featured our PEO Capitol Summit, summarized on pages 61 to 70 in this issue of PEO Insider.® We had a great turnout and a great program.

NAPEO Advisor

Regulatory Overreach, Spanish I-9, Harassment Penalties, Hostile Worksite, Equal Pay Act William J. Schilling, Esq.

Q. I heard recently that a court chided the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for suing an employer for using credit checks in a manner similar to the way that the EEOC itself uses them. What gives?

The Inside Word

Working Together with the Big Picture in Mind Mark C. Perlberg

As we all know, constructive conversations can often prove to be difficult. As a result, we have a tendency to sometimes “talk around issues.” This can help to avoid conflicts. The problem, of course, is that we fail to put genuine issues on the table, which makes them difficult, if not impossible, to resolve.

Global Insights

Small Businesses Can Beat Cybercrime Thomas J. Donohue

Many cybersecurity experts say that there are two types of businesses today—those that have been hacked and know it, and those that have been hacked and don’t know it. As large businesses strengthen their cyber protections, small and medium-sized ones are increasingly the targets of online criminals.


The Journey Toward Industry Credibility Rex Eley

Credibility (trustworthiness, reliability) is critically important to the long-term success of any company or industry, not only in the marketplace but also in the regulatory arena.


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