Skip To The Main Content

The Complicated Machinery of the ACA

Rube Goldberg was an American inventor and cartoonist who lived from 1883 to 1970. His cartoons are easily recognizable. They depict complicated contraptions, completely over-engineered to perform straightforward tasks in ridiculously convoluted ways. They often involve a chain reaction, so they are not only overly complicated, but they take longer, too. The term “Rube Goldberg machine” has expanded to mean any complicated and confusing system.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one such system. It has lots of pieces and parts, each part has its own unique complexity, and it continues to unfold in its labyrinthine manner as the law gradually becomes fully implemented. PEOs and other interested parties watch as it does so.

Right now, here are the things to watch:

  • Changes in store for healthcare consumers, providers, and PEOs;
  • Transitional relief, as it expires and employers are subject to new requirements;
  • A host of new affordability guidance on everything from employer flex contributions to counting hours of service;
  • The potential for state innovation waivers to affect health policy;
  • The affect the ACA’s changes to disability claims can have on administering employee benefits plans; and
  • The ins and outs of 1094-C and 1095-C reporting.

Keep your eye on the ball, or the gear, or the coin as it moves through the ACA, and you will be able to make it to the other end.

Know More


Small Business Efficiency Act

SBEA Accounting for Certified PEOs

At its heart, the Small Business Efficiency Act (SBEA) is a tax law and, as such, involves accounting rules. However, the SBEA actually goes a bit further than most tax law changes. There are specific non-tax accounting requirements in the SBEA that affect PEOs that wish to become certified.


Sales Best Practices for 2016

In 2016, I will author a series of articles in this space on sales best practices. Over the coming months, I will cover prospecting, first appointments, submissions, effective discovery, gathering data, and closing the sale. I’ll discuss best practices as well as things not to do. These best practices will provide valuable insights and strategies for all salespeople, whether new to the business or industry veterans. As always, the goal is to serve you, and your feedback is welcome.


Complying with the UI Integrity Act

As we all know, every state experienced a significant increase in unemployment insurance claim filings during the Great Recession, which began in mid-2007. State unemployment agencies were not prepared for the surge in benefit payments and unemployment reserves were depleted, and most state unemployment agencies were forced to take loans from the federal government. In 2011, Congress passed the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act (the UI Act) as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act (TAAEA). The UI Act was meant to address UI overpayments to claimants.

Start-up Guide

Setting Up Your PEO’s 401(k) Plan

If you’re a new PEO or a PEO that has never sponsored a 401(k) retirement plan before and you’ve decided you’re going to have a plan for your worksite employees, there are many choices that are required. The PEO is the sponsor of the plan, but who will be the plan’s trustee and fiduciary administrator? Do you engage an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) attorney or use other service providers to offer consulting and plan document services? How are you going to structure the plan? What plan provisions will be uniform and required for all employers and what plan provisions will you allow your worksite employers to choose from? How will you choose an investment recordkeeper? Do you want the third-party administrator (TPA) services bundled with the investment recordkeeper or an independent TPA to work in conjunction with the investment platform? What investments do you choose? The list goes on.


The Inside Word

‘A basic tenet of a healthy democracy is open dialogue and transparency.’

I am relatively certain that when democratic strategist Peter Fenn made that comment, he was not referring to how NAPEO governs itself! However, I am occasionally reminded that the principles of transparency in governance are just as important in representing an association as they are in running a government. To those who are invested in the outcome and who depend upon their businesses to support their families and lifestyles, the decisions and actions of the NAPEO Board of Directors are extremely important.

NAPEO Notebook

Of Disruption, Unicorns, and Regulation Patrick J. Cleary

Zenefits, the HR software company, was officially launched in February of 2013. It was named the fastest growing company in Silicon Valley in 2015, and soon became a “unicorn.” A “unicorn” in Silicon Valley parlance refers to private companies valued at $1 billion or more. Zenefits’ rise was fast and steep. It raised more than $500 billion from one of the most prominent venture capital firms, Andreessen-Horowitz, as well as from prominent Hollywood actors Jared Leto and Ashton Kutcher, among others. To be sure, it was the darling of the tech world. In time, its valuation climbed north of $4 billion.

NAPEO Advisor

EEO-1 Proposed Changes Alert Farrah L. Fielder, Esq.

Q. My colleagues are talking about potential changes to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) for 2017. What are the potential changes? What is the purpose of this? Is there a comment period in case my company wants to comment on the changes? Are there special considerations for PEOs? A. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has proposed a revision of the EEO-1 report, as noted in the Federal Register on February 1, 2016 (81 FR 5113; document number 3046-0007). Currently,

PEO Index

Slow but Steady Economic Pace Good for PEOs John Slavic

The PEO Employment Index is beginning to reveal a flattening pattern. This largely reflects the slowing economy and the stabilization of the labor force as revealed by relatively constant unemployment rates over the last few quarters. In addition, the consistent correlation with gross domestic product (GDP) continues.

PEOs in the Community

Making a Habit of Giving Back Douglas Lowery

At Harbor America, we are very active in the community. We do quarterly clothing and food drives that benefit our community. We did a Thanksgiving food drive in the fall, where our employees were able to donate five full bins of needed food to a nearby facility called Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM), plus a $500 cash donation from the company.

PEO Spotlight

Oasis Outsourcing: Kerim Fidel Stephanie Oetjen

When Kerim Fidel showed up for his first day of work at Strategic Outsourcing, Inc., (SOI) in August 2000, he walked into an almost-empty office. There was a partly assembled desk, and in the middle of the room, a box labeled, “Legal stuff for Kerim to look at.” “I don’t think I ever opened that box—I figured if it was important they would call,” Kerim said. “From the first day, it was triage. Like any first day at a company, you look around and see what’s going on, and that nothing is going to explode.”

The Big Picture

The State of American Business Thomas J. Donohue

In January, the president gave his final State of the Union address. Like any president would, he put the best possible face on the country’s economy under his stewardship. But American businesses see things a little differently. Today, our job creators confront extraordinary political and geopolitical uncertainty. They are stuck in a tepid economic recovery that has gotten long in the tooth and face another year of anemic growth. Meanwhile, massive new regulatory burdens, taxes, and mandates continue to pour out of Washington.


Thank you to all ​PEO Insider Advertisers!