PEO News

Small Business ACA Myths Busted

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

 

The health insurance exchanges, a fundamental element of the health care reforms implemented by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are now open for business. Individuals and business owners alike now have new choices when it comes to shopping for health insurance coverage. However, many business owners remain unsure about what they can find on the exchanges, whether they have to provide health insurance for their employees, whether they will be fined or face other penalties for failure to comply with the new law and what, exactly, the new law requires of them in terms of providing health insurance for their employees. Read on or watch this video to learn the truth behind some of the most persistent Obamacare myths.

Under the ACA, All Employers Must Provide Health Insurance

In fact, no company of any size is required to provide health insurance coverage to its employees. Companies who have more than 50 employees will, starting in 2015, be required to pay a tax penalty if they do not offer employee health coverage that meets the minimum coverage and affordability requirements laid forth under the ACA. It’s this provision that has come to be known as the “employer mandate.” Large employers with more than 50 employees may very well choose to pay the tax penalties and not offer health insurance coverage to their employees.

The ACA exempts smaller employers — those with fewer than 50 employees — from the requirement to provide health insurance coverage. Ninety-seven percent of businesses in the U.S. fall into this category, so few employers will be required to pay tax penalties if they do not provide health insurance to their employees.

Employers Must Offer Coverage Through the Exchanges

The new health insurance exchanges are intended as an alternative to the current insurance market. They provide an option for consumers and employers to shop for and compare plans and rates. However, individuals and business owners alike will still be permitted to buy insurance the old-fashioned way, directly from an insurance company or private broker. The exception is the District of Columbia, where small employers who opt to provide health insurance coverage to their employees will have to buy it through the city’s insurance exchange. In coming years, small firms in the District of Columbia will have to renew their employee health insurance coverage through the exchange.

New Health Insurance Plans Are Administered by the Government

The health insurance exchanges are simply online shopping portals. While the exchanges themselves are administered by the state or federal government, the health insurance plans they offer are still operated by private insurers. In no way is the federal government, or your state government, involving itself in the administration of yours or your employees’ health insurance plan.

Employers Will Be Fined $100 a Day for Not Informing Employees About the Insurance Exchanges

This is a persistent Obamacare myth that has scared many small and midsize business owners. While employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act were required to provide written notice to their employees about the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace prior to October 1, 2013, there is no penalty associated with failing to provide that notice.

Small Business Owners Will All Receive Tax Credits When They Buy Health Coverage Plans on the Exchanges

There will be federal tax breaks to help small business owners pay for employee health insurance coverage purchased on the exchanges, but not all businesses will be eligible for them. The small business exchanges will sell plans to companies with up to 50 employees during their first year, and perhaps during their second year, but will be required to raise that cap to 100 employees by 2016. Very small businesses, those with 10 or fewer employees, will receive the full tax subsidy of 50 percent of their costs. Businesses with up to 25 employees will get a partial tax subsidy.

Employers Can Choose Different Plans for Different Employees

This feature was originally intended for all of the exchanges, and would have allowed small business owners to pick either a single plan for all employees company-wide or a selection of plans in order to give employees a range of choices. However, the Department of Health and Human Services announced last year its intention to delay this feature on the federal exchanges, which are used in most states. For the time being, at least, smaller employers who want to provide health insurance coverage for their employees will have to choose a single plan for the whole company. In the District of Columbia and the 16 states that built their own marketplaces, the multi-plan option is already available.

Health care reform is upon us, and its requirements for small and midsize businesses can be confusing. The circulation of myths about the Affordable Care Act hasn’t helped matters. Separating the truth from the rumors will make the prospect of choosing health care coverage options for your employees much less frightening.

Announcing National PEO’s Partnership With HiringThing

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

 

Have you ever wished there was an easier, more efficient way to manage the recruitment process? Juggling resumes and keeping track of contact information the old-fashioned way can make filling positions at your company a real hassle. Now, there’s a better way to handle the recruitment process.

National PEO is pleased to announce our new partnership with HiringThing. HiringThing is offering online recruitment software that streamlines the entire recruiting process. Using HiringThing, small and medium business owners will be able to post job ads, manage the applications they receive and recruit the best candidates.

A Powerful Tool for Business Owners

We are committed to providing the best products and services to ease the administrative burden of running a small or medium-sized business, so you can do what you do best — run your business. We already offer a full range of payroll, employee benefits and human resources services. Now, we are proud to be able to offer our clients fast, cost-effective and painless recruiting using HiringThing. In today’s tough economy, competition among job candidates is cutthroat. As unemployment remains high, tens of thousands of job-seekers continue to search for work online. Potential employees now use email, social media and video calling to apply to positions advertised online and even to conduct their interviews. As job-seekers rely more and more heavily on technology to seek out professional opportunities, employers must keep up. HiringThing offers small and medium-sized business owners easy-to-use features to quickly and easily drive traffic from the most desired applicants, check and monitor the statuses of desirable job candidates, keep records and maintain efficient communications with the most well-qualified potential employees. HiringThing allows business owners and hiring managers to:

  • Quickly and easily post jobs online
  • Synchronize job ads to multiple job boards
  • Post jobs on social media platforms
  • Buy premium job placements
  • Order background checks on job candidates
  • Manage employee referral programs
  • Forward resumes to other hiring managers
  • Keep notes on potential candidates
  • Find out where applicants are coming from with Applicant Analytics reports
  • Rank job candidates
  • Create customized questionnaires

HiringThing offers a range of intuitive communication tools, and a rich administrative interface. The company’s blog offers helpful tips for hiring managers and business owners, including information on how to write the best job descriptions, what to look for in terms of a potential employee’s personality and how to better conduct interviews with candidates. HiringThing offers a range of annual and monthly plans for all business budgets. All plans come with automatic resume parsing, analytics, disclosure statements, keyword matching, screening questions and SSL encryption, among other features.

Meeting a Need

CTO and founder of HiringThing, Joshua Siler, got the idea for HiringThing when he was working as a hiring manager for a midsized agency in Portland, Oregon. He wanted to streamline the cumbersome hiring process, but found a dearth of affordable, effective recruiting software. He started working on HiringThing to fill that agency’s need for fast, reliable, affordable and easy-to-use recruitment software. HiringThing launched in March 2012 with a total of eight beta customers. “Most of those companies are still with us today. They became our first paying customers in Q2 of 2012. Since then, it’s taken off, and we continue to grow at a huge quarterly rate, and we’re pretty excited about it, so it seems be working pretty well,” said Siler in an August 2013 interview with Startup Frontier. The new software has made it much easier for employees to take advantage of modern recruitment techniques when seeking new candidates. Though it remains important for employers to pursue traditional recruitment methods, business owners and hiring managers can no longer simply post a few job ads and expect the highest-quality candidates answer them. Today’s employers must increasingly rely on new and traditional modes of advertising, referrals, social media marketing and efficient job post advertising to attract and draw in the best candidates. HiringThing has partnered with a number of other companies to help small and medium-sized business owners find and hire the best job candidates. In addition to National PEO, HiringThing has also partnered with Simply Hired, Indeed, Glassdoor, Trovit, Talent Zoo, Just Jobs and Direct Employers. National PEO is pleased to announce our partnership with HiringThing, a new company providing efficient, fast and affordable recruitment software services to small and medium-sized businesses. This partnership will allow our clients to take advantage of HiringThing’s recruitment software to make finding and hiring the best job candidates easier and more painless. In conjunction with our payroll services and human resources solutions, we are confident that our partnership with HiringThing will help us to more efficiently lift the burden of administrative duties from the shoulders of our clients, so they can concentrate more fully on running their businesses
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Businesses adopt alternative hiring methods

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

June 03, 2007  From The Pocono Record
For many small businesses, the administrative burdens of hiring, managing and paying employees are just too much to contemplate. As a result, many business owners are turning to alternative methods of hiring staff, including something called the “professional employer organization” or PEO.

PEOs are companies that help businesses find and hire people, plus manage such things as health benefits, workers’ comp claims, payroll, unemployment insurance and more. As a business owner, you contract with a PEO to assume these and other responsibilities, allowing you to concentrate on the revenue-producing side of your operations. PEOs establish and maintain an employer relationship with the workers assigned to you and assume many employer responsibilities and risks.

Most small businesses are new to the “human relations,” or HR, field. But one advantage of using a professional employer organization is that they already have experienced HR pros who can handle benefits, payroll, OSHA compliance and just about everything else you will need. By bringing employees into a larger overall group, a PEO can offer your workers benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans that you’d be hard-pressed to deliver on your own.

Small business owners often dread the prospect of reading mountains of resumes and conducting interviews for prospective hires. PEOs can reduce this burden and deliver candidates quickly, then handle the paperwork for the new hire. Some PEOs have entire divisions devoted to recruiting and helping small business owners gather information to make the right hiring decisions.

Many entrepreneurs who’ve used PEOs credit the choice with helping grow their businesses quickly. The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations is an excellent source of information and help. The organization’s Web site describes how PEOs work, the benefits of using one and guidelines for selecting one that’s right for your business and industry. Visit the Web site at www.napeo.org. or www.nationalpeo.com

Wells Fargo Endorses PEO Arrangement

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

Outsourcing HR: Using a Professional Employer OrganizationIn the August 2005 Wells Fargo Business Banking Roundup newsletter’s “Outsourcing IT and HR” article, we discussed some of the benefits of finding a partner to handle these functions. In terms of HR, utilizing a professional employer organization (PEO) might be a viable solution for your company.

“Think of the PEO as a contractual relationship in which the PEO acts as a co-employer with you,” says Edie Clark, spokesperson for the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). “Under the terms of the agreement, a PEO becomes the employer for purposes of payroll, employment taxes at the state and federal levels, securing Worker’s Comp coverage and providing a package of benefits and related services. A PEO is essentially an outsourced HR department.”

PEO Benefits

The true advantage of using a PEO is that you’re contracting with a company that has expertise you don’t. In addition to the general benefits described above are a variety of services that work to support you as an employer:

  • Keeping you in compliance—While PEOs ensure that you keep up-to-date with state and federal taxes, they also help in other areas of compliance. “One example is employment documentation, especially critical now with the focus on immigration,” Clark says. “A PEO is responsible for verifying employment status, checking the documentation of all employees and maintaining records ongoing. With some 60 employment laws on the books, remaining in compliance can be difficult for those businesses tackling HR on their own.”
  • Recruiting—PEO services often include the recruiting, screening and background checking—based on your job parameters—of new employees.
  • Termination—“This is a very sensitive area,” Clark notes. “A PEO will advise you about the process, both as it affects your organization and as it relates to compliance issues. They’ll even be available to be a part of the event, if needed.”
  • Training—PEOs typically offer training on harassment, employee privacy and other key workplace issues.
  • Benefits packages—Based on the number of companies they represent, PEOs have volume buying power, giving them access to solid health care plans and other benefits at reasonable costs.

Finding a PEO

So what should you look for in a PEO? Clark and NAPEO offer the following guidelines for companies considering such a relationship:

  • Assess your workplace to determine your human resource and risk management needs.
  • Make sure the PEO is capable of meeting your goals. Meet the people who will be serving you.
  • Ask for client and professional references.
  • Check the firm’s financial background, and ask for banking and credit references. Ask the PEO to demonstrate that payroll taxes and insurance premiums have been paid.
  • Investigate the company’s administrative and risk management service competence. What experience and depth does their internal staff have? Do any of the senior staff have professional training or designations?
  • Understand how the employee benefits are funded. Is the PEO fully insured or partially self-funded? Who is the third-party administrator (TPA) or carrier? Is their TPA or carrier authorized to do business in your state?
  • Understand how the employee benefits are tailored. Determine if they fit the needs of your employees.
  • Review the service agreement carefully. Are the respective parties’ responsibilities and liabilities clearly laid out? What guarantees are provided? What provisions permit you or the PEO to cancel the terms of the contract?
  • Make sure that the company you are considering meets all state requirements.

As far as terms and fees are concerned, they’ll differ by arrangement and company. Clark notes that contracts are generally structured for a year at a time, with rollover provisions after that. The PEO client pays an administrative fee based on payroll.

Some people still refer to PEO arrangements as “employee leasing,” but Clark calls the label a misnomer. “This isn’t leasing. PEOs are service businesses that advise businesses on good employment practices and regulatory compliance,” she says. “Day-to-day employee management belongs to you, but if a PEO finds something egregious happening with regard to an employment issue, it’s their job to resolve the issue.”

To find a PEO in your area, check out the NAPEO’s directory of PEO Members.

©2006 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC