The ACA compliance issues that small business owners have had to deal with in terms of adequate health insurance coverage for the last two years has created a funnel for PEO services. Entrepreneurs looking to save money with the new coverage requirements saw a PEO service as a haven for skyrocketing insurance rates. After all, that is likely one of the best reasons to work with a PEO.
The golden solution for some became a disappointment after the novelty wore off and reality set in. If one is only thinking about the numbers they can become blinded to the other details that might have let them know that what they were getting involved in may not be all that it seemed.
These days, the best way for a dealership to sell you a car is not to talk about the car’s price. Instead, they focus on the monthly payment number. That is because it is an easier number to deal with in the consumer’s mind than the big number that is usually in the tens of thousands.
It is a slick tactic and it works very well. So much so that most companies selling to consumers items worth thousands of dollars also use this tactic. You won’t think about the fact that the washer and dryer you just bought cost you $8,000 if the salesperson just keeps you focused on the low monthly payment of $100 dollars for the next millennium.
Why You Need To Go Beyond Low Monthly Payments With A PEO Service
There are different billing practices for PEOs, but one that works well for a lot of small business owners is the flat fee per employee. It’s a predictable number that usually fits into a budget so it is easy to sell clients on. The other half of the coin becomes, what level of service can you expect?
PEOs are not all the same. While it might feel like they offer similar services that are hard to differentiate between them, there is a lot of difference between insurance coverage options and customer service.
If the ACA compliance rules drove you to a PEO’s door in the first place, chances are you were looking to meet the requirements without having to pay more than what were you were paying now, if you were offering coverage to your employees at all. Asking your PEO how little you need to pay to take care of your problem might be what got you into the position of being unhappy in the first place.
Coverage options are important; important to you and also your employees. Reviewing the fine print will tell you a lot about what you can expect to be paid for when you need treatment for an injury or need lab work done by your primary physician. You have to know these things up front as no one likes to be surprised with medical bills they were not expecting. Employees who have to pay a lot out of pocket will avoid medical treatment, causing more time out of work in the long term. You want your employees and you to be healthy and productive. Offering meager insurance will accomplish none of that. With any provider selection process, you have to ask a lot of questions about coverage to decide if your low monthly payment means sacrificing good health insurance.
Customer Service Doesn’t Matter Until You Need It
No one thinks about customer service until they have to call a help line; then you care a lot about customer service, especially when it isn’t like what you would expect to receive as a customer. There are plenty of PEOs who have great sales reps who are intimately involved in every detail of your deal until the contract is signed. After that, don’t call them. You need to call customer service.
That award winning smile you were dealing with in the negotiation process has now become a faceless voice on the other end of the line. They neither know you nor any of the concerns you had before you became their customer. Did that happen to you? If ever there was a reason that most existing PEO customers cited as a reason they switched providers, it is this one.
What Do You Do If You Are Not Happy With Your PEO Service
The good news is that you are not stuck. The better news is that you may not need to even switch providers. A good PEO broker like, PEO Spectrum, will discuss the issues you are having with your PEO service and help you determine what the next course of action is to take. Sometimes, it is just a matter of renegotiating the contract you already have if the issue is fees versus coverage. Those two things can be worked out with your current provider in a lot of cases.
If your bone of contention is customer service, there are other PEO providers who have great customer service. Some providers even allow you to work with your sales rep in an ongoing client relationship capacity so you always feel like you are talking to someone who understands what your company’s needs are. Having a history with someone as client means a lot and you do have that option with the right PEO provider. There are a number of PEO providers that offer money back guarantees, so you might even get to recover your fee costs if the relationship goes awry.
In short, all is not lost. You can fix what has been done and move forward with manageable HR needs and great coverage for a reasonable cost. Those PEOs do exist even if you didn’t find one the first time around. A few minutes on the phone with a PEO broker can alleviate your pain and get your happy with your PEO service again.