ThePEOPeople.com is the largest and fastest growing Platinum Channel distributor/broker for every major quality PEO organization in the United States.
Our clients include all industries ranging from white, blue to grey collar – from technology, to manufacturing, to medical, staffing, hospitality, venture capital companies etc. Our underwriters have quality providers in every vertical and industry – in every state, and every size from 25 to 5,000 employees.
Our parent company’s unusual name – SBE479.org- was named after the Federal Act that governs PEOs, called the Small Business Efficiency Act #479 (they number each act). This act enables PEOs to sometimes do amazing things for businesses.
PEO’s are not always the correct solution, and many unfortunately don’t do a quality job. The foundation of our firm is to give an honest evaluation to determine if the approach is right for your company and which PEO is the best match for your firm’s needs, style, geographic, size and future. Our job is to be the single professional point of contact for you and to make this analysis easy and effective for you and your team.
We are named after this act because that’s all we do- we understand and shop PEOs. We ARE very different from all of our competitors. We’re relentless towards our commitment to customer satisfaction. We are NOT Health Insurance Brokers or Property and Casualty Brokers that do this on the side (and by the way have a bias because they make more than selling health insurance than recommending or using a PEO).
We are experienced, we are objective, we are cost-effective, and we respect your valuable time.
Whether it is shopping, comparing, answering questions, our pricing and negotiation ability or making sure you get all the modules or reducing the set up fees or making sure the implementation is smooth or reviewing their contracts (and their agreements are really important to review) or finding the right contacts to solve a problem at the upper management levels of the PEOs (and you will someday have some problem) that is who we are. That is our company’s DNA- be straight and professional and solve problems.
ThePEOPeople.com and SBE479.org, are Experienced- Focused- has Clout with PEO’s vendors and understands the PEO technology and systems.
ThePEOPeople.com has infrastructure that will help you avoid what is a very time consuming, frustrating and frankly difficult shopping process into one that is honest and straightforward not wasted time consuming or redundant and efficient and even enjoyable. We care about your results and our reputation. We represent you NOT the PEOs.
There is no contractual obligation to purchase from us.
There are no fees for our service.
Our costs are built into the rates, and talking about fees- Your costs through ThePEOPeople.com are far less than going to a direct sales channel of the PEO. The proposals we get for you for your company for Medical and Worker’s Comp. premiums, PEO administration and set up fees are all significantly reduced because of our clout, contracts, negotiation process and relationships.
One last point, PEO’s require a combination of expertise- Including Health, Human Resource, Worker’s Comp, 401 (k), HRIS systems, etc. Currently you have 3-7 different brokers and vendors to help you for each- all of a sudden some firms think that when shopping for a PEO you don’t need a broker to help you pick the right one and get the best deal- please bear in mind this is a fundamental business relationship that you don’t want to change often or make a mistake and that is where we come in. We save you time and money and that’s why they call us ThePEOPeople.com
Let me tell you why with a real-life story.
I’m Eric Raymond, my team and I started ThePEOPeople.com and I have a wonderful story to tell you of why we did and why this is actually important for you.
Before I founded ThePEOPeople.com we started and built what became one of the largest health insurance brokers in the United States, eventually it grew into an amazing thing and was bought by Bank of America. A few years later we figured out a way to do it bigger & better and we did - building another even larger health insurance broker before it was sold to Wahlberg Pincus.
I share this information so when we tell you the journey of the ThePEOPeople.com you understand that our background and expertise includes YEARS of experience and authority when it comes to PEO's and HR outsourcing services.
It's a two-part story. Part one centers on the conception and creation of and part two is how we built it.
Now you may be wondering to yourself, why do you care? Simple - because the mistakes we made are mistakes you might make too, and you want to make them.
Oh, and yes this does relate to how to search for solutions to control your budget and how different insurance brokers are compared to PEO brokers. It is surprising in a way but obvious too, so let me break it down to make it easier for you to understand.
After I sold the last business, I got a call from an ex-client who became the new CFO of a large medical practice with 250 people. The CFO had brought in a PEO without consulting trusted advisors, and a year later he hated the PEO (and by the way the CFO got fired for this mistake). You don't want the mistake of making one wrong choice cost you your entire career (or even worse, your business) do you?
I was brought in to throw out the PEO and replace it with basically almost anything else that made sense. After an extensive review of HRIS systems, Payroll systems, benefits and workers comp proposals from every private market carrier in the region I provided several alternatives to the management.
We sat and created a comprehensive customized plan, leaving no stone unturned for each component - from self-funding, partial and fully insured medical and workers comp, coops, all different kinds of payroll and HRIS systems.
However, each option was significantly more expensive and created additional work vs. the PEO. As a business owner sometimes, you have to decide which exactly to save - time, money, convenience, reputation, etc.
In the end, it was really clear that their reasoning was sound, selecting a PEO wasn't the issue - it saved the group almost a half a million dollars at the time they switched.
What they did do wrong was simple and something they probably wouldn't have even thought to double check. What could it have possibly been then? Simple – they picked the wrong PEO. Now do you see why a PEO HR outsourcing service can be the difference between profit and ruin?
Ultimately this was an issue for them that we were able to work together to fix, and after we solved this for them, they saved even more and got better systems and service. In the end, everyone was very happy!
But the most important thing about this whole experience was that it was the Kickstarter that brought me into this PEO health insurance business.
Before this experience, PEO’s were some weird concept that created a feeling of losing control and the industry had a bad reputation. People thought working with a PEO meant that you had less control - when that isn't the case at all! You can get a PEO with the same services, control, and management you have now without relinquishing any control or power.
My other companies did start to lose business to PEOs, and it seemed like a short-lived fad but in fact, it was the opposite – it was the beginning of an important and obvious trend now with over 160,000 companies using an insured solutions PEO.
It was this lucky circumstance that made me appreciate what they can do for a company and truly realize how much convenience they can bring to a company and the risks they minimize. All the great things you read about PEOs can be true but sometimes things seem too good to be true - and that brings me to part two of this story.
The plan was simple - to create an amazing company that made it easy to see if a PEO was good for your business, make the process easy to get quotes, make all the proposals understandable and comparable, make sure the company didn’t make a mistake and then make sure the implementation went well.
We sit with you from start to finish and make sure you have a plan that covers you, your family & your company. You aren't just another client or check to us, you're a valuable member of our family and we will ensure that you get the best support coupled with a complete understanding of everything, so you aren't ever suddenly blindsided.
Sounds straightforward enough right? There's a big demand for PEO insurance brokers, and I've successfully done it twice before with Benefit Brokerages so what was the big deal?
PART TWO – STARTING A PEO BROKERAGE IS HARD
(AND IT BEING HARD FOR US JUST PROVES HOW MUCH AN EMPLOYER NEEDS A PEO BROKER)
I frankly thought it was going to be pretty easy to create a PEO brokerage company because our team’s background was primarily health insurance and administration. We figured knowing all the rules, regulations and the right people to talk to would make everything a piece of cake but trying to have your cake and eat it too proved to be far more difficult of a task than we thought.
PEOs on the surface just seemed like an easy way to save companies money on health insurance, and since I knew about health insurance, I figured I’d be the perfect bridge to come between companies and the insurance companies to provide the most beneficial arrangement for both.
Having experience with building 2 of the biggest health insurance brokerage companies with over a billion dollars of premium helped, in addition to managing tens of thousands of employee’s administration and premiums and claims made me believe that I already knew all of the ins and outs of the job – but whew was I underthinking it.
So, with that in mind, I figured how different was it going to be getting quotes from PEO’s and saving companies money, while also helping employers get the other beneficial and essential HR benefits including things like integrating every process and making them paperless? It might sound like a lot, but to someone who had been doing it for years and had already become successful doing a less-complex version of it I thought I knew it all.
It seemed like a total no brainer for everyone. The best of both (or more accurately, all) worlds plus adding in the convenience of saving time and money that can be better used to expand and manage your company.
Let me tell you now – That’s where I was wrong! And the reasons I was wrong are critical for you and your company to know. Preventing yourself from suffering from these same mistakes can be the difference between a long, prosperous career/life and hitting rock bottom, possibly forever.
So, here’s the short story – my team knew all about administration, my team knew benefits – we literally could call the President of every major insurance company in the country to get a great rate or solve a problem for our clients. After being in the business for quite a few years, you learn some things and meet some of the right people. We had seen it all from claims issues to C.O.B.R.A. lawsuits, if you can name it, we’ve been involved in managing it.
But there’s something we learned we didn’t know – and this is why no matter how much you love your insurance broker or workers comp broker or payroll company they can’t help you properly when it comes to choosing a PEO. There’s a reason why you’ll never get the best benefit for your buck unless you work with someone who has experience and authority when it comes to knowing which PEOs will help you & which will hurt you.
By the way, you shouldn’t consider doing it yourself, keep in mind you had brokers for each component before for a good reason. Do yourself a favor and take a look at our other section on the secrets you need to know about why going direct is a time-consuming mistake.
The PEO business – like every business – is something you need years of experience in. You as an employer need to work with someone who has been able to create the relationships and make the mistakes needed to gain the knowledge of the real important secrets and tricks of success and avoiding mistakes. Once you have them in your business you can breathe a sigh of relief, you have your round table advisor that is there to provide wisdom for you if trouble should ever arise.
So, let’s start off with shopping PEO’s with a broker, shall we?
If you’re using your insurance broker to shop PEOs you are absolutely using the wrong process. If you’re doing this then we need to talk IMMEDIATELY, you may already be paying over for benefits under what you could be getting.
Top totally real reasons why you should NOT use even a great Employee Benefits Insurance broker:
- They do not understand Worker’s Comp.
They do not understand HR at all and how to help prevent and negate issues within your company.
They do not understand payroll.
They understand compliance as it relates to benefits only, not the issues that people will actually bring a lawsuit against you for.
They do not have relationships with the PEO companies. (incredibly important – oh to be fair maybe they have developed a relationship with maybe one or two, but this is not enough. You need someone with a knowledge of ALL, not some.).
If someone is great at doing a bad job, are they actually even great at all?
They think (and you might think too) that when they get a quote from a PEO that includes Aetna, that it’s the same broker channel or the same company they had some clout with because they sold health with Aetna direct. It isn’t. No cross-channel broker value or power, not at all. The carrier is really the PEO’s own pool and master contract – not Aetna or UHC or BC or Humana. A PEO has its own pool.
You know you always have to follow the money to understand most people’s and company’s motivation.
Insurance brokers are used to making a lot off of you, maybe 5% of your total premiums (wow great business am I right?). They probably make as much on you as your salary, or at least a big part of it and certainly way more per hour!
So, what’s the catch? Why would your insurance broker not give you the best options you possibly could have when it comes to your company? It’s simple:
They don’t earn near that if they switch you to a PEO! In fact, they probably cut their income in half. In the end, they’re all about money and if your business suddenly isn’t making enough or doing good enough for them then you become a non-factor to them.
You don’t want to suddenly get left out to dry do you?
They want to keep you where you are – CONFLICT ALERT – NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY.
Always keep in mind one of the most important parts of dealing with them – your insurance broker does not know the Aetna or Humana reps at the PEO because there aren’t any, and that’s because it is the PEO reps.
They could be the biggest Aetna, United, Blue Cross rep in the region or national – it actually means nothing when they get a quote for a PEO – it’s a different channel and pool. They have no clout and they have no real relationship with the important people, and you need that when you want to get better prices and service for your company.
They have little to no understanding of all the issues that are problems with PEOs because it literally is not their business, they just sell your health insurance and leave you on your own for any other issue that arises.
This works the same way across the board – your benefits broker isn’t your P&C insurance broker even though insurance is in both industry names, and you most of the time you wouldn’t even know that you lack one of them until it’s too late.
They may be great with health insurance but not with PEOs. They may be good at benefits but terrible with PEOs, you can’t trust that someone is an authority in all fields as there aren’t too many. They haven’t had the experience of placing hundreds of businesses with PEOs and seeing what goes wrong, they don’t have a finger on the pulse of each and directly being involved with advising the decisions that companies make for long-term prosperity.
Why do we say all of this? Well – sorry if we sound like a broken record at this point but it’s really important – we ran the two biggest health insurance operations in America and when we started a PEO brokerage business we learned it was not the same exact thing at all. Different channels, Different relationships, Different rules, Different underwriting, you could be the greatest and biggest Broker in the country, but would it really mean anything when you went to get a quote from the PEO? Not at all.
Honestly, we thought it would be easy to get into this business and saw it as another easy way to sell insurance and get great deals for our clients, but it literally took YEARS to build all the knowledge, the relationships, the depths of understanding of all the different aspects of a PEO, to learn where all the problems are.
I truly don’t think I can adequately stress how many things you will regret not knowing or asking or understanding the ramifications of – you, your executive team and even employees will ask why you didn’t know these issues before you signed up with the wrong one. It’s important that you work with the people with the knowledge, experience, and relationships to know who actually is good at what they’re doing and the real truth that differentiates them.
Unless you do this PEO brokerage business on a big scale and it is your only business you cannot do it well – like most things that are complex it takes a lot of time and effort and knowledge to really be good at what you’re doing.