Tyler Perry is a catalyst for change. After 12 years as a top producer for some of the world’s largest benefits brokerages, he was convinced that something had to change—and in a big way. “I wanted to disrupt the industry,” he says. In 2021, he did just that with the founding of Sero Benefit Consulting, an employee-centric benefit consulting firm that operates outside of traditional health care models, with a mission to create ease of access for employees. Sero offers self-funded solutions to middle-market businesses who employ from 100 to 1,000 individuals, resulting in an average client savings of 25%. For one first-year client, that meant a savings of over $150,000. What’s more, employees receiving benefits through Sero report a user satisfaction of 70% over the industry average, according to NPS benchmark scores.
Sero’s non-traditional approach delivers better benefits, transparency, and lower costs for employers and employees. Serving almost 3,000 families this year alone, Sero is delivering on Tyler’s mission to fix all that is broken in an unnecessarily complex and overpriced industry. And with rave reviews from clients nationwide, it’s clear that they’ve been waiting for this. “It starts with educating employers on how to make good decisions, and making the process easy for employees,” Tyler says. Sero simplifies what has traditionally been a labyrinthian benefits process to provide the most meaningful benefits to employees at the lowest cost to business. Gone are impersonal, company-wide enrollment meetings that would put anyone to sleep. Instead, they meet with each employee one-on-one to review what benefits are available to them, and what fits their needs and budget. They take the time to understand individual goals, needs, and challenges, and then provide solutions and strategies that are easy-to-understand. Employees have a dedicated support team for assistance with all their benefits. For anyone who’s ever had to navigate the seemingly endless cycle of a pre-recorded phone tree, Sero’s core promise is a breath of fresh air: “One number. Every Question. Every service. Every time.”
We sat down with Tyler to learn more about what compelled him to launch Sero, why he chose to serve the middle market, and what drives him every single day.
What compelled you to start the company?
COVID gave everyone the opportunity to reexamine their quality of life, what’s really important, and the people around you. I looked around, and I knew this industry had to change, and I was determined to find a way to do it. It's no secret that our health care system no longer works for consumers. Everyone knows costs are climbing at unsustainable rates and access to care isn't straightforward. Consumers feel lost and that they can't afford the care they need when they need it. After spending years working for the largest benefit brokers in the world, I noticed these same frustrations exist as employers search for solutions to help their people and the bottom line. I started Sero because I believe in realigning our health care system around individuals and businesses, not around insurance carriers and products.
Why did you choose to serve exclusively mid-market employers?
There’s fierce competition for companies to attract and retain employees, a war for talent. Small businesses, especially mid-market employers, struggle to afford—or even provide—health care benefits. Until recently, these employers have believed they are “too small” for progressive, self-funded solutions. There’s often strong brand loyalty to the large companies because their logos send the message of security, network access, and quality. What mid-market employers don’t realize is that security and network access is often at the expense of lost transparency and control.
Tell us a bit more about how Sero is different from other benefits brokers.
First, we are fully transparent, and fee based. We don’t accept retention overrides or premium-based bonus incentives. Second, our detailed processes, resources, and customer service provide an elevated client experience. Third, many of the programs we deploy sit outside of the B.U.C.A.H. model (Blues, United, Cigna, Aetna, Humana), and there are specific reasons for that. Benefit needs are as custom and unique as the people these companies employ. Our process and attention to detail result in better benefits and lower costs.
What has the response been from business owners?
It’s been overwhelmingly positive. Our clients tell us things like, “We have been looking at health care wrong for 20 years” and “We aren’t used to seeing this level of detail AND in a way that we can understand.” This is deeply humbling and motivates us to continue forward on the work we do.
What do you enjoy most about your work, Tyler? What drives you?
We love establishing genuine relationships with clients. It’s all about people. As a broker, it’s the best way I know how to positively impact the lives of individuals and their families on such a large scale. When a company hires Sero, and we deliver on our promises, the positive ripple effect to those employees and their families is substantial. For us, people are the most important outcome.
Founder & CEO — Sero Benefit Consulting