Posted by: danielrashke | July 10, 2014

TASC Supports Guard and Reserve

As we celebrate America, I want to stress how much we honor those who have fought for our freedom and independence. Recently, I was honored to sign an “Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support.”  Mr. Jeff Unger from the ESGR visited TASC to speak at our quarterly employee meeting and presented us with an award of distinction.  We are proud to display this plaque as a sign of our commitment to TASC’s military employees.

The Statement of Support Program is the cornerstone of ESGR’s effort to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve.  The program aims to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military.  Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

By signing the ESGR Statement of Support, TASC recognizes our Guard and Reserve employees as crucial members of the U.S. Military who can be called to duty in times of need.  We fully support our military employees at TASC!  Our Military Pay Differential Policy guarantees that if an employee’s military pay is less than his/her salary, TASC will make up the difference while they are deployed.  It’s another way we take care of our employees and their families!  We recognize the sacrifice and commitment necessary to serve in the military and thank ALL who provide this invaluable, selfless service to our country.

To learn more about what this Statement of Support means for our military service men and women at TASC, visit the ESGR website at www.esgr.mil.

Posted by: danielrashke | June 17, 2014

Riding the Storm Out

Data Center Diagram2Last night the Madison, Wisconsin area (where the corporate headquarters of TASC are located) experienced several severe thunderstorms, straight-line winds, and at least one tornado. I’m relieved this morning to discover that nobody was seriously injured during the storms. Our thoughts are with those who experienced damage to their homes or property. Our connection to the community through the United Way will enable us to assist and support our home office employees and community neighbors who experienced damage, power outages, or injuries.

From a work perspective, this powerful storm caused a power outage in Building 2 of the TASC campus. Building 2 contains two main access points for our customers: the internet and the phone. Our state-of-the-art proprietary data center and customer care department are housed in this building, where we made significant investment to ensure Client and Participant data remains secure, and to guarantee that we can continue to serve customers at all times. When the power outage occurred at approximately 1:00 a.m. Central Standard Time, our diesel generator kicked in and kept the data center fully functional and running without a hiccup until power was restored.

In addition to the data center on the TASC campus, we also maintain a redundant data center in a suburb of Madison. Investing in and maintaining these security measures ensure that our Clients and Participants have access to their funds and Plan information at all times.

The forecast for this week predicts more severe storms all over the country. Please take caution and stay safe.

Posted by: danielrashke | May 29, 2014

The Value of Partnership

 

ImageIt’s been an exciting month for TASC! We gathered together to recognize the importance of our partners, and were recognized as a great partner ourselves.

We reward our top Providers all year long with our innovative Provider Incentive Program (PIP). We know these individuals are a big part of our success, and their hard work is integral to TASC becoming the number one privately-held TPA in the country. By acknowledging and taking care of the people who help you succeed, you build relationships that will stand the test of time.

The highlight of the program is our annual PIP Trip and Convention, held each spring in beautiful locations around the world. This May we hosted more than 50 Providers in beautiful, sunny Puerto Rico. What a great escape after our record cold Madison winter! As usual, the convention was a great getaway, with plenty of opportunity to network, learn about new TASC service offerings, and, of course, have some fun and relax.

The best part of this program? For me, it’s knowing that this isn’t a new initiative for us; it’s part of our DNA. We have been recognizing Provider efforts for more than 35 years, with robust commissions, incentives, gifts, exclusive membership in our Blue Circle program, and an annual trip. These rewards salute Provider efforts, and I think that’s something to celebrate.

We are also celebrating being recognized as a great partner ourselves. At the annual Alegeus Technologies’ Client Conference, TASC was recognized as the Partner of the Year. This award is earned by the Alegeus partner who best demonstrates outstanding leadership and vision through using technology for simplifying business operations, enabling product innovation, and driving transformational change in the business and the market.

It’s great when the companies you work with see you living and breathing your mission and values. You see, part of TASC’s mission is to efficiently deliver innovative services, and part of our vision is to develop solutions that streamline processes and produce more efficient, effective outcomes for our Clients and ourselves. This award is a high compliment because it means we’re “walking the walk” and not just creating nice sound bytes.

We’re not resting on our laurels or relaxing too much from that trip. We have a great responsibility to take care of our Clients, Participants, and Providers. We continue to push ourselves to be the best, to create value for our partnerships—now and in the future.

Posted by: danielrashke | February 3, 2014

TASC’s State Representative Visits

Cropped PicWisconsin State Representative Melissa Sargent of Assembly District 48 (the district in which TASC’s corporate office resides) stopped in for a tour and meeting on the morning of Friday, January 31, 2014. Representative Sargent met with CEO Dan Rashke, Legislative Analyst Jason Westphal, and Public Relations & Communications Director Bruce Stein for nearly an hour before taking a short tour of the TASC facility.

By her estimate, Representative Sargent has knocked on the front door of nearly 10,000 households in her district. She also has started to reach out and visit some of the businesses that call Assembly District 48 home. A very impressive feat, especially when you consider that Sargent, during her time in the Assembly, has also served concurrently as a Supervisor on the Dane County Board, continues to run a small business, and is mother to four growing boys. Suffice it to say, the east side of Madison has elected one hard working representative.

During the meeting, Representative Sargent received some background and history on TASC and discussed several ways TASC could be helpful to the 48th Assembly District, to Dane County, and to the State of Wisconsin. These included providing a resource as Wisconsin continues to deal with the effects of Healthcare Reform legislation, providing Flexible Spending Account (FSA) administrative services for the State of Wisconsin (currently outsourced to a California-based company), and offering other third-party services to Dane County.

Representative Sargent was very open and receptive to TASC’s ideas and suggestions, and was equally impressed with our company and our commitment to philanthropy. As a small business owner herself, she really appreciates the benefits TASC offers to business Clients, and as a resident of Madison, she appreciates the work TASC does to help Dane County’s less fortunate. In return, I was impressed with her intelligence, drive, and commitment to serve. TASC and I look forward to a continuing relationship with Representative Sargent.

Posted by: danielrashke | December 31, 2013

New Year Challenges

Well, another year has come and gone. And 2014 promises to be an especially important year for those in healthcare related industries, as many core components of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be enacted. Most notable, the Employer Mandate will require employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees to offer adequate health insurance for full-time workers, or starting in 2015, face a penalty. Also starting on January 1, 2014, most U.S. citizens and legal residents must have a qualifying level of health insurance through an employer-sponsored health plan, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or another plan offered in the individual market, or pay a penalty.

The Public Health Insurance Marketplaces created to help US citizens obtain healthcare will impact employee participation in COBRA, with number of participants and duration of their time on COBRA expected to decline slightly from year to year. Further, Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) integrated with the employer’s health plan will be affected as well. Specifically, if an employee chooses to opt out of an employer sponsored plan and go the marketplace (due to affordability issues), there will obviously be a slight reduction in participation in the employer sponsored health plan and thus the HRA.

Also new in 2014 is a limit on cost-sharing and deductibles for employers with less than 51 employees. According to PPACA, an “essential health benefits” Plan deductible may not exceed $2,000 for single coverage, or $4,000 for any other coverage. Unless this limit is repealed, it will prevent the sale of high deductible health plans combined with an HRA, thereby denying small business owners and their employees access to health coverage options that currently serve millions of Americans.

Insurers must eliminate annual dollar limits on essential health benefits in 2014. Not impacted by this provision are HRA Plans considered embedded or integrated with the health plan. Conversely, HRA Plans considered Section 213 Plans will be affected. TASC posits that our AgriPlanNOW and BizPlanNOW Clients with only one eligible employee will not be subject to this provision.

Finally, PPACA mandates that all non-grandfathered insurance plans must cover what are described as essential health benefits. Depending on the scope of benefits that are required, this may increase the cost of insurance that small business owners offer. Plans will be required to provide the following (a partial list): emergency services, hospitalization, maternity/newborn care, mental health and substance abuse, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, wellness services, chronic disease management, and pediatric services. This requirement will likely expand the scope of medical services offered by some HDHPs, and increased premiums may follow.

There is a lot here to consider…and we do! Trust your business with a Third-Party Administrator (TPA) who takes the time to research and comprehend PPACA! We continually implement necessary changes and continually update administrative processes to comply. In every instance, we are pro-Client and pro-Participant. This means, as always, that TASC will continue to make every effort to transition promptly, as necessary, and to assuage possible financial harm to Participants or Clients as we do.

On behalf of TASC’s ownership and management we wish you the very best in the New Year!

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