Posted by: danielrashke | October 12, 2020

TASC Votes

If you want your voice to be heard and you want to be a facilitator of change, vote. As an employer, I am taking action to empower my employees and providing them opportunities to make voting easier, which in turn, will hopefully encourage more to vote. That’s why myself and TASC leadership have decided to offer ways for our employees to vote and take the time they need to do so.

The most effective way for a company to impact the political process and empower employees is by whole-heartedly encouraging and providing opportunities for employees to vote and be involved in the election process.

TASC is excited that our organization will be affording our employees paid time to not only vote but also to get involved in their community election process by volunteering at the polls. TASC will be expanding our Paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program to include volunteering for bi-partisan election purposes.

The TASC VTO program affords TASC employees 40 hours of paid time to volunteer with an organization they are passionate about. This program encourages community engagement and involvement and allows employees to take time out of their workday to give back and get paid for it.

Earlier this year, we announced the expansion of our Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program By expanding the program beyond 501(c)3 organizations, we enabled our employees to use their annual 40 VTO hours for activism, standing up for change and getting engaged with organizations and causes that were meaningful to them beyond an official 501(c)3 organization.

This expansion also includes time for voting and assisting others to vote. Employees can use some or all their VTO hours to get community members to the polls to vote and/or assist in their local community by working in the election, as a poll worker.  

For election day, TASC will also be making a concerted effort to have a ‘no-meeting’ day to avoid congested schedules and allow employees every opportunity to get out and vote.

In addition, TASC has joined forces with over 1,300 other companies from all over the United States in a movement called Time To Vote. One of the frequent reasons given by registered voters who didn’t vote is the lack of time to do so between demands of work and life. Time to Vote is a commitment by these organizations to encourage employees to vote and be afforded time to do so. It’s great to see companies all over the country providing the opportunity for employees to get engaged this election season to ensure a safe and fair election. We are excited to join the movement.

TASC is dedicated to change for the better and encouraging our employees to use their voice and their time to get involved and be the change they want to see in this country. We have pledged to be a part of the solution and be a leader in changing the way we do business, view our employees and engage in our communities. One way we can do that is by getting out the vote and encouraging others to do the same.

There is a shortage of poll workers this year due to COVID-19. Generally, poll workers are over the age of 60 and those people are considered higher risk for the current situation and it’s up to the younger, lower risk generation to become empowered and step during this election season.

We took the opportunity during a recent all company webinar to discuss the importance of volunteering at the polls and becoming engaged in the election in that way. We had two TASC employees who serve as election officials discuss the work involved and the logistics of serving at the polls.  

These individuals are responsible for ensuring election protocol is followed for in-person voting, counting ballots at the end of the night, issuing ballots, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment and more. Training is required but varies by state. The election process is different for every state.

For anyone who is unsure about the integrity of our country’s voting process, we encourage them to volunteer and participate to get first-hand experience and insight into the process. If you are interested in learning more about and becoming an election official for this year’s election, visit the U.S. Election Assistance Website.

This year, concerns surrounding COVID-19 makes planning for how you will be voting more important than ever. There are several states allowing early voting, voting by mail, or absentee voting. What’s important if you are planning to vote through one of these methods is knowing the deadlines in your area for voter registration.

For specific voting information for all 50 states vote.org is a great resource to make sure you are up to date in voting laws including those that have been changed for 2020. This is especially important for companies like TASC who have employees all over the country (40+ states, 500+ polling locations). It ensures that your employees have the information they need regardless of where they are to vote and make sure their vote is counted.

According to the U.S. Census only about 67% of Americans are registered to vote. Who you vote for matters and is crucial in determining the path this country takes. Providing resources to employees about registering to vote is the first step to empower them to be a part of the process and have a say in the direction this country goes. USA.gov is a terrific resource to get started.

Make sure you’re registered to vote and encouraging your employees to do the same. Share communications with employees with information about voter registration deadlines. Headcount.org is a great source for finding voter registration deadlines for all 50 states.  It’s important to remember not every state allows you to register on election day.

TASC is committed to fostering a culture where employees feel valued and want to give back and be a part of the change we are dedicated to. Voting, encouraging others to vote and helping the process is a terrific next step for our organization to connect with our communities and be actively involved in the change we are striving to be a part of.

In the words of New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan, “only 60% of (us) voted in 2016, that’s not gonna get it done. We can’t win if we don’t play.” So, let’s do it. Let’s play to win. Commit to vote and be engaged for the upcoming election. We’re in. Are you?

Posted by: danielrashke | October 5, 2020

Innovative Benefit Solutions with The TASC Card

For more than 45 years, TASC has been a leader, an innovator and a partner to employers committed to ensuring the health, wealth, and well-being of their employees and their employees’ families and community. We are a driven and visionary company.

We’ve set our goals and we know what we need to accomplish to meet and exceed them. Those goals include remaining the leader in third-party benefits administration in the markets we serve, achieving double-digit growth every year with positive returns and low debt and being a high-performance, engaged, and community-minded workforce.

How do we get there? Innovation and providing our customers with solutions that make their benefits easy to access and manage.

In uncertain and strained times, I know how important it is for people to easily access their money and manage their benefits. That’s why we have the TASC Card®. We have always been a leader in healthcare cards and our TASC Card continues to be the evolution of that.

The TASC Card is provided to participants to easily purchase qualified items from merchants and pay using funds from their benefit account. With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the list of eligible expenses for FSAs, HSAs and HRAs to include OTC drugs and medicines as well as menstrual care products. That means there now are thousands of additional qualifying healthcare items. This allows participants save even more money by using their pretax benefit funds to purchase these items instead of using out-of-pocket funds. When you know that U.S. households spend an average annual of $442 annually on OTC items1, you see how impactful the potential savings can be.

The expansion led the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS) to release a list of over 20,000 newly eligible OTC items that should now be recognized as healthcare qualitied in merchant Point of Sale systems. With these additions, SIGIS now has over 109,000 items that are included as covered expenses.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27 and the change to include eligible over-the-counter expenses was made retroactive to January 1, 2020 meaning that expenses that were accrued since January 1 are eligible are reimbursable.

The TASC Card makes purchasing OTC items simple and quick because the card recognizes qualifying expenses for approval.  Should participants not use their TASC Card, receipts reimbursements can be submitted.

The CARES Act restores the ability to use HSAs, FSAs and HRAs to purchase certain OTC drugs and medications, like aspirin and other pain medications, allergy medication, etc., without a doctor’s prescription.

For the first time, menstrual care products are considered qualified medical expenses for payment or reimbursement with an HSA, FSA or HRA. Both provisions for OTC and menstrual products apply to amounts paid or expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020 and are ongoing without an expiration date which means that at the end of 2020 this will continue and be available for those who need it.

What could this mean for you? Over the counter medications that would not have qualified previously are now eligible expenses on your My TASC card. Pain relievers, Athletic and orthopedic braces and supports, reading glasses, sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher and much more. It’s easier than ever to get the items you need and get reimbursed for them. Simply swipe your card and the OTC eligible items that are eligible will automatically be paid from your benefit funds.

As many of us start end of year planning, it’s important to point out that starting in 2020, a permanent increase for health FSA carryover has been implemented. Traditionally, this number was $500 but has been increased to $550. Stay tuned because we don’t believe this is the end of this carryover increase discussion. We expect a more realistic number could possibly be in the works that could really go a long way in helping with additional health expenses at the beginning of the year and allows more of your expenses to be utilized for additional qualifying expenses.  

Here at TASC we constantly monitor TASC Card activity for insights which improve a participant’s experience. TASC has observed an almost 100% increase in the number of approved TASC Card healthcare transactions at IIAS merchants which were not prescription related.  This increase occurred over a short time period as merchants updated their point-of-sale (POS) systems for the new items. 

The TASC Card and our TASC Mobile are just more examples of how we make benefits smart and easy. Benefits that feel like benefits.

For more information on the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related items check out TASCResponds.com. For specific information related to CARES Act and Over The Counter changes see our info sheet Here.

1- CHPA, “The Value of OTC Medicines to the U.S. Healthcare System”, March 2019.

Businesses don’t have to reinvent the wheel to work more effectively and efficiently. At TASC, we combine our own innovations and best practices with those from other leaders in their industries to create the best work environment and protocols for our business. Let’s dive into a few examples of best practices concepts from other industries that TASC has adapted to meet our own customer and business needs. 

Mass Customization

When people think of this concept the idea of a mill comes to mind and for many that isn’t a positive correlation with streamlined, efficient work. But, the work of a mill is to break down rough pieces until they become a finely milled product that is then put together into something useful and good like baked bread or a piece of furniture. TASC is working to mill our products down until they become fine-tuned, efficient and effective offerings that our clients can use in everyday life or can easily access when needed. We are breaking away the rougher pieces to create plans that easily work for our clients.

Right Touch

At TASC, we work hard to provide what we call Right Touch service to our clients. This means we want to get them where they need to be and talking to who they need to talk to as quickly and efficiently as possible. TASC serves the needs of both high-tech and high-touch customers. When high-tech is desired, TASC meets that need with our mobile and web applications. When the situation warrants high-touch TASC can do that as well with its Benefit Advantage Premium Services, a division of TASC and/or its dedicated client account management services. During the current situation this can be likened to what many restaurants are doing in order to provide service to their customers during unprecedented times when “normal” restaurant interactions are not possible.

For places that can’t offer services in their dining rooms, restaurants have gotten creative and are offering extended patio services. Tables that are set 6 feet apart, parking lots turned dining locations, expanded and creative take-out ideas and locations. Providing the right touch service to make customers feel safe, secure and welcome while complying with enhanced health and safety regulations.

Manufacturing mindset

Manufacturing mindset is the process of streamlining, standardizing, and speeding up processes across the board. Taking processes and making them more efficient for employees and for customers. TASC uses manufacturing mindset to set processes and procedures that help our organization work faster and smarter. It’s been shown that applying a lean manufacturing mindset to processes can reduce cycle time, paperwork and errors. We pride ourselves on accuracy and quick, reliable service and implementing manufacturing mindset processes help us to do that.

Other companies who utilize manufacturing mindset include Boeing and Amazon. Boeing used manufacturing mindset to streamline their assembly processes. By adapting new, more efficient protocols they were able to cut assembly time in half.

Amazon has adapted a manufacturing mindset for several areas of their business model. Enhancing their already sophisticated distribution processes they were able to streamline the entire customer experience; search, purchase and delivery.

TASC will continue to enhance employee processes, customer experience and innovation using a manufacturing mindset.

Fast Pass

In 1999, The Walt Disney Company introduced the Fast Pass system. This was an innovation for guests to skip the standby lines for some of their favorite attractions. The Fast Pass system is still in use today at both Walt Disney World and in Disneyland. Today, guests go through a separate queue for the same attraction. This is called a Fast Pass line. In Disneyland, guests wishing to use the Fast pass service pay an additional fee on top of their theme park admission.

TASC has adapted the Disneyland Fast Pass system for our own customers. For those customers who meet a condition that grants them the add-on Fast Track Service, there is a component to that service called priority queuing. Whenever they call or one of their employees call with any type of inquiry, TASC’s system recognizes that they have added on that service. The TASC system moves that call into priority queuing. Those calls receive faster resolution, transaction and service.

We are using the best practices of other industries combined with our own innovation and creativity to improve and advance TASC systems and processes. Employee benefits are complex; we strive to simplify the information and systems for employers and employees to provide the best service possible. This is all based on applying a Functional Work Design with strategic exceptions, coupled with context based workflow where work is contextualized and routed to the appropriately skilled resource. The underpinnings of this is all based on the core design of TASC’s benefit account management service model working in concert with the core design of TASC’s compliance service model. We didn’t become a leader in third-party benefits by reinventing the wheel. We build upon the successful systems of our industry and others. We improve upon our own ideas and constantly strive to be better and be open to improvement. 

If you are interested in learning about how we put these best practices into action for our clients and their employees click HERE.

Posted by: danielrashke | June 24, 2020

TASC Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

When writing my employee address regarding the systemic racism and hate that has resulted in this tremendous divide in our nation, I knew I had to speak from my heart. As the CEO of TASC, my employees need to know that even though I can’t walk in their shoes, I will stand and walk beside them as TASC continues its journey toward becoming a business that can truly refer to itself as one that embraces and acts in accordance with diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Those are critical components of our overall business strategy and essential to accomplishing our purpose and achieving our mission.

I am deeply moved by the overwhelming response from TASC employees following the employee webcast and the previous CEO Blog post, “Leading with Empathy, Standing for Justice.”

The responses from TASC employees came from both long tenured and newly acquired employees, in a variety of positions from entry level to senior leadership, all different demographics and locations (40+ states represented) and individuals with variety of skin tones and backgrounds.

Listening to TASC employees and what is important to them, learning how I can better understand the challenges society and individuals face and how best to act feels right in my heart and soul. Included in this is a need to further understand the challenges created by, supported by or overcome by TASC for People of Color.  I will continue to do so and encourage the leaders of TASC to do the same.

The overwhelming response from the employees was a sense of pride. Pride working for a company that takes a stance of intentional focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and excitement about the positive direction we will continue to move in.

Continuing to build a workplace dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion where everyone is comfortable and able to bring their best is the right thing to do for people and for business. DE&I ensures equal representation at the table from all demographics. Talent does not see the differences in our characteristics and demographics, it sees only aptitude, hard work and drive. DE&I ensures a dedicated, talented workforce and a respected business strategy internally and externally.

DE&I helps an organization recruit top talent, retain top talent and remain competitive in their industry as well as increase profits.  DE&I is not just the right thing to do for society. It is the right thing to do for business. It is good business. I want top talent, high performance and outcomes that out-perform my competition. I can’t get that at TASC if I don’t have a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.

TASC is expanding our understanding of the issues of discrimination in the workplace as part of our intentional focus on DE&I. We will improve employee engagement and recruitment efforts while at the same time providing us with access to new customers, consumers and markets to deepen our customer loyalty; increase our internal creativity, production and revenue and enhance our current talent pool.

We have specific objectives to improve DE&I within TASC:

  • To foster a culture where all employees can contribute, advance and feel valued,
  • To attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce, and
  • To inspire commitment and drive accountability of leaders and employees to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in their decisions, business practices and spheres of influences.

How will we get there?

In order to accomplish our long-term goals, our initial efforts are focused in two areas.

  • Establishing a framework defining our vision, philosophy, guiding principles, measurement & program plan, and building our guiding coalition and action teams to support and complete it.
  • Broadening awareness and engaging employees in the journey by conducting introductory DE&I workshops, listening sessions, providing learning resources for self-guided education, and continuing to add to our growing Employee Resource Community networks.

The activities within these two immediate focus areas will be analyzed for the purpose of mindshare and resourcing investment required to demonstrate progress against commitments made. Here are some of the action items that TASC is committing to moving forward:

  • Requiring all employees be trained in DE&I expectations within 30 days of start date and required annually thereafter.
  • Provide access to additional educational resources and eLearning’s for more targeted information and training.
  • Promote inclusive and diverse leadership with our employees through onboarding and orientation.
  • Provide access to a variety of organizations, committees and opportunities for engagement and diverse team building.
  • Offer a range of benefits to all employees that allow for a variety of services both traditional such as medical, dental and vision as well as nontraditional benefits like mental health, cost savings, life planning and more.

This unwavering commitment is for the betterment of myself, my employees, my peers and my community. We have been working for years on DE&I and will continue to do so to make necessary changes to bring unity and justice to all who have been betrayed by our societal choices. I am encouraged by TASC employees’ willingness to join with us to be a part of the solution.

It is important that I point out that TASC is NOT where it needs to be as it relates to diversity, equity and inclusion. It does not exist at all levels and parts of the organization.

We have gathered a few resources that we think will help your business advance equity and eliminate discrimination in the workplace as well as provide educational tools on discrimination.

Community Action Related: This toolkit from PolicyLink helps government leaders as well as activists/advocates in the community connect with strategies to advance equity in communities.

Business Quick Hit Guide to Action: This Harvard Business Review article hits home for businesses with straight forward ideas.

Confronting Racism at Work: A Reading List: Harvard Business Review compiled a collection of articles for companies and business leaders.

Inclusion & Belonging to Drive Business Outcomes: These resources from Deloitte links inclusive practices to business performance and provides great insight for businesses looking to bolster or add in DE&I to business plans and trainings:

Creating a Culture of Belonging

Podcast: Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership 

Article: Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership 

In my follow-up webcast to employees last week I spoke of specific things I was doing and will do; I covered the same with respect to TASC, some of which we have covered in this post. In addition, we made modifications to our Volunteer Paid Time Off program, specifically what qualifies for employees’ use of the 40 hours of paid volunteer time.

One example of how we have expanded our volunteer paid time off has been to allow giving time to social justice, civic and political engagement. This encourages and supports employees who would like to use the hours for activism and standing for change, getting engaged in the policy needed for change and being involved in civic activities, which include but are not limited to voting and assisting others in being able to vote. The qualification use of this time is it must be in the spirit of and effort for changing the human condition…for the better.

Older Posts »

Categories