TULSA, Oklahoma – A family from Tulsa strives to help their elderly mother survive medically and financially.
They called 2News Problem Solvers after several delays in the retirement benefits she needs so badly.
Like any great mother, Heather shares a lot of love, sweat, and tears when it comes to her children. No wonder Heather thinks that way about her 62-year-old mother.
No more than in desperate times.
“Without getting paid, she runs the risk of becoming homeless.”
Heather’s mom is far too private to go public, but Heather says stage 4 cancer caused her mother to retire after working for Tulsa County for more than two decades.
Now her mother’s life depends on her monthly pension benefits. They cover their medical bills, insurance premiums, and medication.
Since the beginning of the year, these payments have been delayed by two to three weeks every month. Heather says it puts a strain on her mother as she struggles financially and emotionally.
“She had to decide whether to pay for her purchases, her bills, or the eviction. Or for her cancer treatment and recovery drugs.”
While Tulsa County pays the retirement benefits, the monthly payments are managed by a Wisconsin company called Total Administrative Services Corporation (TASC).
A Tulsa County representative told us that TASC informed them last November that they were upgrading their system and there could be some delays in payments.
But since then, Tulsa County has told us that more than 75 retirees were late paying their benefits each month, and the county administrators are in weekly contact with TASC
“We are fully aware of the problems,” said the Tulsa County representative. “It is deeply frustrating. Our retirees are particularly dependent on these funds for their monthly expenses and it is totally unacceptable that they have been exposed to these mistakes.”
“She talks about not being able to sleep at night, she’s getting sick, she’s still waiting for that payment, that check every month.”
Heather says that she and her brother and sister helped their mother financially as much as their families can afford, but that really bothers her mother.
“It still keeps her in a tight spot, she feels stressed because she borrowed money from us and feels like she owes people money. I keep telling her that you don’t have to pay it back.”
Problem Solvers has made several attempts to obtain information from TASC, but no response from the company has yet been received. We will continue to try to find out when the problems with your system will be resolved.
Fortunately, Heather’s mother finally got May’s check yesterday … about three weeks late.
Tulsa County says its post-employment health plan benefits are a rarity these days. Former full-time employees are eligible after at least one year. The district pays 100% of the services. Retirees can set up automatic monthly reimbursement of premiums and medical expenses.
You can find more information about the pension plan here:
Tulsa County provides our retirees and laid-off employees with access to a post-employment health insurance fund that reimburses them for eligible after-tax healthcare costs and premiums. This benefit is 100% funded by Tulsa County. If an employee leaves Tulsa County after working full-time for at least one year, they are eligible for this benefit. Retirees can set up automatic monthly reimbursement of their after-tax premiums and submit their receipts for expense reimbursement (similar to a flexible expense account).
In November 2020, TASC informed us that they would upgrade their system in January 2021 and enforce a lock-up period. Unfortunately, the announcement of the system changes and the blocking period came too late and the majority of the recurring premium claims were paid late for approximately 75+ former employees.
Here is Tulsa County’s statement on the situation:
We are aware of the problems our retirees and terminated employees have with late and / or missing reimbursements from TASC and it is deeply frustrating. Our retirees rely heavily on these funds for their monthly expenses and it is totally unacceptable for them to be exposed to these mistakes. We hope they know that, since the beginning of the year since we became aware of these issues, our HR and finance teams have had weekly phone calls with TASC and emails our account manager almost daily to ensure that those affected are aware of the get needed funds as soon as possible. Tulsa County’s post-employment health benefits are a rarity in the world today, and we want them to be a high point of employment here. We will continue to work with TASC to identify and fix any issues until they are resolved to our satisfaction.
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