2013 is coming to a close and it has been a year full of government uncertainty with the President’s War on Coal, the EPA becoming heavy handed and pushing the envelope on contentious jurisdiction, Congress not agreeing on anything and forcing a temporary Federal Government shut down and the final finale the costly and inefficient roll out of the Affordable Health Care Act. Never in my years of business have I ever given too much consideration to Government uncertainty as I have in the last few years. If there is a bit of a silver lining, it is that our economy is strong enough to rebound regardless of the drag Washington DC has encumbered it with and Congress seems to have come up with a compromise budget bill instead of drawing lines in the sand that neither party will reach. Not too sure if all the compromise is good, but it at least gives us two years of some sort of certainty. May everyone have a Merry Christmas and a more certain New Year!
The news is full of stories of American individuals losing health insurance coverage due to their current carrier canceling their coverage. How many of you have heard of companies losing coverage for their employees? Stellar Industries, Inc. is self-insured for our health benefit plan. A critical component of any corporate self-insured plan is to work with a dependable TPA, or Third-Party Administrator, to manage claims processing, provider networks, utilization review, and membership functions. We were informed in early August that our TPA of several years was ceasing operations at the end of the 2013 calendar year. The reason given to us was that the increased reporting and paperwork requirements under the upcoming Affordable Care Act would not allow them operate in the black. Stellar Industries has since secured the services of a different, larger TPA that will begin working with us next month. Thankfully our employees that have health insurance coverage through Stellar Industries will see no gap in coverage.
While our politicians in Washington DC like to talk about all the work they do in the name of creating jobs, do we really know how many jobs they are destroying in the process?
At Stellar Industries, Inc. we not only pride ourselves with our great people and products, but we also pride ourselves with our great customer service. Our team is made up of nine individuals that bring years of experience and diverse areas of expertise. We are all qualified to assist you with your comments, questions and/or concerns. Please feel free to click here to visit our customer service page to learn more about the customer service team.
A few months ago we implemented a no-talk session for Thursday afternoons in the marketing department. We heard Jason Fried of 37 Signals talk about the importance of not being distracted and disconnecting to get your best work accomplished, so we figured we’d give it a shot. We did this for a couple of reasons; 1.) to increase productivity and 2.) to disconnect. In the marketing department we find that there are many times that we start working on a project and then get distracted by the little things, that eventually throw us off on a pattern or a certain mindset, dependent of the project we’re currently working on.
Increase productivity and disconnecting – We found that when working on a project, especially a creative project that requires design, we needed to be 100% focused and not be distracted by a phone call, IM message or text message, we would need to absolutely disconnect. Once we’re disconnected, we found that good quality work was able to get done, efficiently too.
Yesterday, November 21st, was The American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout. They have designated the third Thursday of November each year as a day to encourage smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day. By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life – one that can lead to reducing their cancer risk.
Even though the day has come and gone this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a plan today! You can get information on why to quit and tips on how to quit by following this link, http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/index
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — Nearly 1 in every 5 adults. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.
The health benefits of quitting start immediately from the moment of smoking cessation. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.
Whether it was yesterday, today or tomorrow, make a plan to quit and take the first step to lowering your risk for disease and creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself and the ones around you.