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Our History

The Wick Building Downtown Youngstown

Our family business was started in a small office in downtown Youngstown, Ohio in 1981 with one employee. Jim White had been the regional agency manager for the Prudential company for 20 years. He was convinced that the employee benefit options allowed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was a better way for many employers than the fully insured plans most carriers offered. However, after several years of prodding Prudential to begin a new division offering self-insured plan options, the home office was not ready to make a change.

So Jim gave his notice and started Professional Risk Management, Inc. The company grew at a rate no one could have imagined. PRM moved 4 times in a 4 year period in order to accommodate the increased staff required. At the height of PRM’s growth, it had moved 8 times in 12 years and there were just under 100 employees processing claims for over 40,000 lives. Most of the clients were within northeast Ohio with the exception of three school consortiums and a few private employers in southern Ohio. At this same time, Jim had started an insurance agency, J.B. White and Associates to primarily handle the insurance carrier shopping and stop loss policies needed by PRM’s self-insured clients. This later became the Tartan Insurance Agency and soon after began offering fully-insured products along with the self-insured stop loss policies. Additional fully-insured products such as dental, vision, life, AD&D came next.

During the PRM growth period, a workers’ compensation division was started that offered the same high level of service to clients for their work comp claims. In 1996, a provider network company was begun in order to compete with the practice of claims discounting many carriers had expanded to compete against self-insured benefit plans.

In 2008, the White and Blasko families sold PRM to Meritain Health. It was not an easy decision, but the large insurance carriers were now offering direct Administrative Service Only (ASO) options with large networks to self-insured employers and it was becoming more difficult to offer competitive rates to the PRM clients that had trusted them to do just that for decades. Meritain had a relationship with Aetna that the families felt offered a better option for their clients. Within four years of the purchase, Meritain decided it did not want the work comp TPA business anymore as it was tailored to Ohio employers and did not fit into their national presence well. Brad White bought back the work comp TPA portion of PRM, but changed the name to Tartan Benefit Services as the PRM name was still owned by Meritain.

Tartan Risk Solutions was started to meet the needs Tartan Benefit Service and Tartan Insurance Agency were finding their clients required. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) along with already existing regulations under HIPAA , state and local government entities was becoming overwhelming to employers. The addition of SHRM certified personnel and software capabilities expanded the services TRS could offer all sizes of Tartan Companies clients.

The description of The Tartan Companies as a family business is a valid one. Jim’s son-in-law, Ron Blasko joined the PRM management team early on and became president over a course of 15 years. Ron is currently president of The Tartan Companies. Jim’s daughter, Traci (White) Blasko was part of PRM’s beginning years as well, filling roles such as claims analyst and executive assistant among others. Jim’s son, Brad White came on board as the executive director of the provider network company in 1996. Over the course of several years, Brad became the CEO of PRM and what became The Tartan Companies. Ron, Traci and Brad are all still involved in the management and ownership of what is currently The Tartan Companies.

The third generation is part of the business now as well. Brad’s son, Josh White, grew from file clerk to president of Tartan Insurance Agency.