3May
From the CEO

From the CEO

Greetings AFSPA Family, 

Let’s ring in May with healthy minds and some exciting new developments here at AFSPA! From Mental Health Month to the launch of our new podcast, I am happy to share what is in store for the next few weeks.


Mental Health Month 

May is Mental Health Month. The annual movement aims to fight the stigma and educate the public about mental illness, as well as advocate for policies to support those who it affects.  

The past year took a significant toll on the mental health of many of us. In fact, FSBP’s Behavioral Health costs increased almost 25 percent, with the largest increase (83 percent) being attributed to Adjustment Disorder. Adjustment Disorder is an emotional or behavioral reaction to a stressful life event that results in feeling sad or hopeless – a perfect description of what many of us experienced or continue to experience as we adjust to this “new normal.”

In response, AFSPA continues to promote its Mental Wellness Leads to Better Physical Health theme, And I’d like to remind you that FSBP offers several programs to help meet our members’ individual mental health needs. Read more about these programs on our website.


Hinge Health for Musculoskeletal Conditions

The prevalence of Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions continues to rise during the pandemic. This is a result of many of us being less active while home - especially those of us working while seated in front of a computer. Twenty-six percent of our membership is suffering from back pain, neck pain or joint disorders. In fact, lower back pain ranks #3 for both our one-on-one support and digital support programs.   

We are pleased to add to that roster by partnering with Hinge Health. This offers no-cost virtual exercise and physical therapy instruction under our pain Management Program. Hinge Health is available to FSBP members and dependents 18 years and older within the U.S. (Medicare Part B enrollees are not eligible).  In addition, the program is working through local licensing regulations in many foreign countries in hopes of an international rollout in the future.  If you have questions or to see if you qualify for this program, call Hinge Health at (855) 902-2777 or visit hingehealth.com/fsbpnopain.


Foreign Service Cup Recipient

I would like to congratulate our longstanding AFSPA Chairman and SLF Board of Directors member Thomas M. Tracy, for being the recipient of the 2020 Foreign Service Cup, presented by DACOR, an Organization of Foreign Service Professionals. This prestigious award, which honors foreign-service retirees who have made significant contributions to the field, will be  presented to Mr. Tracy at Foreign Affairs Day on Friday, May 7. This annual event is being  held virtually this year due to COVID-19, but you can request to watch it by sending an email to [email protected].


New AFSPA Podcast

We are thrilled to announce we will be launching a podcast station on May 10. Chief Operating Officer Kyle Longton will be leading discussions about health and wellness topics and sharing important information that benefits our members. Stay tuned to our social media channels over the next few days for special previews about this exciting new project.


National Women’s Health Week

National Women’s Health Week is May 9 through 15. The federal government’s Office on Women’s Health created National Women’s Health Week to motivate women and girls to prioritize their health.

This is a great time to take advantage of FSBP’s cervical and breast cancer screening wellness incentives; you can earn a $25 wellness reward for completing each screening. Find more information on the FSBP Wellness Programs and Incentives webpage.


While I’m on the subject of Women’s Health and May events, I would like to wish all the mothers and mother figures a Happy Mother’s Day on May 9th. Your efforts, care and love do not go unnoticed. Be sure to take time for yourselves to invest in your health. Also remember that the AFSPA family is always here to help you do just that.

To Your Health, 

Paula S. Jakub, RHU
CEO, AFSPA
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation

 
30Apr
Telehealth vs. Telemedicine FSBP Coverage Blog

Telehealth vs. Telemedicine FSBP Coverage Blog

Over the past year, going to the doctor or receiving in-person care have become a risk to your health. In order to stay safe, telehealth and telemedicine have been utilized as a more comfortable option.  

To learn more about telehealth vs. telemedicine read our new blog post

 
29Apr
2021 AFSPA in Action Spring Newsletter is Out

2021 AFSPA in Action Spring Newsletter is Out

We are excited to share the AFSPA in Action Spring 2021 Newsletter! From spring cleaning tips to our latest benefit enhancements, this issue will have you ready for a happy, healthy spring. Read it here: https://www.afspa.org/filestoreAFSPA/AFSPA_2021_SpringNewsletter_singlepages.pdf

 
28Apr
Congratulations to Chairman Thomas M. Tracy

Congratulations to Chairman Thomas M. Tracy

Congratulations to our Chairman, Thomas M. Tracy, for receiving the 2020 Foreign Service Cup! DACOR awards the Foreign Service Cup each year on Foreign Affairs Day. The award goes to a retired FSO who had a distinguished Foreign Service career and has made significant post-retirement contributions to the broad field encompassed by the term "foreign affairs." Mr. Tracy has served on the AFSPA and SLF boards for decades, and both organizations have greatly benefited from his leadership and counsel.

 
27Apr
FSBP Partners with Makiminato Chuo Hospital in Okinawa, Japan

FSBP Partners with Makiminato Chuo Hospital in Okinawa, Japan

Featured Partner: Makiminato Chuo Hospital

The Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) proudly welcomes our newest direct billing partner, Makiminato Chuo Hospital, located in Okinawa, Japan.

Our direct billing arrangement with Makiminato Chuo Hospital covers inpatient*, routine annual physical exam* and all covered outpatient medical services**.

Makiminato Chuo Hospital is located in Urasoe City, Okinawa. The facility features 99 beds and specializes in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, respiratory medicine, and dialysis. Makiminato Chuo Hospital also offers an international department with multilingual healthcare professionals, including English, Chinese, and Korean.

We strive to simplify your care overseas and are delighted to have this billing arrangement. If you have overseas direct billing questions, please visit our FSBP Overseas Partners page on our website, email us, or call us at 202-833-4910 for assistance.

Thank you for being a valued FSBP member.    

*Inpatient, and routine annual physical exam: Member pays no deductible. FSBP pays 100% of covered services.

**Outpatient: Member pays applicable calendar year deductible and 10% coinsurance. FSBP pays 90% of covered services.

 
16Apr
State of Emergency Issued in Louisiana Due to Severe Weather

State of Emergency Issued in Louisiana Due to Severe Weather

The Governor of Louisiana has issued a state of emergency for all counties due to severe weather. There are provisions being made for affected members. Aetna (the Plan’s Administrator) waives precertification/prior approval requirements for members identified as potentially being affected. If you are impacted by the emergency or have questions regarding precertification/prior approval, please call us at 1-800-593-2354.

Express Scripts (the Plan’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager) has activated an emergency benefit override that allows pharmacies, at the point of sale (POS), to override certain benefit coverage/edits such as an early refill during a government-defined emergency. In addition, if your home delivery of medications is affected by the emergency, you may provide a temporary alternate address (either online at www.express-scripts.com or by calling 1-800-818-6717) or request a local fill as needed. The Emergency Access to Benefits/Refill Too Soon override process is implemented with an effective date of April 13, 2021 and an expiration date of May 12, 2021.

 
15Apr
State of Emergency Issued in Mississippi Due to Severe Weather

State of Emergency Issued in Mississippi Due to Severe Weather

The Governor of Mississippi has issued a state of emergency due to severe weather for the following counties: Attala, Chickasaw, Issaquena, Rankin, Hinds, Itawamba, Lamar, Smith, Warren, Wayne, Winston, and Yazoo. There are provisions being made for affected members. Aetna (the Plan’s Administrator) waives precertification/prior approval requirements for members identified as potentially being affected. If you are impacted by the emergency or have questions regarding precertification/prior approval, please call us at 1-800-593-2354.

Express Scripts (the Plan’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager) has activated an emergency benefit override that allows pharmacies, at the point of sale (POS), to override certain benefit coverage/edits such as an early refill during a government-defined emergency. In addition, if your home delivery of medications is affected by the emergency, you may provide a temporary alternate address (either online at www.express-scripts.com or by calling 1-800-818-6717) or request a local fill as needed. The Emergency Access to Benefits/Refill Too Soon override process is implemented with an effective date of April 10, 2021 and an expiration date of May 10, 2021.

 

 
14Apr
State of Emergency Issued in Louisiana Due to Tornadoes

State of Emergency Issued in Louisiana Due to Tornadoes

The Governor of Louisiana has issued a state of emergency for St. Landry County due to tornadoes. There are provisions being made for affected members. Aetna (the Plan’s Administrator) waives precertification/prior approval requirements for members identified as potentially being affected. If you are impacted by the emergency or have questions regarding precertification/prior approval, please call us at 1-800-593-2354.

Express Scripts (the Plan’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager) has activated an emergency benefit override that allows pharmacies, at the point of sale (POS), to override certain benefit coverage/edits such as an early refill during a government-defined emergency. In addition, if your home delivery of medications is affected by the emergency, you may provide a temporary alternate address (either online at www.express-scripts.com or by calling 1-800-818-6717) or request a local fill as needed. The Emergency Access to Benefits/Refill Too Soon override process is implemented with an effective date of April 10, 2021 and an expiration date of May 10, 2021.

 
13Apr
FSBP Partners with Raphael Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel

FSBP Partners with Raphael Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel

Featured Partner: Raphael Hospital

The Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) proudly welcomes our newest direct billing partner, Raphael Hospital located in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Our direct billing arrangement with Raphael Hospital covers inpatient*, accidental injury*, routine annual physical exam* and all covered outpatient medical services**.

Raphael Hospital is a modern private hospital located in Kiryat Atidim, Tel-Aviv that offers diagnostics, therapy, and various fields of surgery including general surgery, bariatric surgery, orthopedics, urology, etc., all performed by senior and leading specialists in their areas. The facility also offers unique and advanced technology and professional staff that prioritizes the patient's experience.

We strive to simplify your care overseas and are delighted to have this billing arrangement. If you have overseas direct billing questions, please visit our FSBP Overseas Partners page on our website, email us, or call us at 202-833-4910 for assistance.

Thank you for being a valued FSBP member.    

*Inpatient, accidental injury, and routine annual physical exam: Member pays no deductible. FSBP pays 100% of covered services.

**Outpatient: Member pays applicable calendar year deductible and 10% coinsurance. FSBP pays 90% of covered services.

 

 
7Apr
State of Emergency Issued in Florida Due to Reservoir Leak

State of Emergency Issued in Florida Due to Reservoir Leak

The Governor of Florida has issued a state of emergency for Manatee county due to a reservoir leak. There are provisions being made for affected members. Aetna (the Plan’s Administrator) waives precertification/prior approval requirements for members identified as potentially being affected. If you are impacted by the emergency or have questions regarding precertification/prior approval, please call us at 1-800-593-2354.

Express Scripts (the Plan’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager) has activated an emergency benefit override that allows pharmacies, at the point of sale (POS), to override certain benefit coverage/edits such as an early refill during a government-defined emergency. In addition, if your home delivery of medications is affected by the emergency, you may provide a temporary alternate address (either online at www.express-scripts.com or by calling 1-800-818-6717) or request a local fill as needed. The Emergency Access to Benefits/Refill Too Soon override process is implemented with an effective date of April 6, 2021 and expiration date of May 6, 2021.

 
1Apr
Diabetes Prevention Blog

Diabetes Prevention Blog

It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of Type II Diabetes cases are preventable. Learn how you can help reduce your risk in our newest blog post. To read more of our blogs, visit the blog page

 
1Apr
Hinge Health Launch

Hinge Health Launch

The American Foreign Service Protective Association (AFSPA) is partnering with Hinge Health to help you get back to the activities you love. Hinge Health offers innovative digital programs for back, knee, hip, neck and shoulder pain in easy-to-do 15-minute exercise therapy sessions. Join the thousands of people who have cut their pain by over 60%Click here to learn more and apply.

Best of all, this program is available at no cost to you and your family members enrolled in the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP). Once enrolled, you'll receive the Hinge Health Welcome Kit, which includes a tablet computer and wearable motion sensors that'll guide you through the exercises. You'll also be connected with your personal health coach who will tailor the program to your needs and be with you every step of the way. So if back pain is stopping you from the things you love, register today!

If you have questions, call (855) 902-2777 or email [email protected].

*Members and dependents 18+ enrolled in FSBP and not covered by Medicare Part B are eligible.

 
1Apr
From the CEO

From the CEO

Greetings AFSPA Family, 

It is time for a physically and mentally uplifting April! This month is jam packed with health awareness activities and new developments here at AFSPA. Below I have outlined some things to look forward to as we start the new quarter. Don’t forget that many of our wellness programs can help keep you on track for each of them.  


Defeat Diabetes Month 

Type 2 Diabetes is a highly preventable disease. One of the goals of Defeat Diabetes Month is to help halt the spread of this rapidly rising global epidemic by encouraging people to balance healthy diets with active lifestyles. Additional resources can be found on the Defeat Diabetes website.  

To kick off Defeat Diabetes Month, we have written a new blog post with tips to prevent type 2 disease. We have also detailed how some of our special programs can help. Read our latest post on the website here


Stress Awareness Month 

Stress Awareness Month takes place every April as an effort to increase awareness about the causes and cures for the modern stress epidemic. While we can’t completely eliminate stress from our lives, learning to be more mindful of the causes, effects and coping mechanisms can help us manage it. Next week we will be featuring a blog post on ways to relieve stress while working from home. Stress management ties in closely to our 2021 theme of Mental Wellness Leads to Better Physical Health, so check our social media pages for additional tips and related content throughout the month as well. 


Mental Wellness Podcasts for Teens and Parents from Trestle Tree 

COVID-19 has had an effect on all of us- but especially for our teens. Many parents are uncertain about how then can help their teen adjust to this new “non-normal,” and many teens are feeling anxious, depressed or even suicidal.  Our partners at Trestle Tree have developed a five-episode podcast series designed for teens and parents who are struggling with the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic. The podcasts use an interview and Q&A format, with each one focusing on a single issue relevant to today’s parents and teens. Be on the lookout for more information on this special series in the coming weeks.  


Let’s not forget to laugh… National Humor Month – yes, for real 

Laughter benefits our mental and physical health in many ways, and April is the perfect time to capitalize on that. National Humor Month aims to heighten public awareness of the therapeutic value of humor. Laughing helps with stress relief, boosting morale and even improving communication skills. The National Humor Month website includes numerous resources and projects related to humor. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life’s daily stressors, don’t be afraid to decompress with a good laugh. After all, you are laughing your way to a healthier you.  


Annual Member Meeting Recap 

Last month we held our first completely virtual Annual Member Meeting. We were happy to connect with members for a fantastic event they could enjoy from the safety of their own homes. The meeting included a special presentation on mental resilience during the COVID pandemic by Dr. Charles Rosenfarb, former Medical Director of the State Department’s Bureau of Medical Services. If you missed the meeting or would like to re-watch, you can view a recording of the event on our YouTube Channel or website.   


Check your mailboxes for the newest edition of the AFSPA in Action spring newsletter out later this month. It features the latest program enhancement updates, spring cleaning tips, and other news we are excited to share with you. Spring is a busy time for many of us, but that has not stopped AFSPA from working diligently to provide resources and services that help keep you healthy. As always, thank you for your continued trust and loyalty.  

To Your Health, 

Paula S. Jakub, RHU
CEO, AFSPA
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation

 

 
31Mar
State of Emergency Issued in South Dakota Due to Fires

State of Emergency Issued in South Dakota Due to Fires

The Governor of South Dakota has issued a state of emergency for Pennington county due to fires. There are provisions being made for affected members. Aetna (the Plan’s Administrator) waives precertification/prior approval requirements for members identified as potentially being affected. If you are impacted by the emergency or have questions regarding precertification/prior approval, please call us at 1-800-593-2354.

Express Scripts (the Plan’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager) has activated an emergency benefit override that allows pharmacies, at the point of sale (POS), to override certain benefit coverage/edits such as an early refill during a government-defined emergency. In addition, if your home delivery of medications is affected by the emergency, you may provide a temporary alternate address (either online at www.express-scripts.com or by calling 1-800-818-6717) or request a local fill as needed. The Emergency Access to Benefits/Refill Too Soon override process is implemented with an effective date of March 30, 2021, and an expiration date of April 29, 2021.

 

 
30Mar
State of Emergency Issues in Tennessee Due to Flooding

State of Emergency Issues in Tennessee Due to Flooding

The Governor of Tennessee has issued a state of emergency for the following counties due to flooding: Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson. There are provisions being made for affected members. Aetna (the Plan’s Administrator) waives precertification/prior approval requirements for members identified as potentially being affected. If you are impacted by the emergency or have questions regarding precertification/prior approval, please call us at 1-800-593-2354.

Express Scripts (the Plan’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager) has activated an emergency benefit override that allows pharmacies, at the point of sale (POS), to override certain benefit coverage/edits such as an early refill during a government-defined emergency. In addition, if your home delivery of medications is affected by the emergency, you may provide a temporary alternate address (either online at www.express-scripts.com or by calling 1-800-818-6717) or request a local fill as needed. The Emergency Access to Benefits/Refill Too Soon override process is implemented with an effective date of Mar. 29, 2021, and an expiration date of Apr. 28, 2021.

 
26Mar
State of Emergency Issued in Georgia Due to Tornadoes

State of Emergency Issued in Georgia Due to Tornadoes

The Governor of Georgia has issued a state of emergency for all counties due to tornadoes. There are provisions being made for affected members. Aetna (the Plan’s Administrator) waives precertification/prior approval requirements for members identified as potentially being affected. If you are impacted by the emergency or have questions regarding precertification/prior approval, please call us at 1-800-593-2354.

Express Scripts (the Plan’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager) has activated an emergency benefit override that allows pharmacies, at the point of sale (POS), to override certain benefit coverage/edits such as an early refill during a government-defined emergency. In addition, if your home delivery of medications is affected by the emergency, you may provide a temporary alternate address (either online at www.express-scripts.com or by calling 1-800-818-6717) or request a local fill as needed. The Emergency Access to Benefits/Refill Too Soon override process is implemented with an effective date of Mar. 26, 2021, and expiration date of Apr. 25, 2021.