AFSPA Office Closure on Jan 18 and Jan 20, 2021
To our valued members:
AFSPA will be closed on Monday January 18, 2021 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 in observance of Inauguration Day.
Take care and stay safe!
AFSPA CEO, Paula S. Jakub on Federal News Radio
AFSPA CEO, Paula S. Jakub, RHU was featured as a guest in the "For Your Benefit Show" on Federal News Radio on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 10am ET. She discussed the impact of COVID-19 on health care and the FEHBP, the importance of participating in your plan's wellness program, Medicare & FEHBP updates, and more. Mrs. Jakub is a Subject Matter Expert in Federal Health Insurance and serves on the adjunct faculty of the Foreign Service Institute.
Click here to listen to the recording.
From the CEO
Happy New Year! I want to welcome our new enrollees who chose the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) during Open Season. We are excited to have you join our community of more than
3,000 loyal members who trust us with their health care needs. As we move forward after a difficult 2020, we want to keep you informed of the new developments at the American Foreign Service Protective Association (AFSPA).
By now, returning members have received their 2021 Open Season Materials. Read the documents carefully and review your full Plan Brochure. Be sure to also check our to see the ways in which FSBP can help you prioritize your health and medical care during COVID-19. We encourage you to take full advantage of the new services available to you in 2021.
Cervical Health Awareness Month
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month! It is a chance to raise awareness about how members can protect themselves from HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer. FSBP understands the importance of regular wellness checks. HPV vaccines and cervical cancer screenings (pap smears) are covered at 100 percent for in-network and overseas providers under the Plan.
NEW FOR 2021 - You also can earn a $25 Wellness Reward for your cervical cancer screening by participating in FSBP’s Simple Steps to Living Well Together program. This is just one of the enhancements in our Wellness Program that offers more opportunities for all members to earn Healthy Action rewards. To learn more about this and other reward opportunities through the Simple Steps to Living Well Together program, you can view the 2021 FSBP Brochure or
Healthy Weight Week
January 24-30 is Healthy Weight Week, a time to celebrate healthy, diet-free living habits that last a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems. If you’ve struggled with maintaining diet or weight-related New Year’s resolutions in the past, you may want to consider taking baby steps and setting more realistic goals to start. Choosing a more manageable resolution can make a huge difference when it comes to sticking to it. FSBP offers the below programs to help get you on track:
The Health Coaching Program allows you to work one-on-one with a Health Coach who offers guidance, support, and resources to help you realize your optimal health. This program can count as a general Healthy Action for the Plan’s Simple Steps program, which means you are eligible to earn a $75 Wellness Reward when you participate. You must first complete a Health Risk Assessment and Biometric Screening to earn the reward.
The Mediterranean Wellness Program is an interactive, online, eight-week program that assists you in maintaining a desirable weight and keeping healthy by eating nutritious and hearty food. You will have access to an 80-page support manual, as well as access to your own Registered Dietician. Completion of this program can earn you a $75 condition-specific Healthy Action Incentive in the Simple Steps program.
To enroll in either of these programs, view our More Wellness Programs web page. You also can take advantage of a number of discounts on fitness gear and support programs available through the Plan. Simply log in to the Aetna secure member website, click on “Stay Healthy” and then select “Discounts.” No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are for this year, FSBP can help you get started on your health journey while taking care of yourself.
FSBP Online Claim Submission Change Reminder
Just a reminder that for security and expedience reasons, we recently eliminated the option to use the last four digits of your social security number when submitting claims online via the AFSPA Member Portal. This change was effective January 1, 2021. Moving forward, please use your “W” member ID when submitting claims.
Important Changes to Your 2021 Benefits
The unprecedented circumstances of 2020 brought about some modifications to FSBP benefits so that our members could have access to remote health care. As we move into 2021, FSBP will continue to cover Telehealth visits through Teladoc and vHealth vendors at 100 percent. You can view sections 5(a) and 5(e) of the 2021 FSBP Brochure for more information on these services.
Telemedicine visits, which are virtual visits with an established provider or PCP, were covered last year because of an emergency lift on normal Plan restrictions. While we received OPM’s permission to continue offering virtual visits in 2021, these visits now will be covered like in-person office visits subject to the calendar year deductible and covered at 90 percent for in-network and overseas providers and 70 percent of the Plan allowance for out-of-network providers. They no longer will be covered at 100 percent for 2021.
Another notable benefit change for the new year is the increase in the visit limit for chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy services to 50 visits per person, per calendar year. You can find detailed information on coverage for these services in the 2021 FSBP Brochure Section 5(a) under Chiropractic and Alternative treatments.
I personally want to wish you all a safe and healthy New Year. As always, thank you for your continued trust and loyalty. We look forward to serving you in 2021.
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation
State of Emergency Issued in Oklahoma Due to Severe Winter Storm
The Governor of Oklahoma has issued a state of emergency for the following counties due to severe winter storm: Alfalfa, Beckham, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Cotton, Creek, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Grady, Grant, Greer, Harmon, Harper, Jackson, Jefferson, Kay, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Major, McClain, Noble, Oklahoma, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pottawatomie, Roger Mills, Stephens, Tillman, Washita, Woods, and Woodward. 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 Jan. 1, 2021, and expiration date of Jan. 12, 2021.
Online Claim Submission Requirement
Dear FSBP Members:
We are streamlining our claims management process to improve efficiency and enhance the security of your Protected Health Information (PHI).
Effective January 1, 2021, we are eliminating the option to use the last four digits of your social security number (SSN) when submitting claims online via the AFSPA Member Portal. While using your SSN is convenient, it requires a manual search to identify you and delay the processing of your claim(s).
Effective immediately, please enter the appropriate unique “W” ID number located on the front side of your FSBP Member ID card when submitting claims online. Log into the Aetna secure member website if you need to view or request a physical copy of your FSBP Member ID card.
We also recommend downloading the Aetna Health? Application on your smartphone or tablet device. With just a few taps, you will be able to access your ID card whenever you need it. You can download the application on the App Store or Google Play.
Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to improve the security and efficiency of the claim’s management process.
We hope you have a safe and prosperous New Year!
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU
Change in Telemedicine Coverage effective January 1, 2021
To our valued FSBP Members:
This has been a year unlike any other. As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread around the world, we all have sought ways to bring healthcare closer to us. To ensure you had access to the care you need, the Foreign Service Benefit Plan modified some of its benefits and implemented exceptions to provide remote care access for our members.
- We expanded our telehealth partnership with Teladoc (for members in the U.S.) and added telehealth services through vHealth (for members overseas).
- We waived the exclusion on telemedicine visits with your primary care physician (PCP) or other providers, and covered these visits at 100% in the U.S. and overseas.
We worked with OPM throughout the year and obtained permission to make telemedicine visits part of our regular benefits and waive the exclusion on telemedicine visits with your primary care physician (PCP) or other providers.
With 2021 just around the corner, I want to make sure members are aware of how visits will be covered in the New Year.
Telehealth visits through Teladoc and vHealth will continue to be covered at 100%. You can find coverage details and information to access these services in Section 5(a) and 5(e) of the 2021 FSBP Brochure.
Effective January 1, 2021, telemedicine visits (virtual visits with an established provider or PCP) will no longer be covered at 100%, but will be covered like in-person office visits: subject to the calendar year deductible and paid at 90% of the Plan allowance for in network providers and 70% of the Plan allowance for out of network providers.
Each week, I review reports on the usage of telehealth and telemedicine services – in addition to other categories of care – and your usage of the services will help us as we consider new benefits or further benefit changes for 2022. Care options are evolving and we will continue to do our best to ensure you have access to the care you need.
Have a Safe and Prosperous New Year!
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU