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
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation
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.
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
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.
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.
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.