Dear FSBP Members:
Like many of you, we at AFSPA have been following the news of the outbreak of novel coronavirus/covid-19 around the globe. Many members live in areas overseas with large numbers of cases, including parts of China, South Korea, and Italy. Some members have been evacuated from their overseas posts back to the United States to reduce exposure. Stateside members may be preparing for the potential increase in the number of cases. At AFSPA and the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP), we are taking action to ensure access to care for all our members.
For all members, regardless of where you are located, the Plan will cover testing and treatment costs of covid-19 per the terms of the Brochure.
For members overseas who are concerned about having an adequate supply of prescription drugs, FSBP has lifted the restrictions on early refills for home delivery of drugs for the time being. Express Scripts has a special EXPAT team devoted to meeting the needs of our overseas members. The team can assist overseas members in fulfilling an emergency replacement of a drug, discussing the feasibility of shipping various drugs overseas, obtaining up to a year’s supply for mail order delivery of a prescription, and more. You may contact the dedicated Expat Team at Express Scripts via email at ExpatriateProcessingGEN@express-scripts.com or call 877-846-3630 to order a refill.
We have been in contact with partner hospitals and doctors in various countries in Europe and Asia. We understand that some providers are restricting in-person treatments and office visits and encouraging members to contact them through a phone or video visit. Temporarily, FSBP will allow telehealth visits for overseas members. Telehealth visits will be covered the same as in-person visits per the terms of the 2020 FSBP Brochure.
Please note: Members located overseas cannot access services through FSBP’s stateside telehealth vendor Teladoc. Telehealth visits while overseas must take place with an overseas provider. Please contact your local provider to learn about what services they offer via phone or video visit.
A number of members have been evacuated from their stateside posts to temporary housing stateside. In the rush to leave, some may have forgotten medications that will need to be refilled locally or their refill may have been ordered and is in-transit. Please contact the Plan for assistance with overriding early refill restrictions. We stand ready to help.
As of Wednesday morning, the number of covid-19 cases in the United States continues to rise. We encourage all members to follow updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and local officials regarding readiness (see links to resources below).
Members have access to a variety of care options: telehealth, convenient care clinics, urgent care centers, provider offices, and emergency departments. The various benefits are outlined in the 2020 FSBP Brochure. For members concerned about exposure in a public setting, telehealth consultations are available to all stateside members at no-out-of-pocket cost through Teladoc (www.teladoc.com). Please note: telehealth services obtained through other vendors or directly through another provider are NOT covered.
Restrictions on early prescription refills for stateside members remain in place for the time being. For locations in which a state of emergency is declared, the Plan will work with its partners at Aetna and Express Scripts to ensure access to necessary prescription drugs for members. Check our website and Facebook page for regular updates as the situation changes.
Staff at the Plan’s specialty pharmacy Accredo stand ready to guide members who typically receive infusion treatments at infusion centers or hospitals. You can reach out to Accredo at 800-922-8279 to learn about alternatives to facility care and ensure that you continue receiving your treatment.
These measures are in place for a limited time to assist members. We will make an announcement when any or all of these measures expire and revert to standard timelines and benefits. Likewise, we will make every attempt to keep our members apprised of changes in procedure in the very fluid environment via posts on our website and our Facebook page, as well as future email communications. If you are receiving this message on a work account, we recommend you update your contact information to a personal email address via the AFSPA Member Portal (www.myafspa.org).
For more information, please see the links below in addition to guidelines and updates distributed by local media:
We at AFSPA and our partners at Aetna and Express Scripts remain ready to support you wherever you are.
Paula S. Jakub, RHU, CEO