Dear FSBP Member:
In the week since I last wrote to you, the coronavirus/covid-19 has continued to spread. Officials and public health authorities at all levels and in various jurisdictions have implemented measures aimed at mitigating the effects of the coronavirus, including quarantine, isolation, and travel restrictions. I refer you to local authorities for guidance for your specific region.
The Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) continues to support you. Last Friday, we put in place guidance to cover all physician-ordered, CDC-approved testing for coronavirus/covid-19 at 100% for US-based members. Please note that CDC guidelines at this time require that the testing sample(s) be taken in the provider’s office or clinic; the sample cannot be taken at a Quest Patient Service Center, Labcorp office or any other commercial lab vendor. For members overseas, FSBP will cover the locally approved test at 100%. Many commercial and medical system labs are equipped now to perform testing, and we do not want cost to be a barrier to your being tested.
In accordance with guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), FSBP will provide coverage at 100% – no deductible or other member cost sharing – for provider visits, medications, and other treatments related to the testing and treatment of coronavirus/covid-19. Coding entered by providers on claims for members receiving care in the US should allow the Plan to identify these claims for proper payment; overseas members submitting claims directly to the Plan should indicate on their submission that the claim is related to coronavirus/covid-19.
Today, members in the U.S. can access care 24/7 through our telehealth vendor, Teladoc. There may be increased wait times as more people turn to this option. To help members avoid wait times and potential exposure to coronavirus/covid-19 at doctor’s offices and other settings, FSBP will pay all telehealth and telemedicine visits at 100% in addition to Teladoc, waive usual restrictions, the calendar year deductible and other cost sharing provisions. Providers should employ a HIPAA-compliant platform for such visits.
Two weeks ago, the Plan removed restrictions for early refills of prescriptions for overseas members. Today, we have removed the restrictions for all members, including those in the U.S. Stateside members can obtain an early refill of medications by visiting their local pharmacy. Maintenance medications can be obtained in 90-day supplies from participating Smart90 pharmacies or through home delivery at www.express-scripts.com. Overseas members needing support should contact the dedicated Expat Team at Express Scripts via email at ExpatriateProcessingGEN@express-scripts.com or call 877-846-3630 to order a refill. Members should include their member ID and/or date of birth when they contact the Expat Team to ensure timelier service.
AFSPA is testing and finalizing contingency plans in the event we need to close our office. We will be able to provide continued service, but circumstances may limit our capacity. I encourage all members to make sure they have access to the Member Portal – www.myafspa.org – to submit claims and to sign up for electronic funds transfer (EFT) reimbursement.
We at AFSPA and our partners at Aetna and Express Scripts remain ready to support you wherever you are.
Paula S. Jakub, RHU, CEO