Greetings and Welcome to August 2019! This means summer is winding down and a new school year is just around the corner. This is a perfect time for parents to ensure their children start the school year healthy by getting an annual physical and recommended vaccinations.
Immunizations protect millions of Americans, children and adults. Routine vaccinations prevent the spread of contagious, dangerous, and even deadly diseases. Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) covers routine and travel immunizations for children and adults at 100% for providers in-network and outside the U.S. Covered adult immunizations include those endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes the shingles vaccine, Shingrix, approved by the FDA in October 2017. For children, we cover routine childhood and adolescent immunizations. Having your child vaccinated can be important to their long-term health.
Opioid addiction remains one of the primary public health crises in the nation. To address this major U.S. epidemic, the American Medical Association (AMA) has set aside August 30, 2019 as Opioid Misuse Prevention Day. The goal is to raise awareness that prescription opioids can be addictive and dangerous. It encourages prevention efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Learn more from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Prescription pain medicines are helpful, when used as directed. Many people suffer from real pain. Last year, nearly 6,000 FSBP members filled almost 13,000 opioid prescriptions for acute and long-term, chronic needs. FSBP offers a pain management program to assist with chronic pain. This comprehensive program offers coaching and support. It also can help you identify non-pharmacologic treatment options to treat your pain. Learn more about this program by calling 800-593-2354. (See page 95 of the 2019 FSBP brochure for details).
Many of us have a “rainy day” fund set aside to cover a car repair or to pay to fix a malfunctioning appliance. Few of us have enough money set aside or enough sick days to cover lost wages if an accident or injury renders us unable to work for a substantial period. Disability insurance can help. A disability plan can provide money to cover bills and other immediate expenses while you take the necessary time to recover. AFSPA offers two disability plans to meet the needs of our members worldwide. Depending on the plan you choose, you may be able to receive a lump sum payment after regular monthly payments are exhausted. Or, you may use the regular monthly benefits to cover your inability to work due to maternity – whether it be a routine delivery or with complications (as prescribed by a physician). Learn more at www.afspa.org/disability or call 202-833-4910.
The AFSPA in Action Summer Newsletter should arrive in your mailbox soon. It contains FSBP updates, offers I.T. Summer Safety Tips, and highlights our loyal AFSPA staff. Let us know what you think of the newsletter by emailing [email protected]
I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. As always, thank you for your trust and for giving AFSPA the opportunity to serve you.
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation