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From the CEO - August 2023

Dear AFSPA Member, 

With the kids heading back to school and August being National Immunization Awareness Month, there is no better time to get them back on a regular vaccination schedule with their physician.   

August is National Immunization Awareness Month 

This annual observance highlights the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Remember to stay current on all vaccines, including boosters and the new Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine for older adults. According to CDC, adults at the highest risk for severe RSV illness include older adults, adults with chronic heart or lung disease, adults with weakened immune systems, and adults living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. 

The Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) covers annual physicals, well-child visits, and routine immunizations at 100% when received from a U.S. in-network or overseas provider. FSBP members 18+ years and older can receive $100 in wellness rewards after completing their annual exam and biometric screening. Learn more about FSBP’s wellness rewards program here 

International Overdose Awareness Day – August 31 

This is a day for us to remember those who have died from drug overdose and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. In the last ten years, we’ve seen a startling 95 percent increase in drug overdose-induced fatalities. Deaths caused by opioids (oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, etc.) account for two-thirds of that number. Many are ignorant of the dangers of opioids because a doctor has legally prescribed them, but the likelihood of an opioid addiction increases after a mere five days on the medication.  

If you or someone you know is at increased risk for opioid overdose, especially those struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD), you should carry naloxone and keep it at home. Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse an overdose of opioids—including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications—when given in time. Because you can’t use naloxone on yourself, let others know you have it in case you experience an opioid overdose.  

FSBP members may purchase naloxone-based rescue agents without a prescription in states that do not require one. Some states require a prescription from your health care provider to buy naloxone. FSBP covers naloxone-based rescue agents at 100% when obtained at network retail, network home delivery, and out-of-network retail (when outside the 50 United States). For more information, refer to Section 5(f), Prescription Drug Benefits, of the FSBP Brochure. In addition, FSBP offers pain management programs to support members who suffer from chronic pain and are either taking opioids or trying to avoid opioids. 

PCS’ing? Update Your Address in our System 

Summer is the Transfer/Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season. As you prepare to leave one post for another, please take a few minutes to update your mailing address, telephone number, and email address in our system. Your employing agency/retirement office does not notify us when you change your contact information with them. You can update this information in the Mobile Enhanced AFSPA Member Portal 

Stay Connected 

Please continue to connect with us to learn more about how you can maximize your benefits and coverage through our blogs, weekly podcasts, social media platforms, and our free educational webinars. You can also read past issues of our newsletters on our website, which consist of Plan updates and other important health topics and information.  

Lastly, look out for your 2023 AFSPA In Action summer newsletter coming soon to your mailbox. In the newsletter, we mentioned that an Estate Planning webinar recording is available. Unfortunately, the recording is not available. Instead, we have included a link to a copy of the presented slide presentation. We apologize for any inconvenience.  

As always, thank you for your trust and for allowing AFSPA to serve you!  

To Your Health, 

Paula S. Jakub, RHU

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