Dear AFSPA Member,
I hope the new year is off to a good start for you. With the continued threat of COVID-19 and its emerging variants, it is up to each of us to take simple steps, like getting vaccinated and receiving the booster shot, staying home when sick, and wearing a mask to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. For guidance, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) COVID-19 Tests
COVID continues to keep a grip on us. If you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, get tested. There are several ways to do so. Since the beginning, FSBP has covered tests, including FDA-approved OTC tests at 100%, even without federal guidance. Recently, the federal government launched its website to sign up for free COVID-19 tests, allowing people to order a maximum of four tests shipped directly to their house. This applies to U.S. territories and military diplomatic addresses. Visit covidtests.gov to sign up and learn more about this government initiative.
Through our pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts (ESI), stateside FSBP members now can obtain over the counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests with no up-front, out-of-pocket cost. You can visit any in network ESI retail pharmacy to take advantage of this direct coverage. Select an OTC test included in the program and present it along with your FSBP ID card at the pharmacy counter. The pharmacy staff will collect the necessary information and file a claim directly with the Plan. Tests not included in this program or purchased from out of network retailer will be covered at a maximum of $12 per test beginning February 1.
Overseas members may purchase tests approved by local health authorities at local retailers. You can submit a claim to the Plan through the Member Portal [link] for 100% reimbursement of those tests.
A full list of tests included in the ESI program, a link to the pharmacy search tool, and information on additional purchase options all are available on our COVID-19 web page and our special FAQ page about COVID-19 Testing. Please note: regardless of where and how you purchase tests, FSBP will cover a maximum of eight (8) tests per Plan member each calendar month.
AFSPA Annual Member Meeting (Virtual Only)
SAVE-THE-DATE! AFSPA’s Virtual Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, March 4th from 11:30am to 1:30pm ET. This annual event gives members the opportunity to hear about changes and updates to the Association’s services and programs, learn about upcoming initiatives from the Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) program, Medicare, and more. Click here to register. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about our programs and services, I encourage you to include them with your online registration.
February is American Heart Month
American Heart Month reminds us that when we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same. Small acts of self-care include taking walks, getting
quality sleep, cooking heart-healthy meals, and getting an annual physical exam and screening with your provider. FSBP members can receive wellness rewards for completing various wellness activities and health programs. Learn how FSBP’s Simple Steps to Living Well Together Program can help identify health risks, achieve health goals, and reduce your risk for heart disease.
February also is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Cavities, also known as caries or tooth decay, are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood, yet cavities are preventable. The key is to start good habits early by teaching kids to brush at least twice a day and to floss regularly. Click here to read more tips to keep your child’s teeth healthy.
If you didn’t get a chance to enroll in a dental plan during Open Season, not to worry! AFSPA offers four dental insurance plans to accommodate members in the U.S. and overseas. Our dental plans are flexible and allow you to enroll anytime. Learn more about our dental plans at afspa.org/dental.
Medicare & the FEHB
AFSPA held an informative ‘Medicare & the FEHB’ webinar on January 19. The webinar discussed how the two programs work together to maximize federal employees’ health benefit coverage for retirees. If you missed the presentation, you can watch the recording here.
The January 19th Webinar was a kickoff to our “Focus on Medicare”. I am excited to announce that we are working on a special Medicare Podcast series coming in February. Stay tuned and subscribe to our AFSPA Talks podcast channel or AFSPA YouTube Channel to receive updates about when this special series will air.
As always, your health and wellbeing are always a top priority for us. We will continue to innovate and look for opportunities to improve our services to best serve you and your family’s health care needs. Thank you for entrusting us with your care.
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation