Dear AFSPA Member,
Welcome to the month of February, the shortest month of the year, but a month packed with celebrations of love and kindness. Love for one another, but most importantly, love for ourselves. This month let’s focus on the importance of self-care and spreading kindness to others.
Self-Care & American Heart Month
Self-care includes everything related to staying physically healthy — including hygiene, nutrition, and seeking medical care when needed. It’s all the steps we can take to manage stressors in our life and take care of our own health and well-being.
February is American Heart Month. I hope you will all join me in wearing red on February 3rd (National Wear Red Day), to help raise awareness of heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, one in four deaths are caused by heart disease. In most cases, heart disease is avoidable by taking preventive measures like completing your annual health risk assessment and physical & biometric screenings, and adopting a healthy lifestyle. This includes not smoking, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, and getting regular exercise. Learn more about the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP)’s various heart healthy programs designed for those who may be at risk for heart disease. Don’t forget, you also can earn wellness rewards along the way.
COVID-19 Tests, Vaccinations, Boosters Coverage in 2023
It’s hard to believe that we are entering our fourth year of living with COVID-19. While most of us want to be done with it, the virus continues to linger. So, let’s continue to stay protected by ensuring we stay up to date with our vaccinations and boosters. FSBP members age 18+ can now earn a $25 wellness incentive after receiving a COVID-19 booster. That’s in addition to the $25 wellness incentive after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more about earning wellness rewards here.
FSBP continues to cover COVID-19 testing performed in a clinical environment – e.g., doctor’s office, clinic, hospital, or lab – at 100%. Over the counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests are available at no cost to FSBP members when obtained from an Express Scripts (ESI) network retail pharmacy (you must show your member ID card at the pharmacy counter). FSBP will provide up to a maximum of eight (8) tests per Plan member, per rolling 30 days, regardless of where you obtain them. Any COVID-19 tests purchased outside of the ESI network may be reimbursed at $12 per test. To receive your reimbursement as quickly as possible, please submit a detailed receipt through our AFSPA Member Portal. Finally, don’t forget to check the expiration date on your COVID-19 tests as the shelf life for these tests is shorter than you might think. For more information on FSBP COVID-19 coverage, visit afspa.org/covid.
FSBP Tax Document and Member Satisfaction Survey
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 1095-B tax document will no longer be mailed to FSBP members automatically. You can request a hard copy of this document via the AFSPA Member Portal by mid-February. The 1095-B tax document is not required to file your tax return, but it should be kept in your 2022 tax file. If you have any questions about this form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ensure we are providing the best member experience, FSBP works with a National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) certified vendor to administer a Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) survey, an annual survey which is used for rating a patient’s health care experiences when navigating the healthcare system.
If you receive the survey in the mail, it is very important that you fill it out and return it right away. When answering the questions, please think about your experience from a stateside perspective. The data collected will help us serve you better and help improve your overall experience when getting access to care.
Random Act of Kindness Week
We celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week from February 14 to February 20 annually. It’s a celebration of all the ways we can become a positive influence in each other’s lives. Even one small act of kindness can mean a great deal to somebody. Together, let’s try to make kindness the norm in our schools, workplaces, homes & communities. Take the workplace challenge!
Lastly, you can continue to connect with us and learn more about our offerings through our blogs, weekly podcast, social media platforms, and our events page on our website. Also, don’t forget to join us as we go LIVE on our social media platforms to answer your questions about various topics. Tell us what topic you’d like us to cover for this month’s show on February 23. Click here to enter your vote.
I want to personally wish you all a safe, prosperous, and heart-healthy year ahead. Thank you for your trust and for giving us the opportunity to serve you and your family.
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU