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From the CEO - January 2023

Dear AFSPA Member,

Happy New Year! I want to give a special welcome to our new enrollees who chose the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP), or one or more of our Ancillary Insurance Programs (AIP) during Open Season. And a warm thank you to our 35,000 plus members who continue to put their trust in us each year. We truly value your membership and look forward to serving you in 2023.

New Features & Important Benefit Enhancements in 2023

The new year brings new and enhanced coverage, beginning with FSBP’s added coverage for services, supplies and drugs related to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures (up to $5,000 maximum per member per calendar year). In addition, FSBP now provides coverage for services performed by a licensed doula up to $1,200 per calendar year. To learn more about other 2023 FSBP benefit updates and enhancements, refer to the 2023 FSBP Plan Brochure.

We added a new FSBP — Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan offers enhanced benefits for members who have Medicare Parts A and B as their primary coverage and reside in the 50 United States. If you missed the Open Season mark, don’t worry. You can opt into this plan any time during the year, not just Open Season. Opting in to the FSBP — Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan is voluntary. If you decide to opt in, you will continue to be a member of FSBP and receive normal plan benefits. If you change your mind after opting in, you can switch back to your existing FSBP High Option coverage at any time, not just during Open Season. For more information about this plan, visit

Lastly, if you take maintenance medications, don’t forget to check the Plan’s latest Formulary for any changes in the list of preferred drugs and non-preferred drugs. Preferred drugs are drugs that are either more effective at treating a particular condition than other drugs in the same class of drugs, or as effective as and less costly than similar medications. Nonpreferred drugs also may be covered under the prescription drug benefit, but at a higher cost-sharing tier. The Plan’s Formulary is updated periodically and is subject to change. There could be changes to your out-of-pocket costs and we want you to be prepared. Also, if you currently are using one of the excluded medications on this list, please ask your doctor to consider writing you a new prescription for one of the preferred alternative drugs to avoid paying full price for the prescription.

New Year, Same Theme, and a Healthier You

For 2023, we are continuing our theme of, “Physical Health Leads to Better Mental Wellness – A Link to a Healthier You.

The start of a new year presents lots of opportunities, but it also can come with challenges. It’s a natural thing to feel anxious about what’s to come or feel down and depressed because you didn’t quite reach your 2022 goals. Some people refer to it as the “New Year’s Blues. ” I want to remind you of our programs to support you and your dependents. Members and eligible dependents enrolled in FSBP can participate in a variety of programs to help with mental health, nutrition and weight management, diabetes, heart health, chronic conditions, pain management, and more. In addition, you can earn wellness incentives after completing certain programs and preventive services. Learn more about that here.

January 15-21 is Healthy Weight Week

Healthy Weight Week is a time to celebrate healthy, diet-free living habits that last a lifetime and prevent eating and weight problems. Diets are a temporary fix to a long-term problem and usually, they do not work. Healthy lifelong habits are what produce weight loss, weight maintenance, and good health. During Healthy Weight Week, put the scale away, stop dieting, focus on loving yourself and your body, and change the way you approach healthy habits. Here are some ideas to begin making changes to your life.

  • Be active – No more focusing on calories burned or time on the treadmill. Focus on moving more each day; start with ten minutes a day and gradually increase your active time.
  • Change your self-image – Use self-talk and affirmations to enhance personal appearance, respect, and self-esteem. Feel good about yourself again, or for the first time!
  • Be social – Spend time with people you love enjoying social activities with.
  • Rediscover normal eating – Eat at regular intervals, typically three meals a day, with healthy snacks to satisfy hunger.
  • Eat well – All five food groups should be incorporated into your meals each day: bread and grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy, meat and alternatives. All of these can fit in one day, as long as you have balance, variety, and moderation.
  • Relax – Take time for yourself, to relax and relieve the stress in your life. Stress can lead to high blood pressure, chest pains, back pain, and all kinds of issues. Take daily relaxation breaks, get a massage, and focus on emptying your mind and body of the stress accumulated.


January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year in the United States, about 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed and about 4,000 women die of this cancer. Hispanic women have the highest rates of developing cervical cancer, and black women have the highest rates of dying from cervical cancer. However, anyone with a cervix is at risk for cervical cancer. Talk to your doctor about how often you should receive a cervical cancer screening and/or an HPV screening test. Screening tests and the HPV vaccine can help prevent cervical cancer.

FSBP offers a $25 wellness incentive to you and your covered dependents age 18 and older after completing a cervical cancer screening. Click here to learn more about other healthy actions that earn you wellness incentives throughout the year.

A new year means a fresh start, resets, and new beginnings. Members can continue to connect with us and learn more about our offerings through our blogs, podcast, and social media platforms.

We anticipate a wonderful 2023. I want to personally wish you all a safe, prosperous, and healthy year ahead. Thank you for your trust and for giving us the opportunity to serve you and your family.

To your health,

paula jakub headshot

Paula S. Jakub, RHU


Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation

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