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From the CEO - July 2023

Dear AFSPA Member,

I am sure that the summer travels and activities are well underway for most of us. Many of us are looking forward to these and the chance to take a break from the daily grind. But balancing work responsibilities with summer fun can be challenging. This is why maintaining a healthy work-life balance becomes even more crucial.

Pamper Yourself – You Deserve it!  

A relaxing massage after a hard day (or week) is just what the doctor ordered, and that’s our reason for celebrating Everybody Deserves a Massage Week (July 16-22). This week is mainly observed to promote the benefits of massages while raising awareness about the profession. I encourage you to book an appointment with a massage therapist. As a part of the celebration, participating spas and massage therapists may offer discounts and specials on various treatments throughout the week. Learn about your local clinics’ and therapists’ services and take them up on it. Massage therapy can help relieve anxiety, reduce stress, improve mood, combat insomnia, and overcome joint pain or discomfort. 

The Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) covers 50 yearly massages for you and your covered dependents. FSBP will cover up to $60 per visit from any U.S.-licensed massage therapist or facility or any massage therapist while traveling abroad. I hope you take advantage of this fantastic benefit this summer.  There are special filing rules for massage therapy claims. Learn more about our massage benefits and other alternative benefits, including chiropractic and acupuncture. 

Summer Health Travel Tips 

Summer is usually the perfect time for a travel adventure with family and friends. Whether hopping on an international flight or car camping, here are some travel tips to help you manage your health while away from home. 

  • Check in with your doctor – It’s essential to schedule a doctor’s visit at least a month before a big trip — especially if you’re traveling outside the country. Your doctor may suggest certain vaccines or medications. Also, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest travel information at If you plan to be gone for more than 30 days, talk to your doctor about getting enough medication for your trip. 
  • Pack a travel health kit – Pack your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications (enough to last your whole trip, plus a little extra), first aid supplies, and health insurance card in a carry-on suitcase. You do not want to be without them if your bag gets lost! 
  • Know your health coverage – Find out if your health insurance covers medical care abroad or emergency evacuation back to your home—many plans do not! Consider buying additional travel medical insurance that covers healthcare and emergency evacuation. 

AFSPA offers five travel insurance plans with various coverage options and costs. We also offer Member of Household (MOH) insurance, a unique medical travel coverage for your loved ones, specifically those you cannot cover under your Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) plan, who are traveling outside of their home country to visit you for an extended period. You can enroll in any of these plans at any time.  

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, I want to wish you all a Happy Fourth of July! Whether celebrating here or abroad, let us take a moment to appreciate the many freedoms we enjoy in the United States. The service you provide for our country helps preserve many of those freedoms, and I thank you. 

To Your Health, 

Paula S. Jakub, RHU

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