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From the CEO

Greetings AFSPA Family,

Summer is in full swing in most places, and although this usually brings outdoor activities and long-awaited vacations, COVID-19 has made this year different. Because this pandemic presents unique challenges to summer routines, I would like to share some ideas on how to make the best of the next few months.


COVID-19 Updates

First, here are the latest updates and reminders surrounding the current pandemic:

  • Informed Health® Line/24-hour Nurse’s Line – Health concerns often arise outside of standard office hours. To help determine if you need to see a doctor, try calling the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP)’s Nurse Advice Line. The Informed Health® Line is a service offered in addition to Teladoc and vHealth. It provides telephone access to registered nurses experienced in a variety of health topics. Speak to a nurse to learn about specific conditions or prepare for an upcoming medical visit. Get answers 365 days a year by calling the 24-hour Nurse’s line at 855-482-5750 or 704-834-6782.
  • FSAFEDS – This is the federal government’s pre-tax, savings account benefit. The Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) pays for eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses not covered by a health plan. Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) pays for eligible dependent care services.

View the FSAFEDS Message Board for full details on the following FSAFEDS changes:

  • June 1 announcement – Dependent Care Election Changes – Social distancing requirements have prompted new restrictions for dependent care providers and schools. In response, mid-year election changes now are permitted for your DCFSA. You may be eligible to adjust your election if you experienced specific qualifying life events.
  • June 8 announcement – Easier Access to Allergy Meds – FSAFEDS participants now can use their HCFSA on allergy products – without a doctor’s prescription. Due to recent changes, most over-the-counter medicines/drugs – including allergy-relief products (ie. eye drops, allergy pills, etc.) are included in this change.

Click here to see all the latest FSBP COVID-19 updates.


Summer Activities

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many summer camps and daytime programs have cancelled activities. Parents around the world now face a new challenge – what to do with their kids this summer. Managing this will require establishing a routine, maintaining a positive attitude, and tapping into some raw creativity.

As we are all seeking enjoyable things to do at home, the American Foreign Service Protective Association (AFSPA) wants to help. Last month, we offered websites for family fun. Here are a few more online resources to try:

In addition, we are offering a children’s activity book. It includes pages for all ages (even adults). Feel free to forward the activity book to your friends and colleagues to print as well.

Click here to print AFSPA Activity Book.


Legal Considerations Webinar

AFSPA recently partnered with the Foreign Service Institute’s Transition Center to present the annual Legal Considerations in the Foreign Service Webinar. Attorneys Jonathan C. Kinney and Jennifer O. Schiffer – from the law office of Bean, Kinney and Korman, P.C. – presented on estate planning. This included wills, trusts, Powers of Attorney, and gifting strategies tailored for foreign affairs employees.

Over 500 people, from 10 federal agencies, and 155 posts participated from all over the world. This more than doubled last year’s attendance. Click here to view the 2020 webinar recording.

All members can take advantage of AFSPA’s Legal Services, whether stateside or overseas. Click here for more details.


Have a happy and healthy Independence Day. The 4th of July represents our nation’s history and heritage, so wherever you are in the world, I hope you take a moment to appreciate the freedoms we have in the U.S. Thank you for the work you do to support and protect those freedoms.

Lastly, your feedback is extremely important to us. Please take a minute to complete this quick survey to help us improve this monthly communication.

Enjoy your holiday with friends and family. As always, thank you for your trust and for giving AFSPA the opportunity to serve you.

To Your Health,

Paula S. Jakub, RHU
CEO, AFSPA
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation

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