Welcome to Summer 2020! All around the world, Coronavirus continues to affect our work, lives, and additional daily activities in ways we never imaged. But amid these changes, the American Foreign Service Protective Association (AFSPA) is striving to offer you stability and security through our robust worldwide health services.
01 | COVID-19 Updates
Since my May CEO Message, the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) has taken even more measures to elevate your care.
Coronavirus testing has become more accessible. FSBP is covering all physician-ordered, CDC-approved testing for COVID-19 at 100% for US-based members. In addition, FSBP will cover the locally approved tests at 100% for members living overseas. Click here to view recent communication on COVID-19 testing coverage.
Due to Coronavirus legislation intended to provide U.S. citizens with economic relief, participants in FSAFEDS – the Federal government’s pre-tax, savings account used to cover a portion of eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses not covered by a health plan – can use their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to purchase menstrual care products and over-the-counter drugs, as these items are now deemed as qualified medical expenses. Click here to learn more.
When dealing with Coronavirus, please stay positive. FSBP offers several programs to assist with your mental and emotional needs. On a personal note, I have experienced my own feelings of anger, anxiety, and helplessness and am grateful for access to FSBP’s many support venues. Click here to learn how the Plan can support your Mental Wellness.
02 | Telehealth
Because recent events have caused virtual care and remote monitoring to grow in popularity, FSBP has expanded its telehealth coverage. This convenient service allows you to receive non-emergency health services from a medical professional via app, web, or phone – at no out-of-pocket cost. In addition, telehealth may be used for diagnosing and receiving treatment for common ailments. Providers can even write prescriptions and send them to your nearby pharmacy.
U.S. Based Members
Teladoc (https://www.teladoc.com/) gives you 24/7 access to talk to a psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, registered dietician, or medical doctor, by phone or video. For ongoing treatment with a dietician or mental health provider, please schedule counseling in advance.
Overseas Based Members
vHealth by Aetna, FSBP‘s recently added overseas telehealth benefit offers general medical advice and consultations 24 hours a day, by phone or video. This telehealth service is available to members living or traveling outside of the U.S. until December 31, 2020. FSBP currently is working with OPM to include the vHealth benefit in our 2021 standard benefit package. Click here to view a helpful guide and learn more about vHealth.
03 | June Awareness Topics
June 13 – Family Health and Wellness Day
Also known as Family Health and Fitness Day, this event promotes family involvement with physical activity. Each year, on the second Saturday in June (this year it falls on June 13), families celebrate the role parks and recreation have in keeping communities healthy.
While this year’s activities may be challenging because of social distancing, I hope you and your family consider visiting a park or going for a hike. Even a short nature-walk may be just what the doctor ordered.
Other activities to consider may include low-impact exercises, health screenings, or even games. National Parks are beginning to reopen slowly. U.S. based members, here is a link to see the status of a national park near you: https://www.nps.gov/index.htm
Looking for more family fun activity ideas? Check these articles:
June – Men’s Health Month
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, men fare worse than women in rates of gum disease, tooth loss, and certain oral infections. Men are less likely to visit a dentist than women, and often only during a dental emergency.
For this reason, it is very important to schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleanings, while also practicing basic oral hygiene care at home. This includes brushing twice and flossing once every day to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and quitting smoking and/or avoiding tobacco products that may lead to oral cancer.
AFSPA offers four dental plans including a true international plan. Enroll Anytime – No Open Season is required. Learn more.
I hope you received your 2020 AFSPA in Action spring newsletter in the mail. It highlights AFSPA’s products and services, our loyal staff, as well as our 2020 theme – Mental Wellness Leads to Better Physical Health.
Please enjoy a safe, healthy, and fun-filled summer. As always, thank you for your trust and for giving AFSPA the opportunity to serve you.
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU
Executive Director, Senior Living Foundation