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From the CEO

Greetings AFSPA Family,

Flu Shot – it’s that time of year

COVID-19 is still front and center when it comes to our health concerns, but let’s not forget about the upcoming flu season. Experts acknowledge the possibility of a severe season this year due to reduced population immunity following the lack of flu virus activity since March 2020. The CDC recommends vaccines as the most effective way to reduce your risk for seasonal flu and its complications. It is safe to get both your flu and COVID-19 vaccines.

Getting your flu shot provides another opportunity to earn a $25 Wellness reward through the Simple Steps program. To learn more about this and other healthy action rewards, visit our webpage.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to stress the importance of mammograms and wellness checkups. Because regular screenings are a vital part of early detection of breast cancer, the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) provides full coverage for mammograms in accordance with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF). This includes 3D breast tomosynthesis. Annual breast cancer screenings also count as a healthy action as part of the Simple Steps to Living Well Together program, so you can earn a $25 reward toward your wellness incentive fund.

As we focus on raising awareness for breast cancer this month, let’s also ensure we and our loved ones are keeping up with potentially life-saving screenings.


American Pharmacists Month

AFSPA is grateful for pharmacists and their contributions to healthcare and the community. Join us in thanking our pharmacists and spreading the word about the tremendous work they do. FSBP members can contact ESI pharmacists with questions about prescriptions and routine medications by logging in to the Express Scripts online portal. You can also call and speak with a pharmacist at 1-800-818-6717.


Halloween Safety

For children (and some adults), October brings the joy of Halloween. If you plan on attending themed events or taking little ones trick-or-treating, consider taking increased safety measures due to COVID-19. If you plan on giving out candy, avoiding direct contact with trick-or-treaters and setting up stations with pre-bagged treats is recommended. Don’t forget to pair a mask with any costume and try to keep a safe distance from others, even when outdoors. For more detailed Halloween safety guidelines, click here.

If you plan on indulging in Halloween candy this season, make sure you are also taking care of your teeth! October is National Dental Hygiene Month – observe it by keeping your oral health on track. Learning more about our four dental plans is a good place to start. We offer open enrollment year-round, as well as coverage options for Self, Self Plus One and Family.


Be on the lookout for a new slate of podcast episodes this month. We’re kicking it off with a discussion about breast cancer and second opinions with PinnacleCare on October 4. And, just in case you missed any of our past blogs or podcast episodes, you can visit our website or podcast channel to catch up. Thank you for your continued trust. We look forward to connecting with you this fall and beyond.

To Your Health, .

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

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