2014 AFBA Spring Newsletter
Chairman & President’s Message
AFBA continues its 67 year legacy of promoting the welfare of our members and their families. AFBA reaches out to support all of those brave men and women in this great nation who may go into harm’s way. This includes members of the uniformed services, first responders, federal government employees and families of each group. Our 371,000 members have $37.4 billion of life insurance coverage in force and we have paid in excess of $1.6 billion in claims. Our life insurance coverage, underwritten by 5Star Life Insurance Company, has no combat or terrorism exclusions and offers up to $15,000 of an emergency death benefit sent out within 24 hours of notice. AFBA member life insurance programs are competitively priced and reflect the Association’s rich heritage serving the U.S. military.
AFBA remembers and honors those who have died in service to our nation.
Over 100 families are now eligible for the General Blanton AFBA Family Survivor College Scholarship program that will pay up to $40,000 to the surviving spouse and children of an insured AFBA member who dies as a result of combat or a first responder who dies responding to a public safety incident.
Additional Life Insurance Options
AFBA now offers a new term life insurance product for federal employees, which is described on below. We also offer SmartStart, a life insurance product that covers children until age 25 with just one low payment.
Women Serving in the Military
The number of women in the military continues to increase – especially in combat roles. AFBA is fully committed to supporting their needs and concerns for family and the future. Please see our infographic here, which illustrates the evolving roles of women in the military.
AFBA continues to provide strategic alliances with like-minded organizations to better serve our members. This past year the Association engaged Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) to offer competitive auto loans and an excellent auto buying service. This year, we are pleased to announce a new program called Emergency Air Plus (EA+), which offers a first rate air ambulance service to our members who travel. The GEICO auto insurance program has proven popular with our members. Additionally, our TRICARE supplement is saving AFBA members even more money now that access to TRICARE Prime has been eliminated for those retirees and their families that live outside of a 40 mile radius of a Military Treatment Facility (MTF).
Keeping Up With the Latest Technology
Pay by phone – We are excited to announce that AFBA has just completed a telephone system upgrade, which provides the convenience of making payments over the phone with your credit card.
Policy Administration Upgrade – AFBA has recently completed a major modernization project. We upgraded from two older legacy computer systems to a more sophisticated single platform that takes advantage of the latest trends in technology. This means you will now receive much quicker and more efficient customer service from AFBA.
We continue to be grateful for the oversight and governance provided by our Board of Directors. Our Board is diverse in experience and opinions, which in turn allows us to best serve you. Please check out their bios and if you are a member, cast your vote.
General Ralph E. “Ed” Eberhart, USAF (Ret.) President & Chairman
Group Level Term for Federal Employees
AFBA is proud to offer term life coverage at competitive rates, especially created for groups who currently work or have worked for a government agency.
Fed Term provides low cost life insurance to current, former, or retired Federal employees who are United States citizens (or permanent U.S. residents) and their dependents. It is available in coverage amounts of $50,000 to $500,000 in $50,000 units. Spouses, through age 64, may also apply for up to $500,000. Coverage continues to age 70 as long as contributions are paid. Contributions are based on age and tobacco status and will increase with age.
Provide a Child With Life Insurance Coverage up to $15,000 With a Low One-Time Payment
Smart Start is your opportunity to provide life insurance protection for your child or grandchild and guarantee future insurability, regardless of what happens in life.
If your child or grandchild is between the ages of 14 days and 18 years, you can get coverage that will continue up to age 25. No medical exam is required to apply. Instead, acceptance is based on answers to three health questions.
Smart Start term insurance is available in two coverage amounts with a low one-time payment:
At age 25, the insured can convert to a whole life insurance policy with a one-time guaranteed purchase option up to five times the original face value ($50,000 for the $10,000 term policy or $75,000 for the $15,000 term policy) with no physical exam. What a great way to guarantee life insurance coverage regardless of future health considerations.
To learn more and apply today, call us at (800) 776-2322.
AFBA Members: Travel Confidently with Emergency Assistance Plus
Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) is a safety net that helps you pay for emergencies your health and travel insurance generally will not cover.
Any time you take a vacation or go on a business trip, if you have an accident or sudden illness, EA+’s Medical Support Team is ready to get you the help you need. At a time when speed is essential to your recovery, EA+ quickly intervenes.
Learn more about the Emergency Assistance Plus Program, available through AFBA: Call toll-free 1-855-352-3032 or visit online at www.emergencyassistanceplus.com/afba.
AFBA Members are Invited to Apply for Auto Loans from PenFed
You now have access to PenFed’s Car Buying Service and auto financing. The online Car Buying Service will give you the ability to research new and used vehicles, get safety information, see photos and videos of vehicles, read reviews, and receive negotiated price quotes on vehicles from dealers in your area.
In addition, PenFed’s auto lending program offers some of the lowest rates in the marketplace. You can benefit from a 1.49% APR on new and used vehicles. What are you waiting for? Get behind the wheel of a new or used car with PenFed today by visiting www.penfed.org.
Save with the AFBA TRICARE Supplement Plan
Enroll in the TRICARE Supplement Plan and receive reimbursement for:
What does this mean for you?
Choosing the TRICARE Supplement Plan will provide you with worldwide coverage that wraps around your TRICARE benefit plan giving you the protection you need and want for you and your family.
We offer supplement programs for:
With the uncertainty of our health care system and yearly increases in premiums, rest assured that you will have stability with the AFBA TRICARE Supplement Plans.
Don’t pay more than you need to for health care. Enroll at www.AFBAtricare.com or call us at (855) 311-1478.
Exclusive GEICO Discounts for AFBA Members
You can save even more on insurance from GEICO!
With GEICO you’ll enjoy:
Get a free quote: www.geico.com/mil/afba or call (800) 368-2734.
Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Discount amount varies in some states. One group discount applicable per policy. Coverage is individual. In New York a premium reduction may be available. Motorcycle coverage is underwritten by GEICO Indemnity Company. Motorcycle insurance is not available in all states. Renters coverage is written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company,Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2014. © 2014 GEICO
The Birthplaces of Memorial Day
Think back on your recent Memorial Day celebration, and you might picture your backyard barbecue. Today, Memorial Day is known nationwide as the unofficial start of summer, but across the country, many towns honored their fallen heroes in the same way they have for nearly 150 years. Here are stories of the first Memorial Day organizers.
An Early Observance
In 1864, three women met by chance while visiting a Boalsburg, PA cemetery to mourn the loss of loved ones who had died serving in the Civil War. Together they vowed to return the following year and lay flowers on the graves of not only their loved ones, but of others who may not have someone to honor them. The women spread their idea and in 1865 the entire town gathered for a memorial service and to decorate every grave in the cemetery.
Honoring Former Enemies
In 1866, a group of Columbus, MS women gathered flowers from their gardens and proceeded to a local cemetery to honor the Confederate casualties from the Battle of Shiloh. Upon arriving, they noticed the nearby Union graves had been neglected. Unwilling to leave the gravesites bare, the women decorated both the Confederate and Union graves.
The predecessor to Memorial Day, Decoration Day, was established in 1868 by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan to be observed on May 30 for the purpose of decorating the graves of the war dead. That year, ceremonies were held at Arlington National Cemetery to decorate the 20,000 graves of Union and Confederate soldiers.
The Official Birthplace
Given the great loss of life caused by the Civil War, many groups throughout the country held similar memorials to honor those who gave their lives.
There are approximately 25 communities who claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.
In 1966, Congress named Waterloo, NY the official birthplace. 100 years earlier, its formal and well-organized Memorial Day celebration included a procession and martial music, as well as grave decoration. In 1971, Congress made Memorial Day a Federal Holiday and moved it to the last Monday of May.
Next year, make your Memorial Day more meaningful by visiting a local memorial or cemetery, or participating in the National Moment of Remembrance, a moment of silence for all Americans to pause, remember and honor those who have died in service to our nation.
The Evolving Roles of Women in the Military
Although the Department of Defense lifted the ban on women serving in combat roles just one year ago, women have been valuable members of the military since the American Revolution. Whether disguising themselves as men – as Deborah Sampson did during the Revolutionary War – or following their husbands to the outskirts of the battlefields to provide medical care and assistance, women have long been finding ways to serve their country during wartime.
However, it wasn’t until World War I when women were allowed to officially enter the ranks. According to the U.S. Army website, the National Service School was established in 1916 by the Women’s Naval Service to train women in military operations. As the need for troops persisted, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps began soliciting female soldiers. Overall, more than 35,000 women served in World War I, with nearly 21,000 working in the Army Nurse Corps.
Although the Army Reorganization Act of 1920 issued officer status with “relative rank” to military nurses, women weren’t granted permanent military status until 1948, according to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation. The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 marked a turning point for female soldiers, as it made them full, active members of the regular and reserve forces.
Despite the ban on women fulfilling combat roles, which was removed by the Pentagon in 1994, The New York Times reported that hundreds of thousands of female soldiers were deployed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. As of 2012, more than 800 women had been wounded during the conflict.
Currently, there are more than 214,000 women soldiers, representing 14.6 percent of active-duty personnel, according to data compiled by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. The Army has the highest number of female soldiers – more than 76,000. Approximately 30 percent of active-duty female soldiers fulfill medical roles, while another 30 percent work in administrative positions.
AFBA Member Testimonials
“Dear Mr. Mendelson, I am writing to you to tell you what a wonderful company you are. My husband…passed away…and within days we received the Emergency Death Benefit check. What a blessing it was for me to have this coverage. I received the final payout today. What a wonderful thing you did to get the money to me promptly. I paid the funeral expenses today in full. I am so glad we had this policy. I will still carry mine. I am very thankful for your service. I am telling everyone about your company. What a peace of mind.”
Mrs. N from MO
“From the person who first took my call about my husband passing away, to the timely manner in which I received the final check, I was treated so very well. It was amazing how swiftly your company sent me the emergency death benefit check. I am so grateful for your care of me as I go through this very emotional time.”
Mrs. S from OK
“I just wanted to write and express my genuine appreciation for the courtesy and help shown to me when I contacted AFBA following the death of my daughter, and the very quick payment of the dependent benefits. I don’t know how often you receive a “thank you” note, but please know my wife and I genuinely appreciate the very quick, courteous, professional service. The actions of AFBA far exceeded my expectations, and were very reassuring for my wife. I am very pleased to be a member of AFBA.”
LTC (Ret.) LA
Member Benefits and Services
Pay Your AFBA Bill By Phone
We have recently upgraded our phone system to provide you self-service options. You can now access your account information, pay your bill, and order printed material using our interactive phone system. To access these features 24 hours a day, seven days a week, dial 1-800-776-2322 and follow the prompts.
You can pay your bill using MasterCard or Visa debit/credit cards.
Have the following information ready when calling:
John Hancock Long-Term Care Insurance
Our latest product offering, Custom Care III featuring Benefit Builder, reflects our updated views on risk management, claims trends, and the challenges faced by our industry. Designed to help expand the LTC insurance market, key product highlights include:
Do you know that 70% of people age 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care in their lifetime, and 20% of those age 65 and over will need care for more than five years.
For more information, members may call J. Patrick Murphy, CLU, at 703-450-7344 or email email@example.com.
New 5Star Bank Mobile App
5Star Bank’s new mobile banking saves the day-bank on your schedule! Whether on the go, or at home, the 5Star mobile banking app is a simple and secure way to help you deposit a check, pay a bill, and check your balance with ease all from your phone or tablet. Download 5Star’s free Mobile Banking App today. Call 1-800-776-2265 or go to www.afba.com/5star. Member FDIC.
2014 Financial Planning & Benefits Guide
AFBA’s complimentary 2014 Financial Planning Guide (FPG) is a 100-page booklet available to members and their families upon request. This valuable resource includes information on:
Request a copy of the 2014 FPG by calling (800) 776-2322 or you can also download the guide (in PDF form).
Annual Member Meeting
You are invited to attend AFBA’s Annual Members Meeting. Join us for light refreshments, a short presentation and Q & A on the state of AFBA. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, the 24th of June, at 10 AM in the AFBA Building, 909 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314.
To attend, call the RSVP hotline at (800) 776-2322 ext. 2009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Log on to our website to see what is new at AFBA and our Related Enterprises. For up-to-date life insurance account information, have your AFBA number or SSN ready.
If you want to speak with an experienced customer service representative or be contacted by one of our field service representatives, call (800) 776-2322. They are ready to take your call!
Monday through Friday
8:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST