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J UN E 2 0 1 2 / F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L
51
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THIS MONTH IN DIPLOMATIC HISTORY:
State’s Roll
of Honor
BY GREG NAARDEN
O
n June 16, 1976, U.S. Ambassador
toLebanonFrancis E.Meloy Jr. set
out topresent his credentials to the
country’s newly elected president, Elias
Sarkis. Ridingwithhiminhis carwere the
economic counselor, RobertWaring, and
anembassydriver, ZouhierMoghrabi. The
Lebanese civil war had erupted the year
before, and Beirut’s downtown commer-
cial center had become the dividing line
between the Muslim and Christian com-
munities.
Members of the Popular Front for the
Liberationof Palestine stopped the embassy
vehicle as it crossed theGreenLine andkid-
napped the three men. Their bullet-rid-
dled bodies were found shortly thereafter
on a nearby beach.
Meloywas a career ForeignServiceoffi-
cer who had served in the U.S. Navy dur-
ing World War II. He joined the State
Department in 1946, serving inDhahran,
Paris, SaigonandWashington. Prior tohis
assignment toBeirut, he hadbeen theU.S.
ambassador to the Dominican Republic
and Guatemala. Waring had also joined
State after the war, and had served in sev-
eral European countries and Morocco
before taking up his position in Beirut.
Shortly after hearing the news of the
deaths, President Gerald Ford addressed
reporters at theWhiteHouse. “Thesemen
had lived in danger for many weeks and
did so with dedication and disregard for
personal safety, aswe have come to expect
of the Foreign Service.”
O
nApril 23, AFSAwelcomedPaula
S. Jakub, executive vicepresident of
the American Foreign Service
Protective Association, to speak to AFSA
members on theFederal EmployeesHealth
Benefits program andMedicare. The full
house attested to the importanceof the sub-
ject for federal employees nearing retire-
ment.
Jakub’s presentation covered how
FEHB and Medicare work together. She
started off by pointing out that for those
who choose to retire overseas, “Medicare
and overseas are like oil andwater—they
do not mix.” AsMedicare does not cover
overseas claims, retireesmust rely solelyon
their FEHB coverage.
She helped to alleviate the confusion
surrounding the four parts of theMedicare
program and how they relate to FEHB:
• Part A is free hospital insurance avail-
able to all once they turn 65. Enrollment
in Part A is automatic once you have
enrolled in Medicare.
• PartB ismedical insurance,whichcov-
ers your doctor visits and has a premium.
• Part C is a HealthMaintenance Org-
anization, providing comprehensivemed-
ical coverage. To enroll, you must be
enrolled in Part A and Part B.
• Part D offers prescription drug cov-
erage. The FEHB plan provides the same
minimumcoverage for prescriptiondrugs
as Part D.
Jakub highlighted the following con-
siderations to take note of:
• Medicare has a specific enrollment
period and if you fail to enroll during this
time, you will be penalized. The initial
enrollment period covers seven months:
three months before your 65th birthday,
your birthday month and the three
months after it. If you fail to enroll in
Medicare during that period, youwill have
to pay a penalty.
• Your doctor may or may not accept
Medicare, with consequences to your
pocketbook if not.
• If your doctor does participate in
Medicare, thenMedicarebecomes yourpri-
marycoverage formost services,withFEHB
picking up the remaining costs.
• Enrolling inMedicare Part B is a per-
sonal decision, depending on how much
risk you are willing to take, your overall
health and your income. The following
Web site will help you calculate your
Medicare costs:
www.medicare.gov/navi
gation/medicare-basics/eligibility-and-
enrollment.aspx.
The presentation ended with Jakub
answering anabundanceof questions from
the packed room. If youwould likemore
informationonthis topic, orhaveyourown
questions, please feel free to contact Paula
Jakub at (202) 833-4910 or paula.jakub@
AFSPA.org.
The video of the seminar is posted on
AFSA’s Web site at
www.afsa.org/AFSA
Videos.aspx.
AFSPA VP Speaks on FEHB and Medicare
BY MATTHEW SUMRAK, ASSOCIATE COORDINATOR FOR RETIREES
On April 23, Paula Jakub, AFSPA executive vice
president, addresses AFSA members on coordi-
nating the FEHB program and Medicare.
Continued on page 53
Shortly after hearing
the news of the deaths,
President Ford addressed
reporters at the White House.