2016 AFBA Spring Newsletter

Chairman & President’s Message

Your Association is entering its 70th year of operation, and since our founding, we have never wavered in our support of those who serve this great nation. Our mission is to provide you and your family with the security and value of affordable life insurance without combat, terrorism, geographic, or hazardous occupation exclusions. In pursuit of this mission, we must maintain our financial strength and ability to grow, keeping our commitments to our current members and remaining relevant for each new generation to come. With that in mind, we are focusing our resources on our core and legacy benefit of life insurance. We are emphasizing growth in AFBA membership and leveraging the insurance operations with our affiliate, 5Star Life Insurance Company. Under the very capable leadership of Mark Singleton, 5Star Life’s President, the life company is achieving its primary objective of underwriting products for AFBA members while diversifying the enterprise risk profile and achieving operational scale. We will continue to work together with 5Star Life to provide a stronger association for your benefit.

Focusing on AFBA Membership Growth

I am pleased to report that our membership is growing and is more diverse and stronger than ever. We continue to serve the active duty military, have enhanced our position in the National Guard market by bringing The National Guard Association of South Carolina into the fold, and have seen impressive growth in the first responder market.

Appointing New Board of Directors Members

The appointment of Salvatore Cassano, former Fire Commissioner, Fire Department New York, and Vietnam era combat veteran, to the AFBA Board of Directors reflects the importance of our first responder members. In addition to Commissioner Cassano, Tom Walsh, previously an advisor to the Board, has been appointed as a director. Summaries of these new directors’ bios are included in this newsletter, and you may also view the bios of all Board members here. We are grateful for their leadership and oversight and encourage all members to complete the enclosed ballot card or cast your ballot online. Results of the balloting will be announced at the annual members meeting to be held June 30.

Offering Meaningful Benefits

We are dedicated to providing meaningful benefits to you. The Charles C. Blanton Scholarship is for families of insured AFBA members who die as a result of combat, terrorism or while involved in incident operations as a first responder. We continue to maintain alliances with like-minded organizations that provide you with additional valuable member benefits.

AFBA works diligently to remain abreast of the latest cyber threats that may impact the security of our members’ information and to bring the latest technology and best practices to bear against those threats. We also encourage you to remain vigilant in protecting your personal information on your home computers and other electronic devices. To assist you, we are launching the first in a series of cybersecurity tutorials that we believe you will find informative and helpful.

Providing Best in Class Claims Service 

We never forget that we are here to serve you during your time of loss — the death of a loved one. Our dedication to fast, accurate and compassionate claims service is unparalleled and we value the feedback of our members on how we are doing. See comments from one of our member beneficiaries further in the newsletter.

We want to hear from you! We appreciate your feedback concerning any service or member benefit suggestions that might be of value to you. We are also interested in developing member profiles of service to this great nation and of your interactions with AFBA.

Thank you for your loyalty to AFBA and for your service to our nation. We reach out to support all the brave men and women of the uniformed services, first responders, government employees, and contractors and the families of each of these groups. Referrals are the greatest compliment and we would welcome the opportunity to assist your friends and family. Please send them to www.afba.com or ask them to call us at 1-800-776-2322.

General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhart, USAF (Ret.) Chairman & President

New Board of Directors Appointments

AFBA is pleased to announce the appointments of Mr. Thomas W. Walsh and Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, FDNY (Ret.) to the AFBA Board of Directors. The AFBA Board of Directors is currently comprised of eleven men and women who have served with distinction in the United States Armed Forces. General Eberhart and the AFBA Board believe that the subject matter expertise that Mr. Walsh and Commissioner Cassano bring from their respectivebackgrounds will strengthen AFBA’s mission to “serve those who serve this great nation.”

Mr. Walsh has been associated with AFBA for over 35 years. As a senior managing partner with PricewaterhouseCooper, LLC (PwC), he served as AFBA’s external auditor from 1980 to 1994 and was involved as a client service partner until his retirement in 2007. Upon retirement from PwC, he served as Senior Advisor to the AFBA Board from 2010-2015. Mr. Walsh was appointed as a director in January 2016 and serves as the Chairman of the Audit Committee and is a member of the Compensation and Personnel Committee.

Commissioner Cassano is new to the AFBA family, but comes with vast experience in the First Responder market. Commissioner Cassano held every uniformed rank in his 44 year career with Fire Department New York and ended his career as Fire Commissioner. He also served in the U. S. Army, including a combat tour in Viet Nam. Commissioner Cassano’s appointment to the AFBA Board will be effective June 1, 2016. For additional information on Mr. Walsh and Commissioner Cassano as well as all our other directors, we encourage you to view their bios here.

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Here When You Need Us

Ultimately, paying claims is the most important thing we do for our members and we make certain this is done in a timely, professional, and compassionate manner. It is very rewarding to receive confirmation of good service as expressed in a recent letter received.

"I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the highly professional and compassionate way you handled this difficult situation. I know the emergency death benefit is not required, but is such a thoughtful provision. Also, the final disbursement, done quickly and in such a dignified manner is commendable. You have my kudos for a job nicely done and making this enormous transition in my life less difficult." - March 2016 


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AFBA is Proud to Welcome the National Guard Association of South Carolina

We are proud to announce that the National Guard Association of South Carolina (NGASC) Board of Directors voted to move their State Sponsored Life Insurance program from VOYA (formerly ING) to AFBA, effective July 1, 2016. AFBA and NGASC share a common legacy and rich heritage as not-for-profit associations providing outstanding service to their members.

AFBA is the leading provider in the National Guard market with more than 111,000 active insureds representing over $12B of life insurance in force in 37 states and territories. Both AFBA and NGASC are committed to promoting the welfare of their members and recognize that the soldiers and airmen of the National Guard deserve the best life insurance program available.

“We are glad to have earned the confidence and trust of NGASC and look forward to providing the highest value products, outstanding services, and a superior customer experience in accordance with the principles and values of our Association,” said Kimo Wong, Senior Vice President, Regional Operations, AFBA. Tad Shuey, Vice President, Military Markets, AFBA, will be working closely with NGASC to facilitate a smooth transition.

NGASC Executive Director, Lawrence Crowson stated “AFBA has demonstrated a strong commitment to doing what is “right” for those who serve this great nation. Their product is the strongest and most beneficial to the Guard member and their families. We look forward to this partnership and continued growth.”

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How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

There are two common methods for determining an individual’s life insurance requirement, the “multiple earnings” approach and the “needs” approach.

Multiple Earnings Approach: Under this model, the required amount of life insurance is a direct function of your annual income level. One version of this approach multiplies current earnings by a factor of 7 to 10 and increases that amount by the value of the unpaid home mortgage plus $50,000 for each child living at home.

Needs Approach: This technique of estimating insurance requirements examines your financial situation and considers other resources that may be available. While it takes more effort than the multiple earnings method, it will produce an estimate that is specifically tailored to your situation.

View our Life Cycle Insurance graph and Insurance Needs Worksheet to get started.

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AFBA's Financial Planning Guide

AFBA’s complimentary 2016 Financial Planning Guide (FPG) is a 100-page booklet available to members and their families upon request. This valuable resource includes information on:

  • Basic principles of financial planning
  • Military pay, allowances and retirement benefits
  • Social Security and survivor benefits
  • Veterans benefits
  • Federal civilian employee benefits
  • You can download the guide (in PDF form) here.

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    Cybersecurity Awareness

    Cybersecurity has been in the news lately with several high profile information compromises. Companies aren’t the only ones at risk though. It is important to safeguard your personal information while online.

    AFBA wants to help and we will be providing a series of cybersecurity tips for our members. Below is the first installment which focuses on passwords and email. 

    People generally know that they should have strong passwords for their accounts, but many don’t do so. More often, they will have a single, relatively simple password they use over and over again.

    However, this isn’t a good idea. If a hacker can gain access to one of your accounts with a password that’s as simple as a birthday or a pet’s name, he/she could gain access to many.

    As such, having a long password using numbers, letters, and symbols - often at random - is a better idea. In addition, consumers should never use the same password for more than one account and passwords should be changed on a regular basis.

    It may seem difficult to keep track of 12-character passwords that are a random assortment of letters, numbers, and symbols, across many different sites. However, it’s certainly better than being victimized by fraud and theft.

    Likewise, individuals should make sure they’re careful about the websites and especially the email attachments they click on. It is important to remember viruses and other malware can come in even the most innocuous-looking packages. 

    Email phishing scams involve criminals trying to obtain sensitive information. And unfortunately, these attacks are a rising threat that people need to know about.

    Many people think of email scams as those from criminals pretending to be deposed royalty from foreign countries, but today they’re a lot simpler and easier to fall for.

    Often, these scams appear to come from loved ones, usually after their own email accounts have been hacked. Thieves impersonating your friends and/or family may ask for money to be transferred to specific accounts for what seem to be plausible reasons, such as being stranded in a foreign country.

    Others could try to get personal information that could be used in identity theft, or attempt to get people to visit websites or open attachments that will put viruses on their computers.

    Usually, the only way for email users to avoid these issues is to be vigilant, and use their best judgment when dealing with any messages they receive, whether they look suspicious or not.

    Following these simple guidelines can provide significant peace of mind for people as they go about their daily lives in an increasingly online world.

    Long-Term Care Insurance: Help Protect Your Financial Freedom

    AFBA has selected LTCI Partners, LLC to provide members with advice and guidance with long-term care insurance planning. They have access to many leading insurance companies to shop and compare benefits - including exclusive AFBA member pricing.

    Love.  Live.  Peace.  These are themes often shared with us that move others to own long term care insurance.  We invite you to watch their stories. 

    Love.  Help protect loved ones from having to provide for your care.
    Allen and Lynda Striepe's story

    Live.  Live the life you imagined, independent from possible financial hardships caused by needing care. 
    Stories from long term care insurance owners

    Peace.  Have the peace of mind that helps you focus on living instead of on finances.  
    Two minute overview of long term care insurance

    Learn more about whether this planning is right for you. 

    Call 1-855-581-6647 or click www.getltci.com/afba for more information.

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    Special Discounts for AFBA Members from GEICO

    You could save even more on insurance from GEICO! With GEICO you'll enjoy:

    With GEICO enjoy:

    ·         Savings for multi-car policies, good student, safety features, and more.

    ·         24/7 support, online or by phone, for claims bill paying, policy changes, and more.

    ·         Great policy rates for renters, motorcycles, and much more.

    ·         Storage protection plans with reduced premiums.

    ·         Great customer service

    ·         75 years of service to the military.

    Get a free quote: http://www.geico.com/mil/afba or call 1-800-368-2734.


    Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO contracts with various membership entities and other organizations, but these entities do not underwrite the offered insurance products. Discount amount varies in some states. One group discount applicable per policy. Coverage is individual. In New York a premium reduction may be available. GEICO may not be involved in a formal relationship with each organization; however, you still may qualify for a special discount based on your membership, employment or affiliation with those organizations. Motorcycle and ATV coverages are underwritten by GEICO Indemnity Company. Homeowners, renters and condo coverages are 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 © 1999-2016. © 2016 GEICO

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    PenFed Mortgages: Helping AFBA Members Do Better

    Whether you are in the market to purchase a new home, need an equity line of credit, or want to refinance your mortgage, PenFed's mortgage lending programs will match your needs and budget.

    Consider a Fixed Rate Mortgage with PenFed. Competitively priced rates, combined with our easy online application and our free 60 day rate lock on home purchases with a ratified sales contract and refinances, make these programs an attractive choice for doing better financially.

    PenFed's Adjustable Rate Mortgages [ARM] are straightforward programs that get frequent industry recognition. Their adjustable rate mortgages are available for home purchases and refinances.

    Take a look at what PenFed offers and decide which program is right for you. Visit PenFed.org/AFBA  or call 1-800-247-5626 to learn more.

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    AFBA Members are Invited to Apply for Auto Loans from PenFed

    PenFed's Auto Lending programs provide the flexibility and all the extras you seek as you try to do better with your finances:

    • New car financing available up to 110% of MSRP - including taxes, title and tags
    • Used car loans available up to 110% of NADA Avg. retail value

    • No down payment required

    • Convenient online application process

    • Various lending terms available

    If you're thinking about buying a car, why wait? Visit PenFed.org/AFBA and get behind the wheel of a new or used car today.

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    Emergency Assistance Plus Provides a Crucial Safety Net

    Any time you have an accident or sudden illness while traveling away from home Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+), offered through AFBA, provides a crucial safety net that helps pay for emergency medical transportation expenses your health or travel insurance generally will NOT cover. With more than 20 assistance benefits, EA+ steps in to provide Medical Evacuation, Medical Assistance, Travel Assistance, and Assistance for Companions.

    Now EA+ is better than ever with the addition of the Rescue Nurse benefit, which can save members between $5,000 and $10,000. Read the below testimonial from a member to see EA+ in action:

    "We were a long way from home and I broke my back. I needed to fly home and have our van returned. EA+’s medical team reviewed my case and set my mind at east by recommending a Rescue Nurse to accompany me during my travel home. They even arranged upgraded seating for me so I could recline during the flight home. Without EA+, I would have had to spend a considerable amount of money to take a plane home and also have a relative drive my van home. Thanks to EA+, my worries were minimized and they even saved me several thousand dollars in out-of-pocket expenses."
    -Dean S., Cedar Rapids, IA

    For more information, visit www.emergencyassistanceplus.com/afba or call toll free 1-855-352-3032.

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    Discounted, Convenient Health Screenings Offered to AFBA Members

    AFBA members receive a discount off of a package of four important preventive health screenings through our partnership with Life Line Screening. It is proactive and smart to take care of your cardiovascular health and stay healthy and active. AFBA and Life Line Screening have partnered since 2010.

    Life Line Screening data shows that seventy percent of people aged fifty-five and older have at least two risk factors for cardiovascular disease and may not even know it.

    By special arrangement, our members can get four screenings for only $135, plus a FREE Osteoporosis test:
    *           Carotid Artery/Stroke
    *           Abdominal Aorta
    *           Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
    *           Peripheral Arterial Disease

    Other screenings are available as well at an additional cost, including"
    *           HDL and LDL Cholesterol levels
    *           Diabetes risk
    *           Bone density as a risk for possible osteoporosis
    *           Kidney and thyroid function, and more

    The package of four screenings is discounted for our members, so take advantage of this important preventive health program today. If other screenings are recommended for you based on your age and risk factors, consultants will work with you to create a package that is right for you. 

    Call 1-866-895-3365 or visit www.lifelinescreening.com/afba.

    AFBA TRICARE Supplement Insurance Plan: Helping to Meet the Needs of the Military Community

    If you are a military retiree interested in protecting your family’s financial future, then you should consider the AFBA TRICARE supplement plan. TRICARE supplement insurance wraps around TRICARE and helps you and your family save money on your health care expenses. TRICARE supplement is especially helpful if you use TRICARE Standard as your primary form of insurance.

    Here are some of the features of the AFBA TRICARE supplement plan:

    ·         Covered cost-shares and co-pays

    ·         Reduced or paid for unforeseen out-of-pocket covered medical expenses

    ·         The flexibility to choose any TRICARE authorized provider anywhere in the world

    ·         Peace of mind that you and your family are protected financially

    Request Information or Enroll Online Today

    What are you waiting for? To learn more about how TRICARE supplement insurance may help protect your financial future, call 1-800-638-2610 or visit www.afba-tricare.com.

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