Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.
Single logon offers retirees simple access to secure sites
Airmen concerned about losing access to benefits Web pages once they retire should establish their Defense Department self-service logon identification account today, Air Force Personnel Center officials suggested.
The common logon, developed by the DOD and Veterans’ Administration allows beneficiaries of DOD or Veterans’ Affairs programs to access various benefit websites using a single username and password. All military members are required to establish an account, said Karen Bennett, the AFPC Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System Operations branch chief.
“There are a number of actions the DS logon can help you accomplish when you access the various websites, like the eBenefits, milConnect, and more,” Bennett said. “You’ll be able to access your personal information, health care eligibility and personnel records, and can review your Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance elections or convert SGLI to Veterans’ Group Life Insurance after separation — all from one logon account.”
Because access to the account does not require a common access card, Airmen, family members and retirees will be able to access their information 24/7 from their home computer.
Affordable Care Act impacts federal civilian employees
Starting in January, all individuals must maintain minimum health care coverage for themselves and all dependents claimed on their federal tax return, or must qualify for an exemption. Those who do not will be charged a penalty beginning with their 2014 federal tax return.
Under, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152, the federal government, state governments, insurers, employers, and individuals are responsible for reforming and improving health insurance coverage availability, quality and affordability.
Airmen covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (including temporary continuation of coverage), Medicare, TRICARE and Children’s Health Insurance Program meet the federal requirement, said Kathryn Iapichino, Air Force Personnel Center.
“Some civilian employees may not be covered because when they were hired, they had the option to not select a health benefits plan,” she said. “There may not be many in that situation, but those who are need to be aware of the federal requirement.”
New flu vaccine offers triple protection
Each year, flu season affects millions of men, women and children. Flu season usually begins in October, so now is a great time to protect yourself and your family from the flu by getting vaccinated. The flu shot is easy to get and inexpensive — often free — for TRICARE beneficiaries and this year the flu vaccine offers even more protection.
Until now, seasonal flu vaccines have only protected against three strains of flu — two strains of influenza A, which usually causes more cases and more severe illness, and one of influenza B, which is less common but also circulates in multiple forms. The new vaccines include protection against a second strain of influenza B, which experts expect will prevent the vast majority of type B infections.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. People suffering from the flu often have a fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue.
AF announces support squadron commander picks
More than 750 officers from 13 career fields were selected by development teams as 2014 support, logistics and air base commander candidates, Air Force officials announced Sept. 27.
“The selection process was very competitive,” said Joseph Marchino, AFPC assignment officer. “Development teams consider all aspects of officers’ records and duty history. They also factor in leadership ability, professional development and permanent change of station eligibility.”
For more specific career field requirements, officers should refer to the appropriate career field page on the myPers website at https://myPers.af.mil.
“Selected candidates have demonstrated traits essential for leading Airman to day-to-day operational success,” Marchino said. “Additionally, squadron commanders are the best positioned to recognize and develop the talents and skills of their personnel for future leadership opportunities.”
Wing hiring officials, major command functionals and AFPC assignment teams will use the candidate list to fill projected 2014 squadron commander vacancies, with those selection results tentatively planned for release in December.