USPS Health Benefits Plan

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield became the new administrator of the USPS Health Benefits Plan on Jan. 1.

USPS Health Benefits Plan participants who were enrolled during 2021 and made no changes during open season were automatically transferred to the new plan. Member ID cards were mailed to participants, beginning Jan. 2.

To register for online account access, go to carefirst.com/usps. You can also review plan information regarding benefits, locate participating providers and find other resources.

Rate information is located on the USPS Health Benefits Plan LiteBlue page.

Employees with additional questions should call the Human Resources Shared Service Center at 877-477-3273 and select Option 5. For questions related to coverage, call CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield at 833-960-4025.

This change has no effect on career employees who are covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

ARIS update

The Postal Service is moving more applications to ARIS, the organization’s new platform for users to request access to USPS digital resources on ACE computers.

Starting Jan. 18, Customer Label Distribution System, Enterprise Content Management, Full-Service Handheld Mail Verification and National Meter Accounting Tracking System will be among 23 applications that will transition to ARIS from eAccess.

Those applications will join more than two dozen others — including ACE Web Conferencing Zoom meeting scheduler and eTravel — that have migrated to ARIS since October.

ARIS will eventually replace eAccess, a 23-year-old platform that uses legacy technology that is costly to maintain.

ARIS — short for Access Registration and Identity Services — features a user-friendly interface and commercial off-the-shelf software that is easier to update and secure.

USPS will continue to transition applications to ARIS through 2024 until all applications are moved off eAccess.

ARIS is part of the Postal Service’s overarching Zero Trust initiative to further protect the organization against evolving cyberthreats.

Blooming Love

The latest in the Postal Service’s popular Love series of stamps will be released Jan. 14.

The stamp comes in two designs inspired by European folk art and features the word “love” surrounded by digitally illustrated flowers and vines.

Each stamp has either a pink or blue background with vibrant accents of complementary colors.

The Love stamp will be the Postal Service’s first release of the year. The early release date leaves ample time for valentine senders to purchase the stamps.

Once again, Bailey Sullivan was the illustrator and designer and Greg Breeding was the art director, as they were for last year’s Love stamp.

The Love series began in 1973 with Robert Indiana’s famous pop-art “love” with the tilted “o,” a design he originally created for a Museum of Modern Art holiday card. The series picked up again in 1982, and the releases came with regularity after that.

Since 2004, USPS has released a Love stamp annually.

This year’s stamp will be available at Post Offices and usps.com.