PSHB preview

USPS and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) have published online FAQs about the new Postal Service Health Benefits Program.

The program, also known as PSHB, will begin in 2025 and will provide health insurance to eligible Postal Service employees, annuitants and their eligible family members.

PSHB is a new program within the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. PSHB coverage will replace existing FEHB Program coverage for these groups.

The new program was established under the Postal Service Reform Act that was signed into law in April.

The first opportunity to select a PSHB plan will take place during the open season benefits enrollment period in late 2024, and coverage under the new program will begin in January 2025. Eligible participants may still enroll in the FEHB Program for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 plan years.

OPM and USPS will provide updates leading up to the 2024 PSHB open season to help ensure a smooth transition for all eligible employees and annuitants. Individuals do not need to take any immediate action regarding PSHB.

Enrollment in a PSHB plan will not disrupt enrollment in other, non-FEHB insurance and benefits programs.

The FAQs are available on LiteBlue, as well as Keeping Posted, the USPS retiree website, and will be updated as new information becomes available.

The FAQS are also available on the OPM website and will be updated there, too.

Queen Elizabeth II

This story has been updated.

President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. flags flown at half-staff to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The queen was monarch and head of state of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and several other countries. She died Sept. 8 after reigning for more than 70 years.

USPS facilities are required to fly the flag at half-staff until the day of interment, which is Monday, Sept. 19.

Separately, Biden also ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff Sunday, Sept. 11, to honor victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

To fly the flag at half-staff, hoist the flag to the peak for an instant and then lower it to the half-staff position.

The flag should be raised to the peak again before it’s lowered for the day.

For additional information, refer to the Postal Service’s Administrative Support Manual, which explains the organization’s guidelines on U.S. flag display and maintenance.

Safe spaces

During National Preparedness Month, the Postal Service is reminding employees and contractors to help keep USPS workplaces safe and secure.

Employees should always secure entry points when not in use, wear their postal photo ID badge and watch for individuals not wearing badges.

To further protect workspaces:

• Secure unattended USPS vehicles and trailers. Immediately report stolen or missing vehicles to the Postal Inspection Service.

• Ensure alarms and security camera systems are operational.

• Ensure all keys are accounted for at the end of every day.

• Ensure exterior lighting is functional.

• Follow all procedures for mail acceptance. Report any suspicious items to the Postal Inspection Service.

• Confirm all collection boxes, lobby mailboxes and collection receptacles have current, legible Aviation Mail Security Decals (DDD-1s).

• Report any suspicious activity around facilities to the Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.

USPS employees should ensure their facility’s alarms and security camera systems are operational.

For additional information, contact your facility’s security control officer.

Challenge reminder

USPS is reminding employees about the Well Traveled challenge, a six-week interactive program that helps build behaviors for lifelong wellness.

Employees can use their personal, nonpostal devices to log into the Well Traveled website or download the program app to track physical activity, access hundreds of recipes, answer trivia and support one another on message boards.

Participants can record steps manually, by using a tracking device, or by using an activity converter tool provided by the program.

Employees are encouraged to create teams of 4-5 members and help each other stay motivated. Participating in small groups can make the challenge more engaging and provides an opportunity for team building.

The program is open to all USPS employees, including family members ages 13 and older.

The Well Traveled challenge began Sept. 12 and runs through Oct. 23.

Employees can register on the Well Traveled website through Sept. 20.

This voluntary challenge is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, a provider of health benefit plans for federal employees. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Wellness team.