News

Well-being benefits that serve our veterans

May 2022

May is Military Appreciation Month, in addition to being Mental Health Awareness Month. That means we remember, honor, and support all who have served and continue to proudly serve – especially in May. Just as you have kept us safe, we’d like to share several well-being benefits designed with veterans and their families in mind.

Get help in a crisis

If you are in crisis or are having thoughts of suicide or know a service member or veteran in crisis, connect with the Military Crisis Line / Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24/7/365. There are three ways to connect with a real person qualified to support veterans:

Confidential support for all through the Confide Behavioral Health Navigator / Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Confide / EAP offers confidential support through resources and counselors to help you navigate life’s challenges, including mental health issues. You and the members of your household are automatically enrolled in the Confide / EAP, and you don’t have to be in a Cigna medical plan to use the EAP’s tools and services.

Confide / EAP resources for veterans

Veteran Support Line: Call Cigna’s Veteran Support Line 24/7 at 1-855-244-6211 to speak with licensed Cigna behavioral therapists, some of whom are veterans themselves. They can provide you and your family members with free and confidential support to help you work through complex issues and crises. Their dedicated triage team can help direct you to the right resources and services, including:

  • Pain management
  • Substance use
  • Counseling and treatment
  • Financial issues
  • Food, clothing, housing, and transportation challenges
  • Parenting and child care needs

This service is open to all veterans – you do not have to be a Cigna medical plan member to use this service.

Mindfulness for Vets program: All veterans can receive training in stress management, acceptance, and compassion through Cigna’s Mindfulness for Vets telephonic program. Mindfulness therapy has been proven to have a positive impact on depression, stress, anxiety, performance, sleep, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

This program is open to all veterans – you do not have to be a Cigna medical plan member to participate. All sessions are conducted by a Cigna specialist and last about an hour. Several options are available.

  • For veterans only: Every Tuesday at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Call 1-866-205-5379 (passcode 113 29 178) to join.
  • For veterans, their families, and caregivers: Thursdays 8:30 to 9 p.m. Eastern time. Call 1-866-205-5379 (passcode 113 01 992) to join.

Support networks at BAE Systems

Join the Veterans Support Network (must be on the BAE Systems network to access). The VSN is an employee resource group that connects employees of the armed forces’ Total Force and its supporters. It provides seasoned mentors to help those transitioning to the private sector to enhance career development and continued professional growth. Email erg.vsn@baesystems.com to learn more.

Reach out to an Advocate. Advocates, some of whom are veterans, are specially trained members of the ABLE ERG who are available to any employee seeking emotional support and/or psychological safety. Locate an Advocate through the Advocate Directory (must be on the BAE Systems network to access).

Visit the Resilience page for resources to improve your well-being.

Time to stop ghosting the dentist

April 2022

When was the last time you went to the dentist? If you haven’t been since 2020 or before the pandemic, it’s time to schedule that appointment before any minor issues become big problems.

Do any of these excuses for putting off dental visits sound like you? If so, read on for some dental straight talk.

1. I don’t have time.

A routine preventive visit to see your dentist takes no more than an hour. But if you postpone your visits, there’s a high likelihood that your appointment could take much longer than an hour—and you may need more appointments to deal with resulting dental problems. Save yourself time and money by getting preventive cleanings twice a year.

2. I’m nervous about visiting the dentist.

If you get nervous just thinking about a dental visit, you’re not alone. The more you delay dental treatment, the higher your risk of developing issues that require more dental visits to address. In fact, seeing your dentist regularly can actually make the entire process – from making an appointment to sailing through it – much easier on many levels. Here are some quick tips to ease your nerves:

  • Talk about it. When you book your appointment, tell the receptionist you’re nervous about dental visits. Remind the dentist and dental staff about your anxiety when you arrive.
  • Distract yourself. Listen to music or an audiobook with headphones on, or squeeze a stress ball.
  • Breathe deeply. Take deep breaths to relax your muscles and mind. 

3. Going to the dentist is too expensive.

As a Delta Dental member, any visits to the dentist for diagnostic and preventive services do not count against the annual maximum. Check to see if your preferred dentist is in the Delta Dental network by visiting DeltaDentalVA.com.

4. My health condition makes it hard for me to get to the dentist.

Researchers continue to find evidence that good oral health positively affects many medical conditions. Delta Dental’s Healthy Smile, Healthy You® program provides additional benefits for those with the following health conditions: pregnancy, diabetes, high-risk cardiac conditions, weakened immune systems, kidney dialysis or failure, and certain cancer treatments. If you have one or more of the above conditions, Healthy Smile, Healthy You allows you to receive an additional cleaning and exam beyond the plan limit.

To get started, download the Healthy Smile, Healthy You registration form located on the Members page at DeltaDentalVA.com.

5. I’m only interested in cosmetic treatments.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options and to make sure your teeth are ready for whatever treatment you and your dentist agree upon.

Need an implant? If you’re enrolled in the Delta Dental PPO High plan, implants with a network provider are covered at 80% of the cost after deductible, up to the annual plan limit. Teeth-alignment treatments more your concern? The Delta Dental PPO High plan covers 50% of the cost after deductible, up to a $2,000 lifetime limit.

Learn more about your Delta Dental coverage.

It’s Women’s History Month: Take time for self-care

March 2022

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are focusing on the health and well-being of our female employees (many of whom are also caregivers). We encourage you to prioritize your health and improve your well-being with the various benefits and resources available.

If you are caring for children or adults

According to the CDC,* two out of every three caregivers in the United States are women providing daily or regular support to children and/or adults. Despite all their efforts to ensure that others get care, they often neglect themselves, risking their own physical and mental health.

Our benefits can help you find support and resources to make your day-to-day life a little easier, including:

  • Help finding care for loved ones. Cariloop is a free concierge service that offers all employees access to certified Care Coaches, who will research and identify your care options, including those offered through Confide/EAP, Beneplace, Cigna, and Bright Horizons, as well as local and community options.
  • Information, activities, and support for your children through Bright Horizons World at Home. All employees, regardless of medical plan, can use Bright Horizons World at Home to enhance their child’s learning and engagement outside the classroom, entertain children during rainy days or weekends, or register for parenting webinars led by early childhood education experts.
  • 24/7 guidance and support for health issues. Cigna medical plan participants can call the 24-Hour Health Information Line to receive answers to health questions – such as treating a high fever or when a toddler’s cold could be more serious.

If you are concerned about a medical issue

Getting to the doctor’s office, let alone carving out time to make an appointment to see one, can be difficult. Get the care you need from wherever you are by using resources such as:

  • A free second opinion on a medical issue from leading medical experts. All employees, regardless of medical plan, have free and confidential access to receive second opinions on medical treatments from the medical experts at Teladoc Health. With one call, you can connect with a team physician who will serve as your personal advocate to discuss your specific situation, gather medical records, and ensure your case is reviewed by some of the world’s leading experts.
  • 24/7 care through telehealth services. This service connects you with a board-certified doctor through video chat, without having to leave home or the office. Learn more about telehealth.
  • Personal health coaches. Available to Cigna medical plan participants, Cigna health coaches help you and your family maintain or improve your health and offer support on making lifestyle changes, managing chronic health conditions, and more.

If you are experiencing a financial hardship or concerned about your financial future

Sometimes, managing your finances and actually understanding the fine print can seem like a full-time job. We are here to help by providing these tools and resources:

  • Free webinars and budgeting tools. All employees can access live and on-demand webinars led by a team of financial experts from Alight Financial Advisors on topics ranging from building a budget to planning for retirement. You can also fine-tune your financial know-how through the Financial Education Center, available on BenefitsNavigator.
  • Short-term loans through Kashable. Available to employees with at least six months of employment at BAE Systems, Kashable is a safe and financially inclusive short-term loan program. With Kashable, you can receive competitive and unsecured loans ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 with a starting interest rate of 6%. Plus, you can repay your loan through automatic payroll deduction. Learn more about how Kashable can help you.
  • Covered routine screenings and well visits. If you are a Cigna medical plan participant, your routine screenings are covered 100%, meaning there is no cost to you for taking care of your health.

If you are feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed

Dealing with a mental health or substance use disorder can be challenging and, at times, isolating. You are not alone. All Cigna medical plan participants have access to free, confidential resources to support them, including:

  • Confide Behavioral Health Navigator / Employee Assistance Program. You and members of your household are automatically enrolled in our newly enhanced, free Employee Assistance Program, which ensures that you and your household members get access to the right care at the right time. Note: Confide/EAP is available to all employees, regardless of medical plan.
  • Live and on-demand Wellness Webcasts on a variety of topics, including eating disorder recognition and support, stress management tips, managing change, and more. View the upcoming webcasts, and sign up for one or several today.
  • Virtual behavioral health outpatient care, where you can connect with licensed counselors and physicians who can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications for nonemergency behavioral and mental health conditions, including addiction, depression, grief and loss, relationship issues, and stress.

Ensuring access to health care and well-being resources for all employees

February 2022

In honor of Black History Month, BAE Systems is spotlighting the tools and resources we offer to help ensure health equity to all our employees and their families. Health equity means everyone has the ability to achieve their highest level of health – physical, financial, emotional, and social well-being.

At BAE Systems

Forging connections to community helps us personally and as a company. That’s why we encourage all employees to explore Employee Resource Groups to help find a sense of community at work. Open to all employees, these groups help promote collaboration across the organization, as well as providing a forum for learning, understanding, and supporting professional growth through internal and external networking, programs, and activities.

The BAE Systems African Americans Committed to Excellence (AACE) ERG has a slate of programs and activities in honor of Black History Month. You do not need to be a member of the AACE ERG to participate, but we encourage you to visit their OneSpace page to learn more about the discussions, speakers, and events still to come this month.

Physical

As a group, African Americans experience significant health disparities, such as increased risk of certain diseases and chronic conditions, and limited access to preventive screenings. Our health care provider, Cigna, understands the importance of addressing health disparities and is working to close these gaps. As a reminder, if you are a member of a BAE Systems Cigna medical plan, your medical plan offers:

  • Access to Cigna’s wellness programs, including personal health coaches and the Cigna 24-Hour Health Information Line featuring live support.
  • 100% coverage for preventive care (no deductible or out-of-pocket cost to you for annual physical exams, lab tests, and age-appropriate screenings).
  • 24/7 care through telehealth services that let you connect with a board-certified doctor through video chat without leaving your home or office.
  • Representatives who can help you research surgery options.
  • Access to convenient care for minor illnesses or routine vaccinations through retail or walk-in clinics at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target.

Financial

Systemic inequalities affect African American families trying to secure wealth and build financial wellness. Take advantage of the tools and resources we offer to promote financial equality, including:

  • Free live and on-demand financial webinars as well as tools and resources available through the Financial Education Center on BenefitsNavigator.
  • Access to competitive, unsecured short-term financial loans with a starting interest rate of 6% through Kashable.

Emotional

The emotional toll of COVID-19 has been hard on everyone, but the pandemic has disproportionately affected people of color. If you’re experiencing stress for any reason, the Resilience Hub offers ideas for ways to improve your well-being. And our Confide Behavioral Health Navigator / Employee Assistance Program (EAP), available to all employees and their household members, offers free access to a host of resources, including the following:

New year, new benefits…new insurance cards?

January 2022

Need to use your health insurance benefits? Here’s information on the cards you should have received in the mail, how to access your cards online, and what to do if you need replacement cards.

New Cigna medical ID cards for 2022

If you enrolled in a Cigna medical plan for 2022, you should have received a new medical ID card in the mail from Cigna in mid-December. If you received your new medical ID card, please discard your current ID card and begin using the new card immediately.

If you did not receive your card, you have several ways to view and access your medical ID card, depending on when you need it.

  • I need to access my medical ID card today: Visit myCigna.com, and select ID Cards from the menu bar. You’ll have the option to view and print your medical ID card. This image is an exact copy of your permanent ID card and contains all the same information. You can use it the same way you use a permanent ID card.
  • I don’t recall receiving the card in the mail and want a new card mailed to me: Visit myCigna.com, and select ID Cards. Cigna will mail your ID card within two weeks to your mailing address on file.
  • I am not at my home address and want my card mailed to me at my new location: Call Cigna at 1-800-530-1314, or visit myCigna.com to connect with a customer service representative over web chat.

If this is your first year enrolling in a BAE Systems Cigna medical plan and you’ve received your card in the mail, activate your online account at myCigna.com. If you haven’t received your medical ID card or have trouble activating your card, contact Cigna at 1-800-530-1314.

Accessing ID cards for other benefits

If you’re enrolled in a Cigna medical plan, CVS Caremark provides your pharmacy benefit.

  • Only new enrollees receive ID cards. Your CVS ID card does not change if you change medical plans, and your existing card will continue to work.
  • You can view or print your ID card at caremark.com.
  • If you have questions about your pharmacy benefit, call CVS at 1-866-236-8236.

If you’re enrolled in the Health Savings Account or Health Care Flexible Spending Account:

  • Smart-Choice automatically issues debit-type Visa cards to any new HSA or FSA participants. If you received a new card in 2021, you can continue to use this card.
  • If you have questions about your card(s), visit BenefitsNavigator or call the BAE Systems Benefit Center at 1-888-900-4223, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

If you’re enrolled in a Delta Dental plan:

  • Only new enrollees receive mailed ID cards.
  • Visit Delta Dental at any time to view or print a personalized card. If you encounter any issues, call 1-800-237-6060.

If you’re enrolled in a VSP plan:

  • Visit vsp.com at any time to view or print a personalized card. If you encounter any issues, call 1-800-877-7195.

New contribution limits for 2022

January 2022

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limits annual contributions to your 401(k) Savings Plan. For 2022, the IRS has announced new contribution limits as shown in the table below. We encourage you to take a few moments to review these changes and determine whether your current 401(k) Savings Plan contribution rate meets your goals.

Contribution Limits 2022 2021
Employee contribution limit (Pretax and/or Roth) $20,500

If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions, for a total of $27,000
$19,500

If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions, for a total of $26,000
Total employee plus employer contribution limit $61,000

If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions, for a total of $67,500
$58,000

If you are age 50 or older, you can contribute an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions, for a total of $64,500
Compensation limit for contributions $305,000 $290,000

 

Caregiver burnout is real. We can help.

November 2021

Being a caregiver for a family member is a tough job. Your responsibilities are equal parts rewarding and exhausting. So if you’re feeling burned out from caregiving demands, help is available. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the timesaving, convenient caregiving and emotional support resources listed below.

Consult Cariloop for personalized care options

Whether it’s finding a speech therapist for your child or locating care options for an aging parent, Cariloop’s Care Coaches can lead you in the right direction by locating in-network providers, local and community resources, and answers to the questions that come to mind at 3 a.m. This resource is free and available to you and your loved ones. Learn more about Cariloop.

Enlist some extra help

If cleaning the house or walking the dog during your free time is the last thing you want to do, you’re not alone! Bright Horizons has free resources to help you search for and locate services including child care, pet care, adult care, housecleaning, and more.

Rely on backup care services for your backup plan

When school is closed or your mother’s home health aide calls in sick, backup care help is one call or click away. Bright Horizons offers backup care resources that allow you to secure reliable child or adult care for up to 20 days a year through December 31, 2021 (typically 10 days a year). Request care at one of the Bright Horizons centers for $15 per day, or have someone come and care for your child or adult in your home (child care and adult care) or theirs (adult care) for $6 per hour.

Turn to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free, confidential support 24/7

The Cigna EAP offers resources and counselors to help you identify options and potential solutions for many of life’s challenges, including child care and elder care.

If you’re interested in speaking with a professional, you and members of your household can receive up to eight free, confidential, one-on-one counseling sessions with a licensed professional counselor. You don’t have to be enrolled in a Cigna medical plan to use the EAP.

No time to set up a formal therapy session? You and members of your household have free access to Talkspace. Connect via text or video chat with a dedicated, licensed therapist in your state anytime.

Have you gotten your flu shot yet?

October 2021

This year’s flu season and pandemic doubleheader make getting a flu shot more important than ever. And protecting yourself and your family from the flu is easy and convenient. Read the FAQs below for details.

When should I get my flu shot?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting your flu shot by late October – the start of flu season. It takes about two weeks to build immunity after getting vaccinated. However, since flu season continues through May, you can still benefit even if you get the flu shot after October.

How much does it cost?

The flu vaccine is fully covered by your Cigna medical plan at no cost to you.

Where can I get a flu shot?

Find a local participating pharmacy that offers the flu shot. No appointment is necessary. Just present your Cigna medical ID. If you don’t have a Cigna medical plan, check with your insurance carrier if you have questions about coverage.

Flu shots are also offered in many doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics, local health departments, and retail clinics. Check in advance if an appointment is required.

Do I need to get a flu shot every year?

Because flu viruses evolve so quickly, last year's vaccine may not protect you from this year's viruses. So, your best defense is to get a flu shot every fall. This year, due to the pandemic, it’s even more important to get a flu shot. Getting the flu could make you more vulnerable to COVID-19, and it is possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

Can someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 get a flu shot?

No. Anyone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms, should wait until they meet the criteria to end their isolation. When scheduling or confirming appointments for flu vaccination, please be sure to notify the doctor’s office, pharmacy, or clinic or clinic professional's office in advance if you currently have or develop any symptoms of COVID-19.

Can I get the flu from the shot?

No. The flu vaccine can’t cause the flu. According to the CDC, it contains an inactivated virus – meaning the virus is no longer infectious – or a particle designed to look like a flu virus to your immune system. The nasal spray flu vaccine does contain a live virus. However, the virus is changed so that it can’t give you the flu.

Can the flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

Flu vaccines are not designed to protect against COVID-19. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of severe flu illness, hospitalization, and death in addition to other important benefits. Although the flu shot doesn’t always provide total protection, it’s worth getting.

How does the coronavirus differ from the flu virus?

Confusingly, there are many similarities between the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and the flu virus. Both are respiratory viruses that spread through droplets.

The classic symptoms for flu are fever, body aches, cough, and other respiratory symptoms like shortness of breath. COVID-19 can cause all these symptoms and more, like sore throat, rashes, loss of taste or smell, and strain on the heart, lungs, and brain.