Benefits and Resources to Help You Cope During COVID-19
Living amid so much uncertainty can create a lot of tension and stress. Here are some resources and tips you can use as we all navigate this time together. Read More...
bWell Builds Update
We are six months into bWell Builds, and despite isolation at home for most of us, participants continue to rack up points while building up their well-being. As of March 31, many BMC builders are well on their way to reaching the Master Builder Level:
- 496 have reached the Junior Builder Level by participating in a health screening and completing the Well-Being Survey. (1,000 points and a reward valued at $100)
- 270 have reached the Amateur Designer Level by completing bWell Builds challenges. (3,000 points plus an additional $200 reward or savings on 2021 medical premiums)
Remember, bWell Builds allows you to create your own, customized challenges. Why not get creative and put together a stress-busting challenge for coping with the quarantine? You'll receive points for up to 20 custom challenges, but there’s no limit on how many custom challenges you can create.
Check out these new Pop-Up challenges available in the bWell portal:
- Coffee Break – earn 100 bWell points by taking virtual coffee breaks with a coworker
- Daily Plan – earn 100 bWell points by completing a daily plan each day to add structure to your day during this time of constant change
- Family Ties – earn 100 bWell points by calling or having video chats with a family member to stay in touch
- Reach Out – earn 100 bWell points by reaching out to friends or neighbors to maintain a sense of community
- Family Time – earn 100 bWell points by doing something special with your family, such as playing a game or cooking together
BMC Builds Goes Big in May
The 7th annual BMC Step-IT-Up Team Challenge will kick off on May 4. Step-IT-Up is one of the biggest challenges of the year, with 500 bWell points up for grabs. Whether you regularly compete in Ironman Competitions or haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years and the thought scares you a little, the Step-IT-Up Challenge is for you! Start thinking about creating or joining a team to compete for great prizes and bWell points.
Remember, movement can boost your mood, which helps your body better handle stress and reduce anxiety. According to Oman Healthcare, even light movement can increase the circulation of disease-fighting white blood cells, and raise your body temperature, which may make your system less hospitable to harmful bacteria or viruses. A disease outbreak like the coronavirus is an anxiety-provoking and stressful time for everyone, and the Step-IT-Up Challenge can help.
Watch your email for details coming soon.
Naturally Slim Starts May 18
It’s the perfect time to get (and stay) healthy—both physically and mentally. While things may feel out of your control right now, BMC is again partnering with Naturally Slim to help you take control of your health at no cost to you.
The next Naturally Slim program starts on May 18. Go to naturallyslim.com/BMC and apply between April 20 and May 1. Participating in Naturally Slim can help you to:
- Reach your weight loss goals. Without getting off track.
- Break those old habits. Trade-in mindless snacking for mindful eating.
- Relieve stress and anxiety. Manage how you cope and react.
- Build your immunity. Help fight off illnesses by practicing self-care.
Pick Up 250 bWell Points
You can earn 250 bWell points when you complete all 10 of the first 10 online video sessions with the Naturally Slim program. Points are automatically applied to your bWell account 30 days after you complete the program.
Who Can Participate?
Applications are open to employees, spouses, and adult dependents over the age of 18 who are covered under a BCBSTX medical plan. Past participants can apply as long as they have not participated within the last 12 months. Space is limited.
Get Free Online Workouts with ClassPass
Amid all the rules to stay put during the coronavirus outbreak, there’s a consistent companion message: it’s essential to keep moving. Your BMC benefits can help you with that. Employees have unlimited access to over 1,000 streaming audio and video workouts across strength, cardio, stretching, meditation, and more through ClassPass.
Even if you aren’t interested in a BMC-subsidized paid membership, you can register with ClassPass to get started. Create your free account here.
Activities for Children and Families
Bright Horizons recently launched their World at Home program which offers activities for children from infant to school-age. Build a raft with supplies from your backyard or an apple bird feeder! World at Home also includes videos and webinars for parents as you transition to life and school at home.
CARES Act Provision Eases Access to Retirement Funds
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act was signed by President Trump to help provide financial stability and relief for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19.
If you need to access your 401(k) funds for coronavirus-related expenses, a BMC 401(k) Plan special provision (Section 2103) for coronavirus-related relief can help you access your funds quickly. This provision waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes.
Note: Income attributable to disaster-related distributions would be subject to tax over three years. Within those three years, you may recontribute funds to an eligible retirement plan without regard to that year’s contribution cap.
A coronavirus-related distribution is a distribution made to an individual:
- Who is diagnosed with COVID-19,
- Whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19, or
- Who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, laid off, having work hours reduced, being unable to work due to lack of child care due to COVID-19, closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to COVID-19, or other factors as determined by the Treasury Secretary.
You can speak with a representative or start a qualifying hardship withdrdawal anytime on NetBenefits
Cashing out a 401(k) due to COVID-19? Consider these things first, from nerdwallet.com.
Visit the COVID-19 Resource Center on NetBenefits for additional information.
Confirm your account is in good hygiene with this checklist from Fidelity.