News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 07, 2003

August 7th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 32 . . . . August 8, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT MM&P PLAN MAIL ORDER DRUG BENEFIT

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “effective September 1, 2003, NMHC, the Plan’s pharmacy benefit manager, will take over administration of the mail order portion of the pharmacy benefit currently handled by Eckerd Pharmacy Services (EPS).

“NMHC has assured us that this change will have no effect on our members who are currently receiving medication through EPS. In fact, under this new arrangement, members will be able to access all information about our prescription drug benefit from one website, www.nmhcrx.com,” said Ms. Verrecchio.

If you are a MM&P member who currently receives prescription drugs through the EPS mail order system, you will receive a mailing from the Plan and NMHCRXMAIL in the next few weeks explaining how you can go about activating your current refills that are on file with EPS.

It is important to remember that NMHCMAIL has coordinated all MM&P member info with EPS and that all prescriptions with remaining refills will be automatically transferred to NMHCMAIL. You won’t have to do a thing except contact NMHCMAIL when you are ready for a refill.

If you have new prescriptions or are a first time mail order user after September 1, 2003, you can contact NMHC directly at 1-800-881-1966 or sign onto the website for additional info.

If you forget and mail your prescriptions to EPS, don’t worry. They have agreed to expedite any MM&P member prescriptions directly to NMHC through December 31, 2003.

We anticipate that this change will not only maintain the same contractual discounts currently in place, but will also allow NMHC to offer better customer service since they will be our only pharmacy benefit provider.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

NEW AGREEMENT BENEFITS NAVY CIVIL SERVICE PILOTS

Capt. Bill Steele, MM&P’s US Navy Civil Service Pilots Representative (Mayport, FL), negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement with the Chief of Naval Operations on behalf of all civil service Pilots covered under the MMP’s exclusive recognition.

Capt. Steele’s exemplary negotiating team consisted of himself, Capt. Richard Garcia, (Norfolk), and Capt. James Barrett, (San Diego). The Union represents 33 government employed, civil service Pilots. The bargaining unit members are located throughout nine major naval bases.

Capt. Steele was successful in gaining CNO’s agreement to considering Pilots equivalent to the O-6 military rank level on travel orders and other official documents where such equivalency is relevant; having a Pilot or Chief Pilot chosen as a member of the rating and selection recommending panel for vacant positions; reimbursing members for return travel expenses as allowed by JTR and COMPGEN to avoid having the member assume added travel expenses when recalled to return to duty due to unforeseen circumstances; or reimbursing members for required professional credentials/licensing requirements.

The Union was also successful in maintaining the status quo with regard to all other elements of the current CBA. MM&P International President Tim Brown congratulated Capt. Steele and his negotiating team on an outstanding job.

Capt. Steele remarked, “I would like to thank Capt. Richard Garcia and Capt. James Barrett for their participation, and the Navy’s negotiation team for their continuing support of the Navy Civil Service Pilots.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

USCG ADM. BENNIS (RET.) DIES, ORGANIZED WTC EVACUATION

USCG Rear Adm. (Ret.) Richard Bennis, who took charge of evacuating some 500,000 people from lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, died August 3 in Fredericksburg, VA after a long battle with cancer. He was 53.

Bennis served in the USCG for 30 years. He was Captain of the Port at three of the East Coast’s largest ports, including the Port of NY and NJ. After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Bennis organized a fleet of ferries and private craft to evacuate people from lower Manhattan to New Jersey and Staten Island.

“What he did was a heroic thing,” said former USCG head Rear Adm. (Ret.) Robert North, who is now a security consultant. North said that Bennis was being treated for cancer at the time of the WTC attacks, and his contribution to the Ground Zero recovery efforts showed Bennis’ strength and energy.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

SENATOR HOLLINGS ANNOUNCES HE WILL RETIRE

Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings (D-SC) has announced that he will not seek re-election next year. First elected to the Senate in 1960, the 81-year-old Hollings is currently serving in his seventh term.

Amazingly, Hollings was the junior Senator from South Carolina prior to Strom Thurmond’s stepping down as the state’s senior Senator last year. Thurmond, a Republican, was 100 when he passed away earlier this year. He served 47 years and five months in the Senate.

Senator Hollings has been a strong supporter of the US Merchant Marine and the US-flag maritime community.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

WWII REGISTRY SITE OPEN TO ALL WHO SERVED IN ANY CAPACITY

The National WWII Memorial has a site on its webpage for individuals who served in any capacity during WWII to register to be included in the Memorial’s Registry. The main site is www.wwiimemorial.com.

If the individual clicks on WWII Registry, he/she can find out if he/she is already included as a result of one of the WWII databases and, if not, can follow the directions to register. Any American who contributed to the war effort is eligible for the Registry.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

USCG GETS $40M MORE FOR VESSEL TRACKING INFRASTRUCTURE

The Senate Appropriations Committee has adopted an amendment to add $40 million to the USCG to specifically fund the infrastructure required to track vessels in the maritime system.

This funding measure will help provide the first system in the US that allows USCG and law enforcement to actively track the movement of vessels and ensure that they are not headed into any area that poses a security risk.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

EUROPEAN DOCKWORKERS IN WARNING OVER CARGO SELF-HANDLING

Maritime unions are telling shipowners, shippers and senior officials of the European Union that they face a long campaign of coordinated resistance if they press ahead with moves to introduce cargo self-handling.

Kees Marges, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Dockers’ Section Secretary, announced the intensified campaign at the recently concluded annual convention of the International Longshoremen’s Association in Puerto Rico.

More than 20,000 port workers in Europe went on strike earlier this year in protest at the EU’s planned liberalization of European ports and the ITF threatened more disruption if the proposed Ports Directive was approved at an EU Council of Ministers meeting on September 9.

“The unrest in January was only a warm-up for our campaign against the destruction of secure employment in the docks. We have brought forward a strategy to mobilize 400,000 port workers,” he said.

A recent meeting of the ITF Dockers’ Section in London has approved the action. Unions are angered by what they see as encroachment on dock work by self-handling on ships, including securing and unsecuring containers by cargo owners using untrained labor at port terminals.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

ILO BODY UPDATES MINIMUM WAGE FOR SEAFARERS

A Subcommittee of the Joint Maritime Commission (JMC) of the International Labor Organization (ILO) has agreed to extend the validity of the current ILO minimum monthly wage for seafarers of $465 to December 31, 2004.

That figure became applicable on January 1, 2003. It also agreed to increase this minimum wage to $500 effective January 1, 2005.

The mechanism for setting the minimum wage for able seafarers is provided for by the ILO Seafarers’ Wages, Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Recommendation, 1996 (No. 187). The ILO minimum wage takes into consideration a formula that reflects changes in consumer prices and exchange rates against the US dollar in 49 maritime countries and areas.

Used by ship owners and unions to set wage scales, the mechanism is the only one in the ILO for setting the basic monthly wage for any industry. A substantial percentage of the world’s more than 1.5 million seafarers are affected by changes in the ILO minimum wage for able seafarers.

Ten nations, including the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Turkey, the Russian Federation, India, the US, Ukraine, Greece and Japan supply almost 60 percent of the world’s seafarers.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

UAW & AUTOMAKERS GEAR UP FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING TALKS

Health care costs and secure pensions will be big issues on the table in talks between the UAW and the Big Three automakers, which began last month. The Big Three, General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler, all pay 100 percent of employee health care premiums.

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger has said the union will not allow the companies to shift skyrocketing health care costs to workers. The current contracts expire September 21 and cover 330,000 workers.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

CREDIT UNION “BACK-TO-SCHOOL” LOAN SALE

Need money to pay for those back-to-school needs, summer vacation bills, or even your holiday shopping? Now is a great time to borrow from your credit union. The Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce a “Back to School” signature loan sale.

The new standard loan rate is 9.99%. The preferred rate is 9.24%.

Don’t let time pass you by as this rate is available only for a limited time – until September 30. Rates and conditions for this loan sale are effective July 22.

If a new or new-for-you car is in your future, your MM&P FCU continues to offer competitive loan rates. Rates start as low as 5.25% and believe it or not, MM&P FCU auto loan rates may cost you less than dealers’ zero-percent financing incentives.

Share savings and share certificates of deposit are also available. Savings accounts may earn up to 1.51% APY and certificates are earning up to 2.73% APY.

All MM&P FCU rate offerings and conditions are subject to change without notice. Call or Email Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, for complete details regarding these low-interest loans. She can be reached by Email at: mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or toll-free at: 1-800-382-7777.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

UPDATED MATES REUNION PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER 19-21

The MM&P MATES Program graduate reunion will held at MITAGS from September 19-21. Current plans include a mixer on Friday complete with food, music and entertainment. The Saturday night function is shaping up to be a traditional Maryland Crab Feast, with tasty BBQ items to round out the menu.

In addition, attending a Baltimore Orioles baseball game as well as a potential day trip to Annapolis are being considered.

The names of those individuals who have responded positively are posted on the Union’s website. Click on the “Original MATES Program Reunion” button on the left side of your screen.

Additional info and updates will be posted as details are firmed up.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

There is still time to enroll in the August 11th MSC- Strategic Sealift Communications which is a 5-day course in the basic communication requirements aboard ships under the operational control of the Military Sealift Command. MSC-COMMS introduces the student to Navy message writing, communications security and publications including exercises to improve interoperability between the Merchant Marine and US and allied military forces.

Stay aboard and take advantage of our “cluster courses” during the following week:

  • Monday 8/18: MSC-Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation
  • Tuesday 8/19,: MSC-Level 1 Anti-Terrorism Training
  • Wednesday 8/20: MSC-Environmental Protection

— OR —

  • Monday through Wednesday 8/18-20: Security Officer/Ship, Company, Port

Take Advantage of the following Class Openings

Between now and the end of October, seats are available in the following courses:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA: 9/15, 9/29
  • BST: 9/15, 10/6

~~~

  • CMM-ADVSTB: 8/18, 10/27
  • CMM-ADVWX: 9/29
  • CMM-CHS I: 8/25
  • CMM-CHS II: 9/1
  • CMM-ECDIS: 10/20
  • CMM-MPP: 9/15
  • CMM-SHS-ADV I: 8/18, 9/29
  • CMM-SHS-ADV II: 8/25,10/6
  • CMM-VPEN: 10/13
  • CMM-WKP: 9/8
  • COMP-ABSS: 9/8
  • COMP-APS: 9/22
  • COMP-MAR: 10/27
  • COMP-NET: 8/25
  • CONT-PLNG: 9/11, 10/24

~~~

  • FF-ADV: 9/22
  • FL: 9/5
  • FRB: 9/22
  • GMDSS: 10/27
  • HAZ: 8/25

~~~

  • MED-DOT-DA: 8/16, 8/30, 9/20, 10/4
  • MEDIA-RSP: 8/29, 9/12, 10/23
  • MED-PIC: 8/11, 9/29
  • MED-PRO: 8/11, 9/29
  • MED-SMC: 9/1, 10/27
  • MSC-ATER: 8/20, 10/15
  • MSC-CBRD-1: 8/18, 9/21, 10/13
  • MSC-COMMS: 8/11
  • MSC-DC: 9/13, 9/19, 10/16
  • MSC-ENVPRO: 8/19, 10/14
  • MSC-SMA: 9/15

~~~

  • ROP: 8/25
  • ROR-1: 9/15, 9/22, 9/29

~~~

  • SEC-OFF PCS: 8/18, 9/8, 9/23, 10/20
  • SHS-BAS: 9/15, 10/20
  • SHS-EMR5: 10/13

~~~

  • T-PIC: 9/22

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions.

 

REMINDER: Attendance Verification & Cancellation is Vital

If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.

 

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

Courses are subject to change. Always check the MITAGS website for updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.org or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Summer Class Openings

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 8/18-22: VPEN
  • 8/18-22: ARPA & Basic Safety Training
  • 8/18-29: Medical Person in Charge
  • 8/25-29: TPIC

~~~

  • 9/1-5: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 9/1-12: GMDSS
  • 9/3-5: Ship Security Officer
  • 9/8-12:Basic Safety Training
  • 9/15-19: VPEN, Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 9/22-6: ECDIS, Ship Construction and Stability

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registration.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-06 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,061.70

– 138.80 for the week

 1,652.68

 – 68.23 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 89.46

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

22.18

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 13.45

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 12.67

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 22.85

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.43

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.05

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.19

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

13.12

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

14.62

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 34.32

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 86.66

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.03

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



~ Reminders ~


 


 

JOB OPENINGS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

A MM&P Pacific Maritime Region-contracted company with operations in the San Francisco Bay area is seeking to add up to six tug captains to their employee roster. The jobs are located in the Bay area.

  • Tractor Tug and Conventional Tug experience is highly desired.
  • MM&P members from any Membership Group are encouraged to apply.
  • Living within commuting distance is a necessity.
  • Relocation assistance may be available.

For additional info or to indicate interest, contact John Schaeffner, PMR’s Portland Branch Agent, by Email to jschaeffner@bridgedeck.org or by phone to 503-283-0518.

Resumes may be sent to him by Email, faxed to 503-283-0518, or delivered to the PMR Portland Hall:

John Schaeffner, Branch Agent Pacific Maritime Region – IOMM&P 2225 N. Lombard St. #206 Portland, OR 97217

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

 

MEMBERS AND FAMILIES GET SPECIAL SUMMER RATES AT MITAGS

By popular demand, and for a limited time only, MITAGS is opening up its renowned conference center hotel to MM&P members and their families at a very affordable rate. This is the first time MITAGS has made their facilities available as a vacation destination for MM&P members.

Centrally located just south of Baltimore, MITAGS is within easy reach of the many top tourist attractions found in the Washington DC, Baltimore, Annapolis, southern Pennsylvania and northern Virginia area. MITAGS is just five minutes from BWI Airport, a leading hub for low-cost airlines such as Southwest and Air Tran. The BWI Amtrak Station is also just minutes away.

MM&P member summer rates are just $85 per night, per room. Occupancy is limited to member, spouse and two children. Complimentary full breakfast buffet and free shuttle service to BWI Airport or Amtrak are included.

For more info or reservations contact the MITAGS reservation department at 410-859-5700 extension 0, or Email: reservations@ccmit.org.

Be sure to mention this special when making your reservation. Offer is based on availability and only valid June 1 through September 10.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

SPECIAL RATES FOR UNION MEMBERS AT ORLANDO DISNEY HOTEL

As a special summer promotion for union members at the Hotel Royal Plaza, a unionized hotel located in the heart of Downtown Disney, the rate for a standard room has been reduced to just $69.

Rates are in effect from June 1 to September 30 and do not include a resort fee of $7 per room, per night. Kids 12 and under eat free breakfast, lunch and dinner when accompanied by a paying adult.

For more info, call 1-800-248-7890 or go to their website at www.royalplaza.com. Call early for reservations as rooms are subject to availability and make sure to ask for the Union Leisure Rate.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MM&P MEMBERS AT SEA CAN NOW SAVE ON SHIP-TO-SHORE CALLS

Through a special arrangement with ShipCom, MM&P members at sea will now receive a significant discount on personal ship-to-shore radiotelephone calls. The rate is $2.50 per minute to any phone number in the US. This is a significant discount from the usual rate of $3.99 per minute. Calls may be placed collect, or billed to any major credit card.

To take advantage of this offer or for more info contact Station WLO on HF SSB channels 405, 607, 824, 1212, 16401, 1807, or 2237 or on HF radio telex channels (selcall 1090) 406, 606, 806, 810, 815, 1205, 1211, 1605, 1615, 1810 or 2215.

MM&P members must identify themselves as an MM&P member and provide the operator with the last 4 digits of their MM&P book number in order to get the discounted rate.

Any vessel equipped with HF radio telex may send and receive Internet email via the telex terminal. For more info contact WLO radio via telex or HF SSB voice.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

TAX RELIEF FOR OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM CIVILIAN MARINERS

Qualified merchant mariners serving on vessels under Department of Defense operational control in direct support of US Armed Forces have been determined by the IRS to be eligible for the benefits of section 7508 of the Internal Revenue Code. 26 U.S.C. §7508.

This includes individuals, (including the spouse of such individuals) serving in the combat zone as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom aboard Maritime Administration and Military Sealift Command owned or controlled vessels.

Mariners are advised to consult their tax professionals with respect to the impact of this relief with respect to their individual situations.

Only mariners serving in the combat zone are covered. At present, the combat zone for Operation Iraqi Freedom is defined as follows:

  • Persian Gulf;
  • Red Sea;
  • Gulf of Aden; and
  • Gulf of Oman;
  • That portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude; and
  • The total land area of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Section 7508(a)(1) permits the postponement of certain time-sensitive acts for individuals serving in support of the Armed Forces in a designated combat zone. Activities specifically mentioned include the filing of tax returns, the payment of income, estate, or gift taxes (except employment and withholding taxes), tax claims filings or bringing suits for credits or refunds, filing any petition with the US Tax Court, making a qualified retirement contribution to an IRA, or performing any other act listed in Revenue Procedure 2002-71.

Detailed information can be obtained by consulting Publication 3 Armed Forces’ Tax Guide (2002 Returns). The Guide can be obtained by contacting the IRS or from the IRS website, www.irs.gov.

These benefits are afforded to the spouse of a qualified individual without any requirement that the individual and spouse file a joint return. Taxpayers within the US may seek assistance by calling the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040. Taxpayers outside the US may call the IRS in Philadelphia, PA., at 215-516-2000 or via fax at 215-516-2555 (these are not toll free numbers).

More detailed info can be found on the MARAD website at: marad.dot.gov/Publications/employment/marinertaxes.html.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CLARIFICATION OF DRUG FREE CERTIFICATE FOR MMD RENEWAL

Mariners renewing their licenses, Z-cards, other Merchant Marine Documents or Coast Guard credentials are advised that under the USCG’s national credentialing requirements, Coast Guard offices and Regional Exam Centers require “Drug Free Certificates” on stationery from a drug testing service agent. Drug testing service agents are defined in 49 CFR Part 40 (available for download at: www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/main/CFRintro.htm). Drug test certifications issued by other parties, such as health plans, will no longer be accepted.

Upon request, drug testing service agents will send “Drug Free Certificates” on their own stationary to merchant marine personnel so that they can satisfy the USCG drug test requirement for credential transactions.

MM&P members and applicants are advised that request forms for this purpose are available at MM&P port offices along with info on drug testing facilities. This is a nationwide USCG credentialing requirement and this notice is a clarification of info originally provided in the February 27, 2003 Wheelhouse Weekly, Volume 7 Number 9.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

LATEST USCG INFO ON PRIORITY SYSTEM FOR MMD CARDS

Applications for Merchant Mariner Documents can no longer be completed entirely through the mail. Applicants must now appear in person at a USCG Regional Exam Center to prove their identity and provide fingerprints. The following priority system has been implemented:

  • Priority One is assigned to mariners who are, or are about to be, employed on a vessel directly involved in a military operation. A letter from a shipping company, labor union, ship management company, or government agency attesting to the ship’s military purpose and the mariner’s position is needed for this priority.
  • Priority Two is given to mariners who are actively sailing. Evidence of current or scheduled employment on board a vessel, such as a letter or recent certificate of discharge is needed for this priority.
  • Priority Three is for all other transactions based on date of receipt.

Contact the National Maritime Center for additional info or questions at 202-493-6798.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS: PAY YOURSELF FIRST WITH DIRECT DEPOSIT

  • Do you want an easy way to grow your savings?
  • Do you want an easier way to make deposits to your Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union account?

Consider establishing payroll or pension direct deposit.

Many employers allow you to directly deposit your pay into several different financial institutions. Trinity Management, Strong America and Moran Towing of Florida are among the MM&P-contracted companies that already provide for employees to deposit funds directly into the MM&P Federal Credit Union.

MM&P Health & Benefit Plans Pensioners and A&G Region Pensioners may have deductions made directly from their pension check to their Credit Union account. In addition, employees of MM&P, Plans, MITAGS and MIRAID are also eligible for payroll deduction directly into their Credit Union account.

Add to your savings by paying yourself first! Contact your payroll office to establish Credit Union direct deposit or to find out if this is available for you.

 

Who Can Be a Member?

MM&P Federal Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members, to all MM&P, MITAGS, MIRAID and Plans staff, and to their immediate families.

 

Want to Know More?

For additional details or to get answers to your questions on all MM&P Federal Credit Union programs, contact Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll-free at 1-800-382-7777 or by Email at mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2003

The following Health and Benefit Plan changes went into effect on April 1, 2003.

 

INPATIENT HOSPITAL DEDUCTIBLE

All inpatient hospitalizations (both PPO and non-PPO) will be subject to the Annual Major Medical Deductible ($250 individual/$500 family) and an additional inpatient deductible of $150 per admission. Both the Annual Deductible and the $150 inpatient deductible count towards the individual out of pocket maximum of $3,000.

 
REIMBURSEMENT FOR INPATIENT HOSPITAL EXPENSE

The Plan will pay 90% for all PPO hospitals after satisfying Major Medical deductible and $150 per admission inpatient deductible. The Plan will pay 70% for all non-PPO hospitals after satisfying the Annual Major Medical deductible and $150 per admission deductible.

 

IN-NETWORK (PPO) PHYSICIAN VISITS

For Primary Care Physician visits, after satisfying the annual Major Medical deductible, the participant pays a $15 co-pay per visit and the Plan pays the balance of the contracted amount. For specialty visits, after satisfying the annual Major Medical deductible, the participant pays a $25 co-pay and the Plan pays the balance of the contracted amount. The co-pay amount does not count towards the $3,000 annual out of pocket maximum.

 

OUT-OF-NETWORK PHYSICIANS

Once the participant satisfies the annual Major Medical deductible and an additional $150 annual out of network physician deductible, the Plan will pay 90% of the UCR. For specialists, once the participant satisfies the Major Medical deductible, the Plan will pay 70% of the UCR.

 

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – IN NETWORK (PPO)

After the participant satisfies the annual Major Medical deductible, the Plan pays 90% of the contracted charges.

 

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – OUT-OF-NETWORK

After the participants satisfies the annual Major Medical deductible, the Plan will pay 70% of the UCR charges.

 

As always, please feel free to contact the Plan Benefit Advisors with any questions at 877-667-5522.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES

The Board of Trustees, based on recommendations by the Cost Containment Committee, adopted changes to the Health & Benefit Plan. The following changes became effective January 1, 2003:

Annual Deductible

The current annual deductible of $150/$300 will be raised to $250/$500.

Out-of-Pocket Maximum

The current out of pocket maximum of $2,000 will be raised to $3,000.

Dental Reimbursement Levels

  • The Plan payment to in-network dental providers will go from 90% to 80%.
  • The Plan payment for out-of-network providers will go from 80% of UCR to 70% of UCR.
  • New contract with Delta Dental replaces Aetna/US Healthcare (Prudential Dental) agreement. See below for additional information.

Prescription Drug Program

Mail order drugs will be subject to a 20% co-pay for all single source brand name and generic drugs with a maximum out of pocket, per prescription, of $75.

For brand name drugs where the generic equivalent is available, the member will be responsible for paying the total cost of the difference between the brand name and the generic drug. The Plan will then pay 80% of the cost of the generic and the member will be responsible for the 20% up to a per prescription maximum of $75.

The Plan has also removed the mandatory mail order provision. This means that any prescription, regardless of the number of refills, can be obtained at a retail level but will be limited to a 30-day supply. However, obtaining maintenance medications through the mail order program may still be less expensive to you.

A synopsis of these changes and additional changes effective April 1, 2003 appears in the November-December 2002 issue of the MM&P’s Master, Mate & Pilot newspaper. The Plan Office has also mailed a summary of all changes, with examples, to Health & Benefit Plan participants.




ADDRESS CHANGES

Remember to notify the Plan office whenever you move or have a change of address. There are a number of important mailings scheduled for the next few months and we would like to keep all members well informed. You can fax your address changes to the Plan Office at 410-850-8655 or you can email them to the Plan Office at mmpplans@aol.com.

 




 

NEW DENTAL PROGRAM WITH DELTA DENTAL

This is a reminder that effective October 1, 2002, the MM&P Plan’s contract with Prudential Dental expired. Prudential was purchased by Aetna/US HealthCare in 2001 and could no longer offer the Plan the same type of fee-for-service arrangement as before.

In order to continue to offer Plan Participants an in-network dental benefit option, the Plan reviewed proposals from organizations that provide network dental services. After review, the Trustees approved a contract with Delta Dental, the largest provider of dental services in the US.

The Delta Dental Claims Processing Center in Mechanicsburg, PA, will handle claims administration for all MM&P eligible participants and dependents. This includes claims submitted by out of network dentists as well as those who are Delta Dental providers.

Plan participants who choose to go to a contracted provider will pay 10 percent of the contracted amount and the Plan will pay 90 percent. Participants will have access to all Delta providers in the Delta Premier Network option that includes over 133,000 dentists nationwide.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

~ Where Does My Dentist Submit My Claims?

Effective October 1, 2002, all dental claims with dates of service on or after October 1, 2002, from both in and out-of-network providers, should be sent directly to: Delta Dental, One Delta Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6999. Participants will receive a claim form in the mailing sent out by the Plan Office on August 11. Your dentist can copy this form and use it to submit all dental claims incurred on or after October 1, 2002.

~ How Do I Find A Delta Dentist?

You can locate participating dentists in your area in two ways. You can call 1-800-932-0783 from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday, or you can sign on to the Delta website at www.MidAtlanticDeltaDental.com. Once you have signed on to the website, key on the bar marked “Pennsylvania”. (MM&P Plan members are enrolled in the Delta Premier Option through Delta Dental of Penn.) Next enter the search criteria to find participating Delta dentists in your area or enter your own dentist’s name to find out if he/she participates with the Premier network.

 

WORK IN PROCESS

Delta Dental will coordinate with the Plan Office to transition all billing for “work in process”. This means that all root canals, orthodontia work and other staged procedures that are not completed under the old arrangement will be carried over and the remaining balance billing, for work performed on or after October 1, 2002 will be processed by Delta Dental.

It is important to remember that all work that has been pre-determined by Prudential/Aetna must be completed and billed with a billing date on or prior to September 30, 2002, in order to assure that your co-pay will remain the same as quoted in the initial pre-determination.

Any work started under the old Plan but billed for date of service on or after October 1, 2002 will be reimbursed according to whether the dentist is participating in the Delta Dental network. If your dentist is not a participating dentist, the balance billing will be paid at the out-of-network rate of 80 percent of the Plan’s UCR schedules.

 

CLAIMS QUESTIONS

All questions about any dental claims incurred on or after October 1, 2002, including claims submitted by out-of-network providers, should be directed to Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783. You have been provided with a Delta claim form to forward to your dentist, however, your dentist may submit any standard dental billing form as long as the bill is sent directly to Delta at the above listed address.

 

IDENTIFICATION CARDS

Participants have been sent a brochure that includes a perforated generic identification card. This card lists the telephone number and the billing address for Delta. You are not required to carry an identification card because your social security number and birth date will identify you as an eligible participant in the Delta Dental Network.

It is important to remember that MM&P claims will be processed by Delta Dental of Pennsylvania. You or your dentist can access your eligibility by calling either the Plan Office or Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783.

If you or your dentist have any questions, you can contact Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Plan members are identified by social security number and the Group Plan number for MM&P which is 7117.

Billing for both in and out of network claims should be submitted on standard dental billing forms and sent directly to Delta at

Delta Dental of Pennsylvania One Delta Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

You can locate participating providers on-line at www.MidAtlanticDeltaDental.com. Masters, Mates and Pilots members have access to providers in all of the Delta networks.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page.

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