News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 06, 2003

March 6th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 10. . . . . March 6, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

MM&P, MEBA, ARA & MATSON OFFICIALS MEET ON CREWING ISSUES

MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown, Pacific Ports VP Capt. Don Marcus, and Executive Assistant to the President Mike Rodriguez, officials from the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and the American Radio Association met with Matson Navigation representatives on March 5-6 to discuss various crewing issues. The meeting took place at MEBA’s HQ in Washington, DC.

Amid many reports, Matson has notified those involved that they may not take delivery of the two ships that are, to some degree, being built to Matson specifications at the Philadelphia Kvaerner shipyard. Matson may instead have a third party buy the vessels and then time-charter the ships back to carry cargo in the Hawaiian trade, in conjunction with Matson vessels currently running in this trade.

If the time-charter scenario is followed, Matson would draw their shipboard personnel from a different labor pool, using unions other than the MM&P or others who currently maintain contracts with the Company, to crew the ships.

MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown reported that officials from Matson’s contracted licensed unions “have been working over the last two days in order to find a compromise in wages and benefits for these two new ships that would solve Matson’s financial problems and allow all the unions currently represented to keep their members aboard.”

Another meeting between the unions and company is scheduled for next week on the West Coast. Confirmed to attend representing the MM&P are Capt. Tim Brown and West Coast Offshore VP Capt. Don Marcus.

In a memo intended for its offshore and shore-side employees Matson provided an update on the company’s fleet replacement strategy.

Some selected excerpts follow:

“During the mid to late 1990s Matson adopted a vessel operating practice called ‘continuing to operate’ (CTO), which as the words suggest was primarily a ‘stay the course strategy until the company could justify a vessel replacement program.'”

“The economic value of such a program had to overcome continuing lackluster performance of the Hawaii economy, ever increasing expenses across all segments without productivity offsets, and eroding profitability in the Hawaii service due to increased competition. As a consequence of running older tonnage, Matson’s Hawaii service levels began to deteriorate and it was felt that Matson could no longer push off the use of new vessels.”

“Primarily because of price and delivery consideration, Matson selected Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (KPSI) to begin its fleet replacement program. Even though this investment in two new ships was marginal from a financial perspective, after several months of presentations it was recommended to Matson’s board that they move forward with the understanding that alternatives of either vessel ownership and operation, or time charters would remain open until delivery.”

“The cost model for the proposed operation of the Kvaerner vessels contained many assumptions, but justification was driven primarily by operating cost savings. … Changes since the original cost model was developed have raised costs even higher. Clearly, the project to acquire and operate new ships is now even more uneconomic and can no longer be viewed as a reasonable investment.”

“The company has therefore determined that the ships are not affordable under the present cost model and has requested that Kvaerner seek another buyer. This allows Matson the option to time-charter the ships, which lends itself to several, lower cost crewing options.”

“Matson cannot afford to make investments that do not return its cost of capital. We will take all prudent steps to ensure that we best position our company for the future. We will be communicating our efforts in this area to you as we proceed but wanted to share with you where we are at currently. We appreciate your understanding as we position our company for the future.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

EQUIPMENT AND CREWING ISSUES AIRED AT TRANSCOM AND MARAD

MM&P’s Executive Assistant to the President Mike Rodriguez recently attended meetings at USTRANSCOM and MARAD. The TRANSCOM meeting, held on February 25, focused on CBR-D gear for MSC-chartered vessels, RRF vessels, and vessels in scheduled liner service in the Middle East.

“The issues of force protection and crew training are high priorities within TRANSCOM”, said Rodriguez. “DoD, industry and labor are working hard to provide solutions to logistical problems facing the commercial mariner.”

The MARAD meeting, held on March 3, focused on MARAD’s plans for providing relief crewmembers aboard RRF ships returning to the US. Rodriguez strongly pointed out that the first priority of MARAD and labor should be to ship active, career mariners aboard these vessels. “We used to think of crewing the RRF as strictly a numbers game. Now we have constraints that we did not foresee.”

Rodriguez pointed out that training requirements and the need to inoculate mariners going into high-threat areas make it necessary to take a hard look at how the unions man the RRF. “We need career mariners who are ready and waiting in our halls who will receive the training and inoculations and return to man the RRF if it is necessary in the future. A guy who is going aboard one of these ships from an office job will likely not be available next time,” he said.

“The licensed unions have a cross-manning agreement but have not been able to meet to discuss how it can be improved,” he noted. “MMP will work with the other unions and MARAD to ensure the right people sail on these ships,” pointing out that MM&P has hundreds of mariners with the training and motivation to support the US military.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR MM&P HEALTH PLAN PARTICIPANTS

Effective January 1, 2003, the reimbursement under the dental portion of the Plan was changed from 90 percent in-network to 80 percent in-network and from 80 percent out-of-network to 70 percent out-of-network.

DUE TO AN ERROR at Delta Dental, the claims for MM&P members for services rendered after 1/1/2003, in some cases, have been paid at the old reimbursement rate. The error has been corrected, however, and Delta will be asking for refunds from providers for the 10 percent overpayments. That means that members who were affected by this error will most likely receive a bill from dentists for the additional 10 percent.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P REPS TO ATTEND MARAD SECURITY CONFERENCE MARCH 20

The US Maritime Administration will hold a one-day conference on March 20 to receive input from the maritime industry on its draft standards for the education, training and certification of maritime security professionals. Representatives from MM&P HQ will be in attendance.

MARAD is holding the meeting because the port security bill passed last year by Congress charged the Dept. of Transportation with developing such standards. “Because of the significant ramifications of this project for national and international maritime security and its impact on future maritime education and training, MARAD is interested in obtaining comments and suggestions from interested parties,” the agency said.

The conference is designed to assist the US and its trading partners develop properly trained and appropriately educated personnel to help secure ships, ports, waterways, and their intermodal connections against the threat of terrorism and other criminal activity.

The conference will take place at the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. For more info, Email Capt Jon Helmick at helmick@usmma.edu, or call 516-773-5162.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MORE ON THE NEW USCG MMD SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

As reported last week, mariners may encounter delays in renewing and reissuing Merchant Mariner Documents (Z-cards) that may persist for some weeks as the USCG has begun using a new form that is more tamper-resistant. The new MMDs will be similar to the old cards but include several improvements for increased security to deter counterfeiting.

The new form will facilitate verification of a MMD holder’s identity, citizenship, and qualifications to work aboard US-flagged vessels. The USCG also is considering whether to allow mariners to replace their previously issued cards with new ones on an accelerated basis earlier than current expiration date.

The newly required criminal-record review may include verification of the mariner’s identity; criminal history; and sobriety (as gauged from, among other sources, the National Drivers’ Register). The mariner must be present at a Regional Exam Center (REC) to be fingerprinted.

Over 123,000 people hold MMDs, but not all are actively working aboard vessels. Holders and new applicants seeking re-issuance, renewal, and original issuance of their MMDs should inquire at their nearest REC, or contact Donald Kerlin at the National Maritime Center at 202-493­1006.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

NAVY LEAGUE CITES PLIGHT OF US MERCHANT MARINE

In the February 2003 edition of Sea Power magazine, the official publication of the Navy League of the US, an article addresses US maritime security needs and the current plight of the US Merchant Marine:

“The maritime threat would be significantly reduced, of course, if most of the US two-way international trade were carried by US-flag ships, manned by American seafarers. This is not the case, though. The long-term decline of the US-flag fleet, and the nation’s maritime manpower base, continues apace.

“Today, only about 3 percent of the US two-way trade cargo is carried by US-flag ships; the other 97 percent is carried by foreign-flag ships, usually manned by Third World nationals whose allegiance to the US is dubious at best. The situation represents not only a major drain on the US economy ­ with untold billions of tax dollars flowing to other nations ­ but also, in an age of international terrorism, a clear and present danger to US port cities.

“For purposes of comparison, it is worth noting that the monetary cost of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been estimated at three quarters of a trillion dollars and growing. The economic losses that would result from the explosion of a chemical-laden merchant ship in a major US port might be several times that amount, and the loss in human lives be much more than the 3,000 innocent people killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

USCG DRAFTS 10 VESSELS TO SUPPORT WAR ON TERRORISM

The USCG has selected 10 ships for deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. Eight 110-foot patrol boats and two 378-foot cutters have been selected for port-security missions and patrol duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

It’s the first time that Coast Guard combatant ships have been deployed in support of a national contingency in 30 years. The deployment affects active duty members and numerous individual reservists.

About 3,100 Coast Guard reservists have been called up so far to support operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

ARMED CUBAN PATROL BOAT SAILS INTO KEY WEST UNDETECTED

How hard is it to protect US shores when the USCG has to deploy some of its already limited resources overseas? Just several weeks ago, amid heightened national security, four defecting members of the Cuban Coast Guard sailed into Key West, FL, aboard their 30-foot government patrol boat flying the Cuban flag.

Carrying AK-47 rifles and full ammo clips, they docked their boat at the Hyatt Hotel marina, a short distance from the USCG station. Undetected, and still wearing their camouflage uniforms and black boots, they marched into the middle of town looking for someone to surrender to.

The incident is now under investigation by the USCG, which just recently announced it had added patrols in the Straits of Florida in response to an increased flow of migrant activity from Cuba toward South Florida.

The incident and other recent domestic security breaches raises the question of whether adequate federal resources are being devoted to domestic security as opposed to the Bush Administration devoting hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign shores in the global war on terrorism.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

NEW SECURITY CHIEF SAYS TERRORISM DEFENSE IS A HUGE TASK

Given the huge number of people, planes, vehicles, ships and cargo containers that enter the US every year, the nation’s secretary of homeland security, Tom Ridge said the new department’s border inspectors and other workers would have to make over a billion correct decisions every year to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the US.

The New York Times.com reports that Ridge must now confront the massive management challenge of merging 22 federal agencies, including the USCG, and their 170,000 employees into a single super department. Some of the most important agencies he has taken over are clearly demoralized, others are understaffed, and still others seem incapable of carrying out many of their most basic responsibilities to protect the nation from the entry of terrorists and their weapons.

The administration’s proposed $37.7 billion budget for domestic security next year is already being described by Congressional Democrats and many private security specialists as grossly inadequate, especially when matched against the $380 billion the White House is requesting for the military and the hundreds of billions the administration is seeking in a new round of tax cuts.

“Just giving speeches and reshuffling bureaucracy will not protect Americans from terrorism,” said Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Democratic leader, as he introduced a bill last week to provide $5 billion more for state and local governments to organize. “It’s time for the president to match his rhetoric about homeland security with resources.”

Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, said the White House was engaged in “funny-money budgeting” for domestic defense programs. “The White House may think they are kidding people but, believe me, the firemen and the policemen of this country understand what is going on.”

Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., the White House budget director, responded to criticism of the administration’s domestic security budget by saying last month that there was “not enough money in the galaxy” to devise a security system that would protect every American.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Class Openings

Between now and the end of April, seats are available in the courses listed below:

  • 3/17-21: BST, SHS-EMR
  • 3/20-21: MSC-DC
  • 3/22: MED-DOT-DA, CES-AWR
  • 3/24-28: FF-ADV, COMP-APS
  • 3/28: CBRD-1
  • 3/29-30: MSC-DC
  • 3/31-4/4: BRM, CMM-ECDIS, CMM-ADVWX
  • 3/31: ROR-1
  • 4/7-11: HAZ, “MSC” Week courses
  • 4/14-25: MED-PIC
  • 4/14-18: MED-PRO, SHS-EMR, MSC-COMMS, CMM-VPEN
  • 4/19: MED-DOT-DA
  • 4/21-24: MSC-SMA
  • 4/21-25: CMM-ECDIS

MSC Courses

The following MSC courses are now standard offerings at MITAGS and are thus not covered under the MSC Reimbursement Program:

  • Small Arms (SMA)
  • Strategic Sealift Communications (MSC-COMMS)
  • Environmental Protection (MSC-ENVPRO)
  • Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense Orientation (CBRD-1)
  • Damage Control (MSC-DC); and
  • Anti-Terrorism Threat Awareness Seminar
  • The MSC courses now available off-site are:
  • Helicopter Control Officer
  • Anti-Terrorism Officer
  • Helicopter Fire Fighting; and
  • Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense Officer

In order to be eligible for any reimbursement, quotas for these off-site courses must be arranged through MITAGS.

 

Advanced Cargo-handling Prerequisite

Completion of Advanced Stability (CMM-ADVSTB) will be a prerequisite for the MITAGS Advanced Cargo Handling Course. All candidates for Chief Mate/Master falling under the new scheme as outlined in NMC Policy Ltr 04-02 will thus have to take CMM-ADVSTB first.

 

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 443-989-3226.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Drug & Alcohol Testing Training

WHO:

MM&P members required to be current and proficient under the new DOT regulations on urine collection and breath testing. Members who currently meet MATES Program eligibility requirements will have priority; persons out of eligibility will be admitted on space-available basis.


WHAT:

One-day class to meet requirements of 49 CFR Part 40 on urine testing and 46 CFR Part 4 on breath testing.


WHEN & WHERE:
  • Monday, March 10: Los Angeles, CA
  • Friday, March 14: Seattle, WA

Class begins at 0800 and ends at 1600, with two breaks and a one hour lunch. Members successfully completing the program will be provided a certificate from MITAGS. Anticipate maximum class size of 20 students. Members may sign-up now at the hall.


Other Training Packages Include:

  • OS to AB
  • AB to Mate
  • Second Mate to Chief Mate

Call for details at 888-893-7829 or download the PMI course schedule with descriptions at www.mates.org/Schedule/Schedule.pdf or visit their web site at www.mates.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 3-05 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 7,775.60

-31.30 for the week

 1,314.40

 +10.72 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 76.80

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

17.60

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 11.31

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 10.56

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 19.84

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.78

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

12.20

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

13.56

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 28.88

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 74.90

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  29.48

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



~ Reminders ~



 

IMPORTANT RENEWAL INFO ON USCG DRUG FREE CERTIFICATES

Mariners renewing their license or Z-cards should be aware that some USCG Regional Exam Centers are now only accepting the “Drug Free Certificates” from Greystone Health Services or other USCG approved drug testing agencies. Any other drug test certifications will no longer be accepted.

Upon request Greystone will send duplicate “Drug Free Certificates” on their own stationary to members and applicants so that they can satisfy the USCG. Request forms for this purpose are available at MM&P West Coast ports, which is where this USCG demand is now being enforced.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P HQ MEMORANDUM TO ALL OFFSHORE PORTS

The following memorandum from MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Glen Banks has been sent to all Offshore Ports regarding the clearing or dispatching of MM&P Personnel on Surge and RRF vessels:

Maritime Administration (MarAd) and Military Sealift Command (MSC) officials have advised maritime labor that a break-out of surge and RRF vessels is possible in the near future. In order to ensure that enough qualified mariners are available to man these ships, MM&P, MEBA and AMO agreed, in 1999, to provide manpower aboard each other’s contracted vessels in times of national emergency.

The agreement established a process for filling vacant billets aboard vessels manned by other unions. The process is as follows:

  1. A ship operator identifies a crewing shortfall.
  2. The operator contacts the appropriate government agency.
  3. The agency contacts the other unions.
  4. The other unions fill the requirement.

The ONLY points of contact at MM&P will be Capt. David Boatner in our LA/LB office or Mike Rodriguez at International HQ.

Capt. Boatner and Mike Rodriguez will receive calls only from the appropriate government officials. In other words, ports are NOT TO CLEAR OR DISPATCH our people directly to any vessel not under contract with MM&P without the specific authorization of Capt. Boatner or Mr. Rodriguez.

When these positions become available they will go to active offshore members and applicants first. The jobs will be called in the appropriate halls in accordance with MM&P shipping rules.

In an emergency, Pensioners will be our second choice for filling these jobs. For instance, a pensioner may be shipped to prevent a ship from sailing late. Pensioner earning limitations and contribution issues will be addressed as necessary.

Members and Applicants are reminded that in order to receive pension credit, vacation and other benefits, you must ship through a MM&P hall in the manner described above. Shipping in any other way will not ensure that benefits will passed be through to MM&P Plans. Applicant points will be awarded only for assignments shipped through MM&P offices.

You may direct your questions regarding this issue to:

  • Capt. Banks: gbanks@bridgedeck.org; phone: 410-850-8700 ext. 21
  • Capt. Boatner: dboatner@bridgedeck.org; phone: 310-834-7201
  • Mike Rodriguez: mrodriguez@bridgedeck.org; 410-850-8700 ext. 23
  • or to the Vice President in your area.

     

    MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


     

    GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD CLARIFIES OFFSHORE QUOTA SYSTEM

    During MM&P General Executive Board meetings held at MM&P HQ on January 15-16, 2003, the quota system established for admittance to the Offshore Membership Group was clarified to make it clear that this quota system does not apply to MM&P Offshore Unlicensed members.

    On October 3-4, 2002, the GEB established quotas effective October 4, 2002, stating that “No member of any membership group, including the Offshore Unlicensed Membership Group, may transfer into the Offshore Licensed Membership Group without having been a member of the organization for at least as long as the length of time that the lowest applicant admitted into membership has in the organization.” The wording of this statement was subsequently determined to be incorrect.

    On January 16, 2003, the GEB corrected the quota guidelines to read:

    “No member of any MM&P membership group, except for members of the MM&P Offshore Unlicensed Membership Group, may transfer into the Offshore Licensed Membership Group without having been a member of the organization for at least as long as the length of time that the lowest applicant admitted into membership has in the organization.”

    MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



     

    USCG WARNS OF FAULTY LIFERAFT SERVICING BY AMPAK

    The Coast Guard has recently received reports of faulty servicing of several inflatable life rafts that were last serviced by facilities operating under the name “AMPAK” in Baton Rouge, LA, and Panama City, FL.

    In at least one instance, the life raft gas cylinder was found empty, and the life raft would not have worked in an emergency. Others were marked as having been subjected to required tests that were not in fact performed.

    Although the life rafts were USCG approved and of several different makes, the AMPAK facilities were not Coast Guard approved to service any of them. It is not known how many other life rafts may be involved. The USCG strongly recommends that any inflatable life rafts last serviced by those AMPAK facilities be taken to a USCG approved servicing facility as soon as possible. The USCG reports that both AMPAK facilities “appear to have since ceased operations.”

    This recommendation applies to USCG approved life rafts on US-flag vessels, and foreign approved life rafts on SOLAS ships; the AMPAK facilities are known to have serviced both. For more info, contact Kurt Heinz of the USCG Lifesaving and Fire Safety Standards Division at 202-267-1444 or kheinz@comdt.uscg.mil.

    MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


     

    IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM THE MM&P PLANS OFFICE

     

    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 will become 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


     

    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, Moran Towing of Florida, and McAllister Brothers 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. For additional details or to get answers to your questions on this or other 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.

     

     

    NEW, USED OR REFI: LOW VEHICLE LOAN RATES AT MM&P FCU

    Members are reminded that the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is offering vehicle loans as low as 5.25 percent. Rates range from 5.25 to 6.99 percent for terms of 24 to 60 months. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a new, used or a refinanced vehicle.

    These rates are also in effect for new or used recreational vehicles, motorcycles or boats. Limited funds available at this rate, certain terms and conditions apply.

    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.

    Rates and terms of offer are subject to change. Call Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll free 1-800-382-7777 or Email mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org for all the details.

     

    MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


     

    JERRY BACKMAN MEMORIAL FUND

    A memorial fund has been established in the memory of recently deceased MM&P member Jerry Backman. Jerry shipped out of San Francisco and was 49-years old at the time of his tragic death as the result of an auto accident. Jerry leaves a widow and two children.

    Donations made in memory of Jerry will be used to assist with the education of his children, a 22-year old daughter and a 15-year old son.

    The Backman family is privately managing the fund. They are most appreciative of all the messages expressing sympathy and the positive stories from his shipmates and friends.

    Contributions may be sent to:

    The Jerry B. Backman Memorial Fund c/o Bank of the West 2900 Railroad Avenue Pittsburg, CA 94565

     

    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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