News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 27, 2003

March 27th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 13. . . . . March 27, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

MEMBER’S MEDICAL TRAINING PAYS OFF IN EMERGENCY AT SEA

The MITAGS medical training that MM&P member Capt. William Mahoney received recently paid off in a big way. Capt. Mahoney was sailing as Master of the APL PRESIDENT ADAMS en route back to the US from the orient when he was notified that an engineer on the vessel had become seriously ill as a result of a bleeding ulcer.

Capt. Mahoney’s actions most likely saved the engineer’s life. He not only provided the medical treatment that was relayed to him via IMARSAT phone from a shoreside medical facility, but also personally devoted himself to ensuring that everything possible was done for the engineer.

By the time the vessel reached the US, the patient had lost a great deal of blood and was in serious condition. Transported to a local hospital, he recovered quickly after receiving a large volume of blood.

The engineer expressed to the medical and support staff that if hadn’t been for Capt. Mahoney’s skill and dedication, he probably wouldn’t have survived. The MM&P congratulates Capt. Mahoney for a job well done in the finest traditions of the sea.

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.

For MM&P members at sea who might have difficulty accessing the MARAD website, the MM&P Communications Department will Email this info to you upon request. Email requests to: communications@bridgedeck.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

FURTHER 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


 

REAR ADMIRAL DEBORAH LOEWER NAMED NEW MSC DEPUTY COMMANDER

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark has announced that Navy Rear Adm. Deborah A. Loewer is being assigned as deputy commander, Military Sealift Command, Washington, DC. Loewer is currently serving as director of the White House Situation Room, National Security Council, Washington, DC.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

AFL-CIO STANDS IN FIRM SUPPORT OF TROOPS

The labor movement is standing firmly behind our troops in the Iraq war, said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “These men and women are America’s best. The AFL-CIO has maintained that the best way to disarm Saddam Hussein would be with a broad international coalition sanctioned by the UN.

“Now that a decision has been made, we are unequivocal in our support of our country and America’s men and women on the front lines as well as their families here at home.”

An estimated 20,000 union members have been called up as reservists as part of the war. More than 4,000 members of maritime unions including the MM&P, ILA, ILWU, MEBA and SIU are loading and transporting equipment, supplies and materiel to support the troops in the Persian Gulf.

Sweeney urged President Bush “to redouble the administration’s commitment to bolstering our security against terrorist attacks here at home” and said such an imperative cannot wait until the Iraqi operation is over.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

PRESIDENT REQUESTS $75 BILLION SUPPLEMENTAL WAR BUDGET

The president has requested a $74.7 billion wartime supplemental budget request “directly related to winning this war and to securing the peace that will follow this war.” The request covers the costs of transporting troops and equipment to the Persian Gulf region; fueling ships, aircraft and tanks; and replenishing the country’s stocks of “high-tech munitions we are now directing against Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

The defense portion of the fiscal 2003 emergency supplemental budget request is set at $62.6 billion. The money makes up for shortfalls the department would experience due to the costs of the war to disarm Iraq and other expenses associated with the global war on terrorism.

The three largest portions of the DoD portion will go to military operations support, $37.8 billion; personnel and personnel support, $15.6 billion; and procurement and research and development, $6.5 billion. The major conflict phase is estimated to cost $13.1 billion; transitional and stability phase will cost roughly $12 billion; and the reconstitution category is set at $7.2 billion.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said President Bush did the right thing in presenting to Congress a request for funding the war and eventual reconstruction in Iraq.

In part Sweeney said, “Our nation faces too many known challenges to let huge, unbalanced tax cuts choke off our ability to meet pressing economic needs now and in the years ahead. After all, we owe our troops more than support and funding for their jobs overseas; we also owe them a strong, vibrant country and economy on their return.”

He also said the president’s supplemental request doesn’t go far enough for states and cities struggling to pay millions in overtime to police officers and safety personnel during the worst fiscal crisis in 50 years.

He noted the budget offered by the president and approved by the House siphoned off money meant to strengthen America into tax breaks for rich investors, and shortchanged basic programs all Americans rely on.

Sweeney stated it is a breach of leadership for Congress or the president to compromise our fiscal future knowing that significant defense and domestic spending increases are needed to keep America safe.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

APL APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF OPERATIONS AND NETWORK

APL has announced the appointment of senior executive Goh Teik Poh to head its Operations and Network division. The position was formerly held by Ron Widdows. The functional responsibility for liner operations globally will be held by Goh.

Goh said he was looking forward to taking up this new challenge and helping the company in its drive to return to profitability. In his new role, he will continue to be based in Singapore and will report to the CEO of APL.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

REMINDER TO ALL MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

The following Health and Benefit Plan changes go 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


 

SEAWAY 2003 NAVIGATION SEASON OPENS MARCH 31

The St. Lawrence Seaway System will officially open on March 31. Originally set for March 25, the opening was delayed for six days because of heavy ice in the river as well as commercial navigation safety and environmental concerns. Seaway officials note this is the first delay since the Seaway’s inaugural year of operation in 1959.

The 15 locks on the Seaway from Montreal to Lake Erie near Buffalo, NY permit ocean-going vessels and Lakers to enter and exit the Great Lakes through the 190-mile long Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence River.

The mandatory use of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) is now a requirement from St. Lambert to Long Pointe on mid-Lake Erie. A shipboard broadcasting transponder system operating in the VHF maritime band, AIS transmits and receives ship info such as identification, position, speed, heading to other ships and to shore.

Based on Global Positioning System, AIS integrates fully into the Seaway Traffic Management System and its three Vessel Traffic Centers.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Class Openings

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

  • 4/7-11: HAZ, “MSC” Week courses
  • 4/7-10: SEC-ShpOff
  • 4/14-18: MED-PRO, MSC-COMMS, CMM-VPEN
  • 4/19: MED-DOT-DA
  • 4/25: CBRD-1
  • 4/28: ROR-1
  • 4/28-5/2: ARPA, CSE-AAES, CMM-ADVSTB
  • 5/5-16: MED-PIC, CMM-CHS
  • 5/5-9: BST, MED-PRO
  • 5/10: MED-DOT-DA
  • 5/12-23: GMDSS
  • 5/12-16: FF-ADV, SHS-BAS, COMP-NET
  • 5/12-15: SEC-ShpOff
  • 5/16-17: MSC-DC
  • 5/19-23: GMDSS-REF, ROP
  • 5/19: ISM/REG-UPDT
  • 5/20: CONTG PLNG
  • 5/21: MEDIA RSP
  • 5/22: SEC-MAR
  • 5/23: CBRD-1, ASSESSOR TRNG
  • 6/2-27: MED-SMC
  • 6/2-6: COMP-ABSS, T-PIC
  • 6/9-12: SEC-ShpOff
  • 6/14: MED-DOT-DA
  • 6/16: CBRD-1
  • 6/17: MSC-ENVPRO
  • 6/18: MSC-ATER
  • 6/19-20: MSC-DC
  • 6/21: MED-DOT-DA
  • 6/23-27: SHS-EMR5, COMP-MAR, CMM-MPP
  • 6/27: CBRD-1

Advanced Cargo-handling Course Approved

The MITAGS 70-hour Advanced Cargo Operations course (CMM-CHS), approved by the USCG as satisfying the cargo operations training requirements for STCW certification as Master or Chief Mate, will convene at MITAGS for the first time on May 5.

This new course may be taken in a single, continuous program, or in two 35-hour modules. Both modules must be completed within one year to receive the Advanced Cargo Operations certificate.

The 1-week Advanced Stability course (CMM-ADVSTB), a prerequisite for CMM-CHS, will be held the week of April 28.

 

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

That Pacific Maritime Institute’s latest Vocational School Catalog is now available. It contains the latest info on PMI’s new programs that will assist mariners in upgrading from OS to Master Mariner.

Detailed booklets for Entry Level, AB to Mate, and Mate to Master can be downloaded at PMI’s website. Some preliminary drawings of PMI’s new simulation space on the proposed 15,000 square foot facility on the Seattle waterfront are also available.

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 3-26 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 8,229.80

-56.80 for the week

 1,385.66

 -17.11 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 80.57

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

18.29

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 11.59

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 11.22

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 20.29

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.69

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

12.70

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

13.72

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 20.05

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 78.56

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  30.80

 

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


 

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR MM&P HEALTH PLAN PARTICIPANTS: Delta Dental Payment Errors

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 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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