News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 13, 2003

November 13th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 46 . . . . November 13, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

MM&P HOSTS INTERNATIONAL OFFICERS FORUM IN SAN FRANCISCO

MM&P hosted the first International Officers’ Forum (IOF) at the MM&P-affiliated San Francisco Bar Pilots HQ on November 10. West Coast Offshore VP Don Marcus, Pilot VP George Quick and Mike Rodriguez, Executive Assistant to MM&P President Tim Brown, represented MM&P at the meeting that included representatives from 18 officers’ unions in 14 countries with a combined membership of nearly 250,000.

The meeting was a follow on to two previous meetings in which the officers’ unions identified their collective interests and the need for a united voice within the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Topics of discussion included professional issues such as the world-wide shortage of officers; criminalization of officers; piracy; and the training of ratings.

Don Marcus pledged his effort in support of a steering group that will collect ideas from the officers unions and present them at ITF, IMO and ILO meetings. Among those working with him in this effort will be George Quick and Mike Rodriguez.

Key to making the forum a success was the leadership of Capt. Kip Carlson from the San Francisco Bar Pilots and Capt. Peter McIsaac, president of the SFO Bar Pilots. Many thanks to them and also to Fran Black from the Bar Pilots’ office for handling the extensive details and tasks necessary; and thanks also to Beverly Gutmann from MM&P headquarters for her work on logistics arrangements and for having banners made.

MM&P is pleased to have presented special welcome gifts to all participants, and to have covered transportation for delegates between the host hotel and the meetings. Thanks also to the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association for hosting an evening reception at their Union hall following the conclusion of the forum.



 

HOUSE PASSES CONFERENCE REPORT ON NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT

Last week, the House voted 362-40 to pass the Conference Report on H.R. 1588, the Defense Authorization Act of 2003. This week, the Senate passed the Conference Report by a vote of 95-3. President Bush’s signature is expected soon.

Among other things, the measure provides for the reauthorization of the Maritime Security Program, effective upon expiration of the current MSP in 2005.

The new Maritime Security Act of 2003, as agreed to by the conferees will increase the number of participants from 47 ships to 60 ships; provide financial assistance to construct 5 newly built tankers in the US at are capable of carrying military petroleum products during a war; and extend the current program for ten additional years.

The articles below contain a detailed summary and analysis of the new MSP reauthorization legislation.

 


LATE-BREAKING NEWS…

MM&P learned early on Friday morning, November 14, that the last Congressional hurdle for the Maritime Security Program has been cleared. The Senate has passed the defense authorization conference report which contains the MSP reauthorization package. The defense bill, complete with the Maritime Security Program, is now cleared for the President.



 

SUMMARY OF MSP REAUTHORIZATION LEGISLATION AS APPROVED

  • Ten year program, beginning October 1, 2005 and ending September 30, 2015.
  • Authorizes payments to up to 60 privately-owned, militarily-useful US-flag commercial vessels operating in the foreign commerce.
  • Directs the Secretary of Transportation to accept applications beginning no later November 1, 2004, and to act on each application within 90 days of its receipt.
  • Reserves the first five operating agreements for section 2 owned and operated tank vessels built in the US after the date of enactment (or to a foreign built tank vessel to be replaced by a US-built tank vessel).
  • Eliminates the existing citizenship-based priority system for the award of operating agreements to the 47 vessels participating in the Maritime Security Program as of December 31, 2004.
  • Directs that all remaining operating agreements should be awarded first to section 2 owned and operated vessels or to documentation citizen-owned/section 2 operated vessels before awarded to other vessels. The Secretary is to consider the applicants’ records of owning and operating vessels.
  • Authorizes an annual per vessel payment of $2.6 million in each of the first three fiscal years of the new program: fiscal years 2006, 2007, and 2008.
  • Authorizes an annual per vessel payment of $2.9 million in each of the next three fiscal years: fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  • Authorizes an annual per vessel payment of $3.1 million in each of the last four fiscal years of the new program: fiscal years 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • Allows foreign built vessels that meet American Bureau of Shipping standards to qualify for documentation under the US-flag. Considers telecommunications equipment on reflagged vessels to be in compliance with FCC requirements.
  • Exempts vessels operating under an MSP operating agreement from the three-year rule for purposes of the cargo preference program. Directs GAO to undertake a study to determine if the existing 7,500 bulk cargo limitation should be changed and/or applied to bagged preference cargo.


 

ANALYSIS OF MSP REAUTHORIZATION LEGISLATION AS APPROVED

As approved by the House-Senate conferees on the defense authorization bill, the Maritime Security Program (MSP) reauthorization legislation contains the following key provisions on the establishment of Maritime Security Fleet:

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS for a vessel to be eligible for enrollment in the Maritime Security Fleet include:

The ship must be operated in foreign commerce, determined by the Secretary of Defense to be suitable for national defense or military purposes, determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be commercially viable, and a US-documented vessel or a vessel that will be US-documented if it is included in the Fleet.

In addition to meeting all the above criteria, a vessel must also be either:

  • a roll-on, roll-off vessel with a capacity of at least 80,000 square feet and that is 15 years of age or less when included in the Fleet; or
  • A tank vessel constructed in the United States after the date of enactment; or
  • a tank vessel 10 years of age or less when included in the Fleet; or
  • a LASH vessel 25 years of age or less when included in the Fleet; or
  • any other type of vessel 15 years of age or less when included in the Fleet.

The vessel, during the time it is covered by the MSP operating agreement, must be either:

  • owned and operated by section 2 US citizens; or
  • owned by a section 2 US citizen and chartered to a documentation citizen whose chairman of its board, chief executive officer and a majority of its directors are US citizens who are appointed and subject to removal only with the approval of the Secretary of Transportation.

The documentation citizen must also certify that there are no treaties, statutes, regulations or other laws that would prohibit the contractor from performing its obligations under the MSP operating agreement. The Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Defense must both notify the House and Senate Committees on Armed Services and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that they agree with this certification.

Finally, if the vessel is chartered to a person owned or controlled by a person who is not a section 2 US citizen, the non-section 2 person must enter into an agreement with the Secretary of Transportation not to influence the operation of the vessel in a manner that will adversely affect US interests.

 

VESSEL STANDARDS:

A vessel that is not a US-flag vessel on the date of enactment of this legislation but which meets the above criteria for eligibility for inclusion in the Maritime Security Fleet shall be eligible for documentation under the laws ofthe United States if the Secretary of Transportation determines that the vessel is classed by and designed in accordance with the American Bureau of Shipping or other accepted society, and the vessel complies with applicable international agreements and associated guidelines.

 

VESSEL AGE WAIVER:

The Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Secretary of Transportation, may waive the vessel age requirement if the Secretaries jointly determine that the waiver is in the national interest, is appropriate to allow the maintenance of the economic viability of the vessel, and is necessary due to the lack of available vessels and operators that comply with the age requirement.

 



 

CHAIRMAN OF MM&P-CREWED HORIZON LINES RECEIVES AOTOS AWARD

Charles Raymond, chairman, president and chief executive of MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines, received the Admiral of the Ocean Sea award November 7 along with the US Military Traffic Management Command, which was recognized for its role in supporting US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In his acceptance speech, Raymond cited the role of the US merchant marine in national security. “As a nation, we have discovered we cannot depend on ‘traditional allies’ in time of war,” he said. He said industry, labor and government must find ways to renew the US-flag fleet and reverse a shrinkage in the number of US merchant mariners.

Raymond began his 35-year maritime career as a midshipman at the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY. He later served as a deck officer for MM&P-contracted Sea-Land Service, then went on to hold numerous management positions within the company.

He was an executive of CSX Corp. from its acquisition of Sea-Land in 1988 until 1999, when he was named president and CEO of MM&P-contracted CSX Lines, the US domestic unit of Sea-Land. When the carrier became part of the Carlyle Group, its name was changed to Horizon Lines, with Raymond remaining as CEO.

The AOTOS award is presented annually at an industry dinner in New York benefiting the United Seamen’s Service, a non-profit organization that provides community services for the Merchant Marine, the American Armed Forces and world seafarers. MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown was recognized as an AOTOS award recipient last year.



 

SPECIAL AOTOS AWARD HONORS CONTRIBUTION OF MERCHANT MARINERS

The MM&P was among a number of maritime unions that received a special AOTOS plaque during the award ceremonies. The inscription reads:

On behalf of the maritime industry, the AOTOS National Committee and the United Seaman’s Service honors the US civilian merchant mariners and American longshoremen who have maintained the critical flow of supplies to US forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. This award commemorates extraordinary services in support of America’s defense efforts.



 

MM&P-CONTRACTED MATSON MOKIHANA RECEIVES MARINERS’ PLAQUE

The officers and crew of the MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation’s M/V MOKIHANA received an AOTOS Mariners’ Plaque for their rescue of the six crewmembers of the Japanese fishing vessel KATSUURA MARU #28 off Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean on July 19, 2002.

The rescue began when USCG Honolulu contacted the MOKIHANA at 2300 local time on July 19, requesting that the ship divert course to aid vessel in distress at approximate position 15-00 N and 165-30 E.

In a report following the rescue, Capt. Katharine Sweeney, Master of the MOKIHANA submitted the following:

“We had already altered course to avoid Super Typhoon Feng Shen, and were already on a course to pass due south of Wake Island, en route to Guam, quite a bit south of our standard route from Oakland to Guam,” said the vessel’s Master, Capt. Katharine Sweeney. She reported that, “We altered course another 20 degrees, and were only 220 nautical miles away, about 10 hours steaming time after we got the first call to divert.

“The psychic ability award goes to our Second Mate Robert Carlson, who when in discussing current vessel storm avoidance route that afternoon at 1600, felt we should alter course even farther to the south, to Position 15-00N and 165-00E to increase the distance the vessel was from the Typhoon. I had decided to wait out another 12 hours before altering course farther to the south, however, a call from Search and Rescue Honolulu made this course change happen a little sooner.”

Other MM&P members on board were John Bloomingdale, Chief Mate and Aaron Moore, 3rd Mate. En route to the location, the MOKIHANA received numerous satellite calls from USCG Honolulu which had sent a plane to the fishing vessel’s location to drop a life raft and emergency supplies.

The MOKIHANA was on scene shortly after 0930, Saturday July 20 and was quickly able to spot the life raft at around 1000 hours. After several attempts, in 20-25 knot winds and 12-foot seas, with cooperation from all hands and a great show of seamanship from the ship’s crew, all six people from the sunken vessel were safely aboard at 1220 hours.

“Getting the ship in the correct position to drift down towards the life raft was a tricky, and the sea anchor on the life raft made it very difficult to heave the life raft alongside the vessel. The Japanese crew spoke no English, and did not know to cut loose the sea anchor once we had a line to the raft which hampered rescue efforts,” Capt. Sweeney stated.

The AOTOS plaque, which was accepted by Capt. Sweeney at the awards banquet, states that “The crew of the MOKIHANA continued one of the finest traditions of the sea by being part of a rescue of individuals in distress.”




 

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR ALL LDO’S ON STCW-95 CERTIFICATION

All Licensed Deck Officers who possess STCW-95 certificates containing Basic Safety Training (BST) completion dates close to or more than five years old need to carry copies of their USCG discharges with them so they can prove that they have the required sea service necessary to extend their BST qualification. For questions or further info, contact Mike Rodriguez at 410-850-8700 ext.23 or Email: mrodriguez@bridgedeck.org.



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Class Openings

Between now and the end of 2003, seats are available in the following courses:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA — Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 12/1

~~~

  • BST — Basic Safety Training: 11/3, 12/8

~~~

CMM = Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-MPP — Marine Propulsion Plants: 12/1
  • CMM-SHMGT-I — Ship Management-Week I: 12/8
  • CMM-SHMGT-II — Ship Management-Week II: 12/15
  • CMM-SHS-ADV II — Shiphandling Advanced-Week II: 12/8

~~~

  • COMP-ABSS — American Bureau of Ship Management Software: 12/1
  • CONT-PLNG — Contingency Planning Workshop: 12/4, 12/11

~~~

  • GMDSS — Global Marine Distress & Safety Systems: 12/8

~~~

  • HAZ — Hazardous Materials: 11/17

~~~

  • MED-DOT-DA — Dept.of Trans Drug/Alco Testing: 11/15, 12/6
  • MEDIA-RSP — Media Response: 11/21, 12/5, 12/12
  • MED-PIC — Medical Person In Charge: 12/1
  • MED-PRO — Medical Care Provider: 12/1

~~~

MSC = Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 — Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 12/19
  • MSC-COMMS — Strategic Sealift Communications: 12/8
  • MSC-DC — Damage Control: 12/9

~~~

  • ROP-5 — Radar Observer Unlimited: 11/17
  • ROR-1 — Radar Observer Renewal: 11/15, 12/1, 12/8

~~~

  • SEC-OFF PCS — Security Officer-Port, Company, Ship: 12/1, 12/8

~~~

  • T-PIC — Tankship/Barge Dangerous Liquids Person In Charge: 12/1

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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

 

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.


 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Course Schedule

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 11/17-21:Marine Propulsion Plants
  • 11/17-21: Tankerman PIC

~~~

  • 12/1-5: Basic-Adv. Firefighting
  • 12/1-5: Basic Meteorology
  • 12/1-5: Advanced Stability
  • 12/8-12: Basic Safety Training
  • 12/8-19: Ship Management and Business Law
  • 12/8-12: ARPA
  • 12/8: Radar Recert
  • 12/8-12: Medical Care Provider
  • 12/8-19: Medical PIC
  • 12/8-10: Ship Security Officer

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 11-12 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,848.80

+ 10.00 for the week

 1,973.11

 + 16.11 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 98.00

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

25.97

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 15.18

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 15.18

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 24.93

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.47

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.26

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.22

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

14.59

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

15.26

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 34.00

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 93.44

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  37.60



~ 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



 

MITAGS AND PMI DISCOUNTS COST FOR ADVANCED MARINER LICENSES

MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine announced that MITAGS and PMI have implemented an innovative program, with reduced tuition and hotel costs, to assist professional mariners seeking license advancement to Chief Mate/Master (CMM).

The Institutes now offer one of the fastest, most versatile, and cost-effective routes for mariners to obtain their CMM licenses. The MITAGS/PMI program, which covers all USCG requirements, is only 12 weeks in duration.

Forty-one of the 53 required assessments may be completed during these courses. To flexibly meet their schedule, students can take the required courses at the PMI campus in Seattle, Washington and/or at the MITAGS campus in Baltimore, Maryland.

The MITAGS/PMI program can be completed in 60 days for under $14,000. Other programs take up to 71 days and charge $19,000 to complete the CMM requirements. Students taking ALL of the CMM courses at MITAGS and/or PMI will receive a 15 percent tuition discount from the normal pricing, which brings the total CMM tuition down to $13,303.

In addition to this cost reduction, those students taking ALL of the CMM courses at MITAGS/PMI will receive a substantial reduction in the room and board rates. If needed, MITAGS and PMI will also provide a convenient and flexible payment plan.

For more info regarding the CMM License Advancement, or any other course programs offered by MITAGS or PMI, please contact Capt. Craig Thomas (MITAGS) toll free at 866-656-5569 or via Email at cthomas@mitags.org. You may also contact Gregg Trunnell at PMI in Seattle at 206-239-9965 or via Email at gtrunnell@mates.org.



 

PFEIFFER MEMORIAL FUND ESTABLISHED AT CAL MARITIME

The Robert J. Pfeiffer Memorial Fund has been established at California Maritime Academy Foundation with the input and guidance from Brad Mulholland, Jeff Hull, and Capt. Lynn Korwatch.

It is anticipated that many seagoing personnel as well as Matson employees will wish to donate to this fund in honor of Mr. Pfeiffer. Donations may be sent to:

California Maritime Foundation Attn: Robert Pfeiffer Memorial Fund 200 Maritime Academy Dr. Vallejo, CA 94590

or contact Mr. Chris Walker at 707-654-1245 or Email at CWalker@csum.edu.

All donations are tax deductible and all contributors will receive a letter of thanks acknowledging their donation. Names and donation amounts will also be passed on to the Pfeiffer family.


 

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.


 

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.


 

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.

 


 

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.



 

 

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 theDelta networks.



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 and is posted on our web page.

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