News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 20, 2003

November 20th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 47 . . . . November 20, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

NEW MAILING ADDRESSES FOR MITAGS, PLANS & CREDIT UNION

The buildings remain where they have always stood, but they have now been assigned new addresses. Local authorities have determined that it was necessary to put in place new street numbering for the MM&P’s MITAGS facility and for the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan office. The longstanding address of 5700 Hammonds Ferry Rd., used for both MITAGS and the Plan, has been eliminated.

Effective immediately:

  • The mailing address for MITAGS has been changed to 692 Maritime Blvd.
  • The new mailing address for the Plan Office is now 700 Maritime Blvd. This is the same street address as the Union headquarters since both offices are housed in the same building.
  • The mailing address for the MM&P Federal Credit Union, located in the Plans Building Lobby, is also now 700 Maritime Blvd.

The change brings the MITAGS, Plans and MM&P FCU addresses into conformance with Postal and 911 emergency mapping since all the buildings are located on the same road of the campus.

Plan Administrator Valerie Verrecchio advises Plan participants that “it is important to remember when you send mail to the Plans that you clearly address it to ‘MM&P Plans’. Otherwise, the Post Office may send it through the mail system at the Union and your claims processing could be delayed for a couple of days.”

There is no change to the Union HQ mailing address.



 

CREW OF HORIZON DISCOVERY RECOGNIZED BY US SAILING ASSOCIATION

The officers and crew of the MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines vessel, the HORIZON DISCOVERY, were presented with the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal by the US Sailing Association at a ceremony held on Nov.10 in Jacksonville, FL.

Present at the ceremony held aboard the HORIZON DISCOVERY were Richard Allsopp, Chairman of the US Sailing Association’s Training Committee for Powerboats and all four crew members of the sailing vessel SUMMER HEAT which had lost its sail and power in a storm off the Florida coast last November.

Answering the call for assistance from a USCG helicopter, the ship’s Master, MM&P-member Capt. John Hess set an immediate course for the SUMMER HEAT’S location.

In 20-foot seas and 35-knot winds, Capt. Hess and his crew were able to locate the disabled sailboat and come alongside to pull the 4 crewmembers and their dog safely aboard the 700-foot container ship.

Once aboard Capt. Hess recalled that, “They were in great shape for what they had been through.” MM&P members C/M Robin Espinosa, 2/M Paul Goodhue, 3/M Kris Karandy and 3/M Paul McQuarrie were instrumental in the rescue effort.

“The US Sailing Association’s Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is presented to the captain and crew of the HORIZON DISCOVERY for coming to the aid of fellow mariners in distress while placing their own ship and crew in danger,” said Mr. Allsopp.

Wally Becker, Horizon Line’s Vessel Superintendent remarked, “the US seamen manning these US-flagged vessels are some of the most highly skilled and professionally trained personnel at sea. Horizon is extremely proud of its captains and crews and is especially proud of Capt. Hess and the crew of the DISCOVERY for their uncommon abilities and courage in affecting this rescue.”

The operation was coordinated by the USCG as part of the AMVER (Automated Mutual-assistance Vessel Rescue) program which diverts the nearest participating merchant ship to assist a vessel in distress. Founded in the wake of the RMS TITANTIC disaster in 1912, today some 12,000 ships from 140 nations participate in AMVER.

MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines LLC, is the world’s largest American ocean carrier, operating 17 US-flag vessels on routes linking the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico. The US Sailing Association is the national governing body for sailing and sailboat racing.

Headquartered in Portsmouth, RI, the organization’s mission is to encourage participation and promote excellence in sailing and racing in the US. For more info, see their website at www.ussailing.org.



 

USNS CONCORD TAKES HOME AOTOS MARINER’S PLAQUE

MM&P member Capt. Michael Murphy, the officers and crew of the MM&P represented civilian crewed Military Sealift Command’s USNS CONCORD, was honored for a rescue with a Mariners’ Plaque at the recent Admiral of the Ocean Seas award dinner in New York.

On June 24, 2003, the combat stores ship was directed by the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet to go to the aid of a sinking Egyptian-flagged cargo vessel that was taking on water after experiencing a devastating engine fire off the coast of Oman. When the CONCORD arrived on the scene, the M/V GREEN GLORY was half-submerged and rolling heavily from side to side.

CONCORD licensed deck officers C/M James Driver III, 2/M Steven Nordgren, 2/M John Irving, 3/M James McElya and 3/M Joseph Siddell along with the rest of the ship’s crewmembers demonstrated exceptional seamanship as they maneuvered in 25-foot seas against 35-mph winds.

The AOTOS plaque reads in part, “Thanks to the CONCORD’s fast, capable response under extremely adverse conditions, all 27 members of the GREEN GLORY’s crew survived.”

READ MORE ABOUT THE RESCUE.



 

MATSON HQ MOVING TO OAKLAND EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 8

MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Lines has announced that it is moving its headquarters to downtown Oakland, CA, effective Dec.8. Approximately 200 administrative and clerical employees will be affected by the move from Matson’s present headquarters in San Francisco. The new address is 555 12th St., Oakland, CA 94607. Effective Dec.8, the new phone number will be 510-628-4000.



 

MORE MARITIME RELATED MEASURERS IN NEW DEFENSE BILL

As reported in last week’s issue, the House and Senate have passed the Conference Report on HR 1588, the Defense Authorization Act of 2003. It is anticipated that President Bush may sign the bill into law as early as Dec.2. Besides funding for the enhanced Maritime Security Program (MSP) the measure also provides for other maritime related initiatives.

Maritime Administration: $158.8 million ($38.5 million more than the Administration’s request) for the Maritime Administration, including $104.4 million for operations and training programs, $36 million for the Title XI vessel construction loan guarantee program and $18.4 million for the disposal of obsolete ships in the National Reserve Fleet.

The conference report includes a number of provisions to improve the management of the Title XI program and to help reduce the risk of default.

The measure also included provisions to help ensure that students at the US Merchant Marine Academy fulfill their service obligations to the United States. The conferees also increased the student incentive payment to midshipmen at the six state maritime academies from $3,000 to $4,000 annually.

The bill also authorizes the Maritime Administrator to establish a maintenance and repair reimbursement pilot program to encourage vessel repairs in the US.

Other maritime-related initiatives include a measure that directs the Secretary of Defense to establish a program assessing the ability of the US industrial base to produce military systems and key components and materials needed to support national security and win the war on terrorism.

The Conference Report authorizes $722.3 million (matching the Administration’s request) for procurement of two T-AKEs, a ship that replenishes battle groups at sea with ammunition, spare parts, and provisions. The final legislation is awaiting signature by President Bush.



 

BRITISH PROTEST GROWS AGAINST SCRAPPING US SHIPS IN THE UK

Demonstrators gathered outside a ship-breaking yard in the UK on Nov.12 to protest the arrival of the first of four obsolete US vessels sent to England for scrapping.

“These ships are decrepit, decayed and contain significant amounts of hazardous waste. This is already a highly polluted environment and people here don’t want any more,” said Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth, the environmental group that has led protests against the ships.

The 58-year-old CALOOSAHATCHEE was due to be towed into the Able UK Ltd. yard later that day, with the equally aged tanker CANISTEO a day behind.

A court order prevents Able UK from beginning immediate dismantling. The British government has said the ships should be sent back to the US. “To ship asbestos halfway around the world to bury it here in my town near my kids is just not fair,” said Barbara Crosbie, who was among 15 local people who joined the Friends of the Earth news conference.

Caroline Spelman, an opposition Conservative Party lawmaker, said, “dreadful mistakes have been made as well as possible breaches of the law.” Referring to the upcoming visit by President Bush, Spelman said: “We should get Blair to ask Bush when he comes on his visit to take the ships back.”



 

SENATORS QUESTION WEAKNESSES IN RISK ASSESSMENT OF CARGO

Senate Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and ranking member Joe Lieberman (D-CT) have expressed concern about potential weaknesses in the Department of Homeland Security’s port security programs and sought more info from the agency about what steps it is taking to improve those programs.

In a recent letter to Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson, the senators raised questions in particular about flaws in the system that is supposed to target high-risk containers for inspection.

“Just one small lapse in security at our ports or at other points of entry can have disastrous consequences for our nation,” said Collins. “While we have taken steps to protect our ports, it is clear that they are still ripe for exploitation, as one security expert put it.”

“The security of our nation’s 361 ports is the Achilles’ heel in the domestic war against terrorism,” said Lieberman. “Because so few of the containers that come through these ports are inspected, it’s far too easy for dangerous materials, weapons, and people to slip into the country. Despite some progress made by the Department of Homeland Security, our port security will be seriously undermined unless urgent improvements are made to the risk analysis program.”



 

CIVIL SERVICE MARINERS: JOB OPPORTUNITIES AWAIT

In an increasing tight job market, many former private sector employees are considering a civil service mariner position with Military Sealift Command, a global Navy command that operates more than 100 civilian-crewed, non-combatant ships in support of the Department of Defense.

Civilian mariners who are licensed deck officers are MM&P bargaining unit members. MSC offers its civil service mariners many benefits including competitive pay, health insurance, lodging, meals and training.

It is a branch of the Navy, but its mariners are not military personnel. MSC is the largest single employer of US merchant mariners. MSC’s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force ships provide underway replenishment of supplies, towing and salvage operations for the Navy’s combatant fleet.

Two NFAF ships also serve as afloat medical facilities normally kept in reduced operating status. MSC ships also conduct oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, underwater surveillance, missile flight data collection, submarine support and other specialized services through its Special Mission Program ships.

The command’s sealift ships provide ocean transportation of cargo for the Department of Defense. Through the Prepositioning Program, MSC maintains ships laden with combat equipment and supplies in strategic ocean areas around the world for US forces. These ships are ready to sail quickly to potential contingency sites.

The NFAF ships and two special mission ships are crewed by federal civil service mariners hired by MSC. Sealift ships, prepositioning ships and the remaining special mission ships are crewed by commercial mariners working for operating companies under contract to MSC.

Based on the fiscal year 2004 Congressional budget, MSC is expecting a 33 percent increase in the civil service mariner workforce from 4,044 in 2003 to 5,385 in 2008. About 1,340 civil service mariners will be needed to crew the additional eight ships that will join the MSC fleet in the next five years. For more on employment info with the MSC, visit www.sealiftcommand.com or call 877-JOBS-MSC.



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Tankerman Person-in-Charge

Offered December 1st. This course satisfies the training requirements set forth in 46 CFR Part 13 and STCW’95 Section A-V/1 for persons desiring to serve in the capacity of Person In Charge (PIC) aboard a tank vessel carrying dangerous liquid cargoes.

 

Class Openings

Between now and the end of January 2004, seats are available in the following courses:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA — Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 12/1, 1/5

~~~

  • BRM — Bridge Resource Management: 1/12
  • BST — Basic Safety Training: 12/8, 1/19

~~~

CMM = Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVWX — Advanced Meteorology: 1/26
  • CMM-ECDIS — Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 1/12
  • CMM-MPP — Marine Propulsion Plants: 12/1, 1/19
  • 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
  • CMM-VPEN — Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 1/5

~~~

  • COMP-ABSS — American Bureau of Ship Management Software: 12/1
  • CONT-PLNG — Contingency Planning Workshop: 12/4, 12/11, 1/15

~~~

  • FF-ADV — Advanced Firefighting: 1/26

~~~

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

~~~

  • LAP — License Advancement Program: 1/12
    (must be pre-approved to upgrade by USCG)

~~~

  • MED-DOT-DA — Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/6, 1/10
  • MEDIA-RSP — Media Response: 11/21, 12/5, 12/12, 1/16
  • MED-PIC — Medical Person In Charge: 12/1, 1/5
  • MED-PRO — Medical Care Provider: 12/1, 1/5

~~~

MSC = Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 — Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 12/19, 1/26
  • MSC-DC — Damage Control: 12/9, 1/22, 1/27
  • MSC-SMA-Requalification: 1/27, 1/29
    (must have passed all 3 weapons within the previous 2 years)

~~~

  • ROR-1 — Radar Observer Renewal: 12/1, 1/5, 1/26

~~~

  • SEC-OFF PCS — Security Officer-Port, Company, Ship: 12/1, 12/8, 1/12
  • SHS-BAS — Basic Shiphandling: 1/5

~~~

  • 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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 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 11-18 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,624.10

– 224.70 for the week

 1,881.75

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

 95.76

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

25.31

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 15.17

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 14.10

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 24.62

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.53

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.28

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.33

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

14.17

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

15.18

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 33.37

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 91.40

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  37.75



~ Reminders ~



 

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR ALL LDOs 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.



 

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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