News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 14, 2003

August 14th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 33 . . . . August 15, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

THREE MAJOR US PORTS MOST VULNERABLE TO TERRORISM

Since the 9/11 terrorism attacks, US officials have been working to identify other possible terrorist targets. Three major port areas are thought to be especially vulnerable. These are the Ports of New York-New Jersey, Ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach, and Ports of Seattle-Tacoma.

Operation Safe Commerce is a pilot program that combines public and private resources to enhance security at these ports. Ports pose a security challenge very different from that of airports where a security perimeter can be more easily secured since airports are on one large piece of land with limited public access.

At a port like Seattle-Tacoma, there are multiple parcels of land with miles of land and water access. There are also about three million container moves a year, most of them in the neighborhood of 40 feet long. It is not possible to inspect all of these containers and the tens of thousands of tons of cargo they contain to ensure that the manifest accurately states what the container has in it.

It was with that challenge in mind that Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), last year announced plans for Operation Safe Commerce. The pilot program combines public and private resources to enhance security at America’s three largest ports. It is designed to help track and monitor container cargo from the point of origin to the final destination.

Security concerns prevent officials from talking too specifically about the technology and techniques being tested for Operation Safe Commerce. They include gamma ray technology and a device called a vacis that scans containers looking for suspicious cargo.

The Port of Seattle has also taken the lead in implementing a device pioneered by the Savi Technology company in California. For years Savi has been developing techniques that track electronically the contents and location of containers shipped around the world.

Now the company offers an additional tool to aid port authorities concerned that bombs or other lethal materials might be smuggled into the US. The technology allows inspectors to add an electronic seal as well as sensors that can tell if the container has been opened or closed.

It also detects if something has been added into the container or if somebody has tampered with its contents. The system will then alert the appropriate person through their cell phone to indicate the location that a particular container is being tampered with.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

NOAA PREDICTS ROUGH SEAS AHEAD FOR EAST AND GULF COASTS

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has updated its hurricane forecast and now expects seven to nine hurricanes, including three to four major storms with winds of at least 111 mph to threaten US waters. The peak hurricane season runs from mid-August through October. The full season began June 1 and ends November 30.

“Many of the hurricanes will develop over the tropical Atlantic and move westward as they strengthen. These hurricanes could pose a threat to the US and the Caribbean Islands,” said Dr. Gerry Bell, head of the administration’s seasonal prediction team.

NOAA updated its forecast from May, which expected six to nine hurricanes, of which two to four would become major. The updated forecast predicts 12 to 15 tropical storms. The average is 10 tropical storms and 6 hurricanes.

Hurricanes are more likely because of several factors: relatively warm sea surface temperatures, a strong African jet stream and other conditions that have existed over the past 8 years. The 1995-2002 period has been the busiest for hurricanes in more than half a century.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MAGAZINE EXAMINES THE ‘FOREIGNIZATION’ OF THE JONES ACT

The current issue of The Maritime Executive magazine contains a major feature on the Jones Act, near and dear to the hearts of the US-flag maritime community.

The article reports on the history of the cabotage act whose roots can be traced back to the founding fathers. It also details some of the numerous attacks on the Jones Act by foreign shipping interests over the last decades.

Entitled, “The Foreignization of the Jones Act”, the report documents how the Act is being circumvented by ingenious schemes created by foreign shipping companies.

MM&P’s International President Capt. Tim Brown was consulted by the magazine as an expert on the Jones Act and is quoted extensively in the article. He is among those sounding the alarm that due diligence must be taken to contain the foreign ownership underhandedness that is chipping away at the purity and sanctity of the Jones Act.

Capt. Brown notes that if left unchecked, these financially flawed offshore ownership schemes could so seriously undermine the Jones Act to the point that its ownership requirements become meaningless. That would open the floodgates to foreign ownership of US shipping interests and could effectively scuttle the future of the entire US-flag fleet.

The in-depth article makes for compelling reading and can be found in the “Second Quarter 2003” issue. For more information, click on the magazine’s website at: www.maritime-executive.com.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

HORIZON LINES PARENT ACQUIRES STAKE IN AIR CARGO, INC.

The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, which earlier this year acquired MM&P-contracted CSX Lines and renamed the company Horizon Lines, has acquired an ownership stake in Air Cargo Inc., a provider of integrated surface transport solutions to airlines and freight forwarders.

Partially owned by 16 US scheduled airlines, ACI provides single-sourced ground logistics services to its airline and freight forwarder customers through a network of 800 trucking contractors in the US and overseas. ACI offers road feeder services linking airports and cities in the US, Canada and Europe.

Historically, Carlyle has been regarded as a turnaround specialist, targeting companies with operations in government-regulated industries.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

FOC LIBERIAN SHIP REGISTRY BEING QUESTIONED

With the departure of former Liberian President Charles Taylor earlier this week, published reports indicate that renewed efforts are being made to investigate the country’s phony flag-of-convenience shipping registry.

According to MSNBC, calls are being made for a review of ship registry contracts negotiated under Taylor’s leadership, including that of a small Virginia firm, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), which oversees the day-to-day operations of registering ships under the Liberian flag.

The phony-flag Liberia maritime registry has been an important source of income for a country devastated by years of civil war. By some estimates, phony-flag ship registry fees and taxes generate some $18 million a year which is about 25 percent of the nation’s revenue.

The Virginia-based LISCR operation handles the paperwork and turns over the taxes and fees it collects to the Liberian Treasury. It is widely believed that some of the phony-flag money goes to support non-governmental projects.

In 2001, a UN report found that some payments from LISCR ended up in accounts that UN investigators believed were used to buy guns to help fight the civil war. Others claim that companies use the Liberian registry to conceal diamond smuggling and tax evasion.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MASTER INJURED AS PIRATES OPEN FIRE ON REEFER

The master of Taiwanese reefer vessel DONG YIH was injured off Indonesia last week when pirates gave chase to the vessel and opened up with a barrage of bullets from automatic rifles, according to the Piracy Reporting Center.

None of the other 31-crew members were injured in the incident. The Indonesian navy has sealed off the area as an increasing number of pirates are targeting ships traversing the northern areas of the country.

Eight attacks on commercial ships have been recorded since June in the northern entrance to the Malacca Straits, which is the main shipping route to Singapore. Officials believe many more piracy attacks go unreported.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

USCG PROPOSES MANDATORY BALLAST WATER PLAN FOR U.S. WATERS

The unintentional introduction of nonindigenous species (NIS) into US waters via the discharge of vessels’ ballast water has had significant impacts on the nation’s marine and freshwater resources, biological diversity, and coastal infrastructures.

To address this continued threat, and to comply with the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990, and the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, the USCG proposes mandatory ballast water management practices for all vessels equipped with ballast tanks bound for ports or places within the US and/or entering US waters. The Great Lakes ballast program would remain unchanged.

This proposed rulemaking would increase the USCG’s ability to protect US waters against the introduction of NIS via ballast water discharges.

Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before Oct.28. Submissions may be sent by fax to the Docket Management Facility at 202-493-2251 or electronically through the website for the Docket Management System at http://dms.dot.gov.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

FMC SETS COURSE TO ACHIEVE UPDATED VISION OF ITS MISSION

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has revamped its vision of its mission which, as now stated, is to “advance the Nation’s interests by fostering an efficient, competitive, secure, market-driven, and nondiscriminatory ocean transportation system that is free of unfair foreign maritime trade practices and market-distorting activities.”

The new FMC vision is based on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998 (OSRA) and the events of September 11, 2001, that significantly changed the manner in which the business of ocean shipping is being conducted. The FMC’s mission must encourage the development of a sound US-flag liner fleet. Accordingly, the FMC has established the following five strategic goals to carry out its statutory mandates:

  1. Efficient Regulatory Process: Provide a timely, efficient and decisive regulatory process, including alternative dispute resolution, to enable all segments of the industry to operate more effectively, with a minimum of regulatory costs.
  2. Compliance: Promote efficiency and fairness in US foreign waterborne commerce through various means, including outreach and monitoring, to protect the public and assist stakeholders in achieving compliance with ocean transportation statutes administered by the FMC.
  3. Balanced Enforcement: Foster economic efficiencies, reliance on marketplace factors and maritime security by administering U.S. shipping statutes in a balanced and equitable manner to redress excessive anticompetitive actions and other unlawful activities.
  4. Technological Efficiencies: Employ technological enhancements to improve efficiency and to facilitate the exchange of information.
  5. Management Capabilities: Ensure the FMC has the appropriate organizational framework and management systems to carry out its statutory mandates.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

DOT OFFICIALS COMMITTED TO CONCEPT OF SHORT SEA SHIPPING

At the recent Short Sea Shipping Initiative conference held at the Maritime Administration’s HQ in Washington, DC., US DOT officials said that they are working on an effort to develop a “seamless integrated transportation system” for the US. The so-called “Freight Action Plan”, will incorporate short sea shipping as a significant component.

MARAD launched the Short Sea Shipping Initiative last year in the face of predictions that the nation’s transportation infrastructure will not be able to handle the anticipated increase in freight and passenger traffic.

US trade is expected to double by the year 2020, and more than 10,000 more trucks per day are expected along the I-95 corridor by 2010. Expansion of the nation’s highway system to accommodate this would be extremely expensive.

Proponents of coastwise shipping say that use of domestic waterways is both essential and economical. Highway congestion increases air pollution, and there are serious safety issues inherent in mixing truck traffic with passenger traffic.

Although ports will need attention, the “highways” needed for the maritime industry are already there. A single barge can carry the cargo equivalent of 58 tractor trailers, and a 15-barge tow can match 870 trucks. A small ship sailing off shore can carry the equivalent cargo of 12 miles of trucks.

Short sea shipping initiatives have been underway for about 10 years in northern Europe, where considerable strides have been made, reducing congestion and saving fuel through better use of their waterways.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

REMINDER ABOUT NEW MM&P PLAN MAIL ORDER DRUG BENEFIT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

The four-week SHIPBOARD MEDICAL CARE course will be offered on 9/1/03. This comprehensive training meets all USCG/STCW-95 regulatory requirements for Medical Person-In-Charge. Additionally, attendees are given the opportunity to become certified as an EMT by National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

RememberSECURITY OFFICER-PORT/COMPANY/SHIP COURSE: has been reformatted to three days. This course alone will not qualify eligible trust students for transportation. When scheduling, please round out your week with other courses, such as Contingency Planning, Media Response, MED-DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing, MSC-CBRD orientation, or the two-day Damage Control.

Take Advantage of the following Class Openings

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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

~~~

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

~~~

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

~~~

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

~~~

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

~~~

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

~~~

  • T-PIC: 9/22

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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

 

REMINDER: Attendance Verification & Cancellation is Vital

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

 

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

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

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Summer Class Openings

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 8/18-29: Medical Person in Charge
  • 8/25-29: TPIC

~~~

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-13 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,061.70

– 138.80 for the week

 1,652.68

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

 89.46

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

22.18

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 13.45

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 12.67

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 22.85

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.43

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.05

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.19

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

13.12

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

14.62

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 34.32

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 86.66

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.03

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



~ Reminders ~


 


 

JOB OPENINGS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

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

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

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

 

MEMBERS AND FAMILIES GET SPECIAL SUMMER RATES AT MITAGS

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

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

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

SPECIAL RATES FOR UNION MEMBERS AT ORLANDO DISNEY HOTEL

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

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

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

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

WWII REGISTRY SITE OPEN TO ALL WHO SERVED IN ANY CAPACITY

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CLARIFICATION OF DRUG FREE CERTIFICATE FOR MMD RENEWAL

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

LATEST USCG INFO ON PRIORITY SYSTEM FOR MMD CARDS

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

CREDIT UNION “BACK-TO-SCHOOL” LOAN SPECIAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS: PAY YOURSELF FIRST WITH DIRECT DEPOSIT

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

Consider establishing payroll or pension direct deposit.

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

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

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

 

Who Can Be a Member?

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

 

Want to Know More?

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

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2003

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

 

INPATIENT HOSPITAL DEDUCTIBLE

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

 
REIMBURSEMENT FOR INPATIENT HOSPITAL EXPENSE

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

 

IN-NETWORK (PPO) PHYSICIAN VISITS

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

 

OUT-OF-NETWORK PHYSICIANS

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

 

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – IN NETWORK (PPO)

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

 

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – OUT-OF-NETWORK

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

 

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES

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

Annual Deductible

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

Out-of-Pocket Maximum

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

Dental Reimbursement Levels

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

Prescription Drug Program

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

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

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

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




ADDRESS CHANGES

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

 




 

NEW DENTAL PROGRAM WITH DELTA DENTAL

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

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

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

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

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

~ Where Does My Dentist Submit My Claims?

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

~ How Do I Find A Delta Dentist?

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

 

WORK IN PROCESS

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

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

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

 

CLAIMS QUESTIONS

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

 

IDENTIFICATION CARDS

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

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

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

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

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

Delta Dental of Pennsylvania One Delta Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

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

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


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

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