News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 21, 2003

August 21st 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 34 . . . . August 21, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

IMPORTANT INFO ON BOSTON MEMBERSHIP MEETING ON AUGUST 27

Atlantic Ports Vice President Richard May will be holding a membership meeting in Boston on Wednesday, August 27. The meeting will commence at 1100, a change from the usual 1230 time to allow for a full discussion of various issues.

The meeting will take place in the conference room at the Boston Union Hall located at:

Harbour Pointe East 80 Everett Avenue – Suite 207 Chelsea, MA 02150

For further info contact the Boston Hall at 617-884-8680, Email: boston@bridgedeck.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

GROUNDED CONTAINER VESSEL OFF CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

The container vessel SEA-LAND EXPRESS managed and operated by United States Ship Management Inc., (USSMI), was at anchorage during a severe storm when it grounded on August 19 at 0645 hours local time in Table Bay, South Africa with 1037 containers onboard.

Although not the owners or manager of the vessel, A.P. Moller-Maersk are following the situation closely and will render assistance where possible in order to minimize risk for the crew, vessel, cargo and the environment. The crew is fine and no pollution has been discovered.

The managers and operators of the vessel, USSMI, inform that an attempt will be made by the salvage experts tonight at high tide to get the vessel off ground. They also inform that an operations and technical management team has been dispatched for Cape Town.

The US-flag vessel is operated by USSMI and chartered by Maersk Line Limited, USA. She is deployed in the Maersk Sealand/Safmarine liner network.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MASSIVE BLACKOUT IN US CAUSES FEW VESSEL DELAYS

The largest blackout in the history of the US plunged parts of eight eastern United States and Canada into darkness last Thursday. Over 50 million people were effected by the massive electrical malfunction.

While airports, railroads and subways were shut down by the huge outage, vessel operations in the Port of New York-New Jersey were only marginally affected by the blackout. Ed Sweeney, vice president of the New Jersey section of the United New York-New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots, said that there was only light vessel traffic transiting the harbor at the time.

The blackout did delay the departure of a few vessels by several hours. This, in turn, delayed the inbound arrival of the MM&P-contracted Horizon PRODUCER, which ended up anchoring outside the harbor until the next morning.

Initial reports indicate that power was lost for two hours on Thursday afternoon at Global Terminals in Bayonne, NJ, and for 10 hours at Howland Hook Container Terminal in Staten Island, NY before being restored at 0300 on Friday.

Power was also lost for four hours at Port Newark Container Terminal. Ports in Toronto, Detroit and Cleveland also lost power.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MALAYSIAN SHIP’S CAPTAIN RANSOMED FROM PIRATES

Pirates released the captain and two engine officers of a Malaysian-owned ship unharmed after the ship’s owner paid ransom for the hostages. The vessel was carrying fuel oil from Singapore to Penang, when it was attacked last week in the Malacca Straits off Malaysia’s Port Klang by gunmen armed with AK-47 and M-16 rifles.

The captain as well as the chief and assistant engineers were taken hostage while the other crewmembers were allowed to proceed to Penang with the ship.

The pirates had reportedly demanded $100,000 for the release of the three hostages. The pirates also seized $2,600 in cash, cell phones, shipping documents and clothes from the crew, according to media reports.

The hostages were released off an island in Indonesian waters after the ransom was paid through a middleman. Police believe the attack could be the work of the Indonesian rebel Free Aceh Movement, which operates in Sumatra Island across the strait from Malaysia.

The International Maritime Bureau has warned seafarers to keep clear of Indonesia’s Aceh coast on the strait after eight attacks on ships in the area in the past four months.

There have been 22 reported cases of pirate attacks this year in the Malacca Straits between Indonesia and Malaysia, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

U.S. AND DUTCH WORK TO DETECT NUKE TERRORIST SHIPMENTS

The US and Dutch governments have announced an effort to work together in the war on terrorism by installing special equipment at Europe’s busiest seaport to detect hidden shipments of nuclear and other radioactive material.

Rotterdam will be one of the first sites for this type of new security system in Europe. One of the world’s largest seaports, the port handles more than 300 million metric tons of cargo each year. Thousands of commercial ships traveling between Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East pass through Rotterdam’s vast maze of docks and container facilities.

Security experts have warned that terrorists seeking to build nuclear weapons or so-called “dirty bombs”, conventional explosives laced with radioactive material, might attempt to use commercial shipping channels to smuggle the necessary nuclear components. The specialized radiation-detection technology was developed to guard against proliferation of weapons materials.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MINETA ADMITS AVIATION SECURITY GETS PRIORITY OVER PORTS

Last week, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said that up until now, the Administration has not given port security the attention it deserves. He stated that the priority has been given to the aviation industry.

Mineta says maritime security is now getting more attention. Two recent rounds of federal transportation security grants have bolstered port defenses and a third round is expected shortly.

To date, approximately $337 million in security grants have been made available to major US ports; at least $105 million in added funding is expected later this year. The USCG estimates that ports will be required to invest $5.4 billion over the next 10 years for increased security.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MARINER TRAINING & FITNESS SUBJECT OF MERPAC MEETING

The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) and its working groups will meet to discuss various issues relating to the training and fitness of merchant marine personnel. MERPAC advises the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters relating to the training, qualifications, licensing, certification, and fitness of seamen serving in the US merchant marine.

MERPAC will meet on September 18-19 in the Port of Houston Authority Building. For more info contact:

Brian Peter U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters 2100 Second St., SW Washington, DC 20593

This notice is also available on the website for the Docket Management System at http://dms.dot.gov.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

FEMALE MARINERS MOVING ON UP IN OFFICER RANKS

Female civil service mariners working for the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC), the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have been increasingly successful at career advancement in the maritime industry.

For example, as the largest employer of US merchant mariners, MSC’s global fleet of ships provide underway replenishment of US Navy ships at sea, prepositioning and transport of defense cargo and at-sea data collection for the US military and other US government agencies.

MSC’s mariner workforce is made up of civil service mariners and commercial mariners working for operating companies under contract with MSC. While female mariners make up just five percent of the more than 3,800 MSC civil service mariner workforce, their numbers have increased by 75 percent in the last decade.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

SAN FRANCISCO BAY LABOR DAY WEEKEND CRUISE ON SS JEREMIAH O’BRIEN

This Labor Day holiday forget about driving somewhere on traffic clogged freeways. Why not ship out on a working World War II Liberty Ship… the SS JEREMIAH O’BRIEN home-ported in San Francisco, CA.

The O’BRIEN will depart on Friday, August 29 at 0900 from its Pier 23 berth for a cruise up the Sacramento River. Onboard, live music and huge chuck wagon style BBQ will entertain passengers. WWII vintage aircraft have been known to strafe the ship along the way.

All the common areas of the ship will be open for passengers to explore. The triple expansion reciprocating steam engine… a marvel of engineering even to most sophisticated steam engine aficionado… is a must see.

Another afternoon snack prepared by the ship’s Steward’s Department will be served as the Captain announces the points of interest en route to the Port of Sacramento for a planned 1900 arrival. Air-conditioned charter buses will be waiting to whisk passengers back to San Francisco.

The O’BRIEN’s inbound cruise will leave Sacramento on Tuesday, September 2, at 0900 and return to San Francisco at 1900. All river and land transportation is included in the fare. The cost of a one-way voyage is $175 and it includes the return bus fare back to your point of origin.

A special round-trip rate is available for those who want to explore the Sacramento area for a few days to visit such attractions as the state capitol, the State Fair, the Railroad Museum, Sacramento Old Town and the “Gold Rush Days”! The discounted round trip fare is $300 per person.

A limited number of tickets are still available and will be sold on a first-come first-served basis. Call the O’BRIEN’s Shoreside Office at 415-544-0100 for details. Checks, MasterCard and Visa are accepted.

All cruise proceeds go to the maintenance and restoration of this world famous landmark. More details on the cruise are available on the ship’s website at www.ssjeremiahobrien.com.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

BULL & OYSTER ROAST WITH THE FABULOUS HUBCAPS AT MITAGS

The oldies show band, The Fabulous Hubcaps, will bring their high-energy rock & roll to MITAGS on Saturday, October 11, from 6:00 PM -11:30 PM. Also featured is an all-you-can-eat bull and oyster roast.

Tickets are just $37 per person. A bed and breakfast plan is also available for the price of $140.

Reserve tickets and/or overnight accommodations now by contacting reservations@ccmit.org or voice 410-859-5700 x 0. For more info, contact: Howard Van Kirk at Email: hvankirk@ccmit.org or voice at 443-989-3515.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

REMINDER ABOUT NEW MM&P PLAN MAIL ORDER DRUG PROVIDER

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). Under this new arrangement, members will be able to access all information about their prescription drug benefit from one website at www.nmhcrx.com. Plan participants can contact NMHC at 1-800-881-1966 or sign onto the website for more info.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

If it has been a while, or you have never participated in live firefighting training, this is an excellent opportunity. FIRE PREVENTION & FIRE FIGHTING, is a two-day module of the BST class running September 15-19, 2003.

A TANKERMAN PERSON-IN-CHARGE endorsement on your STCW-95 Certificate can be obtained by successful completion of TPIC which is being offered on September 22, 2003.

There is still time to enroll in the four-week SHIPBOARD MEDICAL CARE course starting on September 1, 2003. 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.

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: 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: 9/29
  • CMM-SHS-ADV II: 10/6
  • CMM-VPEN: 10/13
  • CMM-WKP: 9/8
  • COMP-ABSS: 9/8
  • COMP-APS: 9/22
  • COMP-MAR: 10/27
  • CONT-PLNG: 9/11, 10/23

~~~

  • 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: 9/21, 10/13
  • MSC-DC: 9/13, 9/19, 10/16
  • MSC-ENVPRO: 10/14

~~~

  • ROP: 8/25
  • ROR-1: 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, and 10/10 (Evening Class)

~~~

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

Class Openings

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 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
  • 9/22-26: 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

 9,397.50

+ 335.80 for the week

 1,760.54

 + 107.86 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 92.80

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

23.47

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 13.92

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 13.30

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 23.49

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.42

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 5.99

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.19

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

13.64

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

14.90

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 33.07

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 89.76

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.60

 

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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