News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 28, 2003

August 28th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 35 . . . . August 28, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




MM&P HEADQUARTERS, PLANS and MM&P FCU CLOSED MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1 for LABOR DAY




 

MM&P PLANS DRUG MAIL ORDER SEPTEMBER 1 IMPLEMENTATION DELAYED

A change in the Plans mail order provider was scheduled to occur effective September 1, where the mail order benefit currently administered by Eckerd Pharmacy Services (EPS) was scheduled to transition to NMHC Mail. A mailing was sent to all members by NMHC within the last few weeks notifying our members of this change.

On Monday, August 25, Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio was informed that the September 1 implementation date for changing mail order providers had been pushed back to an indeterminate date due to serious communication problems relative to the recent New York blackout.

At this time, NMHC Mail does not feel that they can adequately serve the needs of our participants until they can assure that all problems in their internet and phone service systems have been corrected.

They have assured me that EPS will continue to service our members until the transition can be rescheduled. Please continue to follow the procedure currently in place for refills and new prescriptions.

Ms. Verrecchio stated that, “Obviously, this was an unforeseeable problem and there does not appear to be an immediate solution. I apologize to our Plan participants for the inconvenience.” Please call or Email Ms. Verrecchio if you have any concerns at 410-850-8603; Email: mmpplansval@aol.com. A letter about this delay was sent to all participants in the Health & Benefit Plan this week.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MM&P CONGRATULATES ILWU CHIEF JAMES SPINOSA ON REELECTION

International President Capt. Tim Brown has sent his congratulations and well wishes on behalf of the MM&P to International Longshore and Warehouse Union President James Spinosa who has been reelected to a three-year term.

Spinosa, who ran unopposed, guided West Coast longshoremen through an employer lock-out of the ILWU for 10 days last October. Only after President Bush invoked the Taft-Hartley Act to force the ports to re-open did both sides finally reach an agreement.

In addition to Spinosa, International Vice President Robert McEllrath was re-elected to a new term as was the incumbent International Vice President for Hawaii, Wesley Furtado. Willie Adams was elected International Secretary-Treasurer to replace the retiring Joe Ibarra.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

LA-LB LABOR DAY MARCH SET FOR SEPTEMBER 1

MM&P’s Pacific Ports Agent Dave Boatner is encouraging all members and their families living in the Los Angeles area to participate in the annual Labor Day March. “As we have done for over 15 years MM&P will be participating in the annual Labor Day March in Wilmington CA. All members are encouraged to attend and support your union.”

The march will take place on Labor Day, Monday, September 1 and begins about a block away from the Los Angeles-Long Beach Union Hall. The Hall will be open at 0800 with coffee and donuts available for all participants.

Departure for the assembly area is at 0900. There will be a truck available for MM&P members that may need assistance to participate in the march. Members are encouraged to wear their blue MM&P T-shirt. They will also be available on Monday at the hall.

The march ends at Banning Park, which is about one mile from the union hall. There will be free hot dogs and soft drinks at the park. Shuttle busses will be provided to return you to the assembly area.

This is an ideal opportunity to have a fun day with your family and support your union on Labor Day. Come out and meet new members and see old friends. Make it a family day… Make it a union day! For additional info please call the Los Angeles-Long Beach hall at 310-834-7201.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

LABOR DAY 2003 — JOB CRISIS IN AMERICA

The AFL-CIO reports that American workers today are facing the biggest job crisis in the US since the Great Depression. “Despite our so-called recovery, far too many people are out of work and many have been out of work for a long time,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

“White collar as well as blue-collar employees are losing jobs, and many of these jobs aren’t coming back. And executives are slashing health care and retirement benefits. President Bush has pulled the rug out from under America’s working people and rolled out a red carpet for the wealthy and giant corporations,” Sweeney charged.

According to the AFL-CIO, the nation’s economy has shed 3.1 million private-sector jobs, approximately 110,000 per month, since President George W. Bush took office. This is the largest job loss since the days of Herbert Hoover.

During the last full month before Bush took office in December 2000, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent. In June, the official US unemployment rate rose to 6.4 percent… representing 9.4 million unemployed workers, the highest figure since April 1994.

June losses include 56,000 manufacturing jobs, bringing to 2.4 million the number of manufacturing jobs that have disappeared since January 2001.

What’s more, the 9.4 million officially unemployed represents only about 61 percent of workers, 15.3 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who are either unemployed, underemployed in part-time jobs out of economic necessity or who have become so discouraged that they have given up looking for work.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

WORKING FAMILIES WORKING HARDER THAN EVER

More US family members are working more hours than ever before. With wages stagnant, benefits eroding and employers demanding excessive overtime, it’s tougher than ever for families to balance competing demands at home and at work.

In 2000, the average US worker put in 1,978 hours, up 36 hours, almost a full week, since 1990. Nearly 64 million women are now in America’s workforce, including three-quarters of US mothers of children younger than 18.

Add to these increased work hours the demand for working family members to work odd hours… and the pressures of serious time crunches and increased stress result.

Nearly three-quarters of working adults say they have little or no control over their work schedules.

More than one-quarter of working women, including mothers, spend some of their nights and weekends at work.

Nearly half of all women who are married or living with someone work different schedules than their partners.

These demands on working families have made urgent the need for sound public policies on child care, elder care, family leave and greater worker control over their work schedules. When workers have a voice on the job with a union, they can bargain with their employers for benefits that help them strike a balance that is good for workers and employers.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

AFL-CIO’s UNION LABEL WEEK SET FOR SEPTEMBER 1-6

To coincide with the Labor Day Holiday observance, the AFL-CIO’s Union Label and Service Trades Department is sponsoring Union Label Week from September 1-6. An important function of the Department is to help unions conduct national boycotts that have been endorsed by the AFL-CIO Executive Council.

The Department publishes a “Don’t Buy” list of companies being boycotted and the products and services involved on its website. Detailed info on boycotts as well as the latest updates can be viewed at www.unionlabel.org.

It also maintains a “Do Buy” database of union made products on the website that can be easily searched by product category.

A company and its products or services are put on the national list of AFL-CIO-endorsed boycotts at the request of affiliated international and national unions that are working to help the firm’s employees overcome management efforts to keep them from winning justice on the job through organizing and collective bargaining. A boycott is endorsed by the AFL-CIO after it has been initiated by the international and/or national union as part of a broader campaign on behalf of employees of the targeted company.

The Department also runs a Label Lookers Program featuring a national volunteer network of patriotic Americans who have agreed to be on the lookout for possible misuse of the “Made in USA” label and report any abuses to the Federal Trade Commission. Info on how to join this vital program is featured on the Department’s website along with a database designed to locate union made products and services nationwide.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

LATEST ON EFFORTS TO REFLOAT THE SEALAND EXPRESS

The Lloyd’s Register publication “Fairplay” reports that the salvage master responsible for efforts to refloat the stranded SEALAND EXPRESS does not expect the next attempt, to be carried out at midnight on August 29 using two tugs, will be successful.

The publication quotes a spokesman from the salvage company as saying: “The odds are, frankly, that she’s not going to come off.” If this weekend’s efforts fail, the salvors will build a causeway from the beach along which a crane can be taken to the ship to remove containers and lighten the ship.

Meanwhile, a dredge has begun work to remove the sandbar alongside the port side of the ship. The vessel is lying in a sandy channel 18-feet deep but needs about 40-feet of water to float clear. So far, 2,800 tons of bunkers have been removed from the ship with another 700 tons to go.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

STRUCK AT BERTH – SHIP GETS HIT FROM THREE SIDES

The 1,900-TEU container ship ANL ORYX is currently undergoing repairs from three separate sets of damage from a knock-on incident at her berth in Lagos, Nigeria on July 29. Chartered to Australia’s ANL, she was damaged on both port and starboard sides and at the stern in the accident.

The ship was departing from its berth when it was hit on one side by another vessel, leaving some plating damage. The impact sent the ORYX back into the pier, which tore a 60-foot gash in the vessel’s other side.

The ship then drifted backwards onto a third vessel berthed behind it, sustaining minor damage to its stern. The contract to repair the ORYX calls for an estimated 60 tons of new steelwork.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

TANKER LOSS: PRESTIGE COST COULD OUTSTRIP EXXON VALDEZ

The damage and costs incurred by the sinking of the tanker PRESTIGE off northern Spain in November 2002 could be greater than those of the EXXON VALDEZ sinking in Alaska in 1989, according to a recent report by international shipping authorities.

“Damages are likely to exceed those of the EXXON VALDEZ because of the extent of the pollution, as far as northern France, and because of the importance of fishing zones in the area which have been badly hit by the accident”, the report says.

Cleanup costs already amount to $2.7 billion compared to just under $2 billion for the EXXON VALDEZ, without counting huge compensation payments to victims of the black tide. The report contains heavy criticism of the Spanish government’s handling of the crisis.

“For example, the authorities said that once the oil is locked in the ship’s tanks below the surface it will become solid and will not leak any more. The statement is wrong and was made without any scientific backing,” it says.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MERCHANT SHIP LOSSES THREE TIMES LESS THAN PLANE CRASHES

Over the past decade widely publicized accidents involving tankers, bulk carriers, passenger ferries and general cargo ships have caused public concern about the safety of ships at sea. The public perception is shaped mainly by the publicity that the industry unintentionally creates when there is a failure in the safety chain.

How does the marine industry’s performance compare to other modes of transportation such as the aircraft industry that is perceived to have a very good safety record?

The loss rate for merchant ships has declined from a high of over four vessels per thousand in 1980, to a current low of about two vessels per thousand per year. That means the industry cut its ship loss rate in half in just the past 20 years.

When it comes to the average annual loss rates per million flight or voyage hours at risk, the commercial aircraft loss rate is three times that for merchant ships.

The above research comes by way of Dr. Donald Liu, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

Addressing the recent International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress in San Diego, Dr. Liu said that marine transportation is definitely not risk-free.

“It is not possible to mandate an error-free operating environment or an unsinkable ship. There will always be a degree of risk associated with navigating the uncertain, and often-turbulent waters of the world’s oceans.

“What should be paramount is that the marine industry demonstrates its dedication to safety and environmental concerns through continuously striving to improve its performance,” he stressed.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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-CHS II: 9/1
  • CMM-ECDIS: 10/20
  • CMM-MPP: 9/15
  • CMM-VPEN: 10/13
  • CMM-WKP: 9/8
  • COMP-ABSS: 9/8
  • COMP-APS: 9/22
  • COMP-MAR: 10/27
  • CONT-PLNG: 9/11, 9/26, 10/23

~~~

  • FF-ADV: 9/22
  • FL: 9/5
  • FRB: 9/22

~~~

  • GMDSS: 10/27

~~~

  • 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: 10/15
  • MSC-CBRD-1: 9/21, 10/13
  • MSC-DC: 9/13, 9/19, 10/16
  • MSC-ENVPRO: 10/14

~~~

  • 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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 9/3-5: 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 8-27 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,333.70

– 63.80 for the week

 1,782.13

 + 21.59 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 92.31

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

23.58

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 13.89

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 13.32

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 23.25

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.35

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.08

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.13

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

13.51

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

14.82

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 32.72

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 89.00

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.41

 

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



 

UPDATED MATES REUNION PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER 19-21

The MM&P MATES Program graduate reunion will held at MITAGS from September 19-21. Current plans include a mixer on Friday complete with food, music and entertainment. The Saturday night function is shaping up to be a traditional Maryland Crab Feast, with tasty BBQ items to round out the menu.

In addition, the possibility of attending a Baltimore Orioles baseball game for Friday or Saturday night is being investigated as is a potential day trip to Annapolis, home to the US Naval Academy.

The names of those individuals who have responded positively are posted on the Union’s website. Click on the “Original MATES Program Reunion” button on the left side of your screen for this and more.

Additional info and updates will be posted as they become known. Have questions? Email Diane Chatham at dchatham@bridgedeck.org.

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



 

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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