News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 24, 2003

July 24th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 30 . . . . July 24, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS



LOS ANGELES, SAN FRANCISCO & SEATTLE UNION HALLS WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY JULY 28 IN OBSERVANCE OF THE HARRY BRIDGES BIRTHDAY ILWU HOLIDAY




 

SPECIAL NEW ORLEANS MITAGS TRAINING SCHEDULE

  • August 5: MED-DOT-DA 1-Day (Good for 5 years.)
  • August 6: HAZMAT (Good for 3 years.)
  • August 7: EAP (Employee Assistance Program. One time only.)

Instructor: Jim Clements

Call the New Orleans Hall at 504-837-5700 or Email sbourcq@bridgedeck.org to reserve space.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MERCHANT MARINE FEATURED ON FOX-TV THIS SUNDAY JULY 27

The Fox News Channel will air: “Running the Gauntlet: The Merchant Marine”, on Sunday, July 27, at 2000 hrs Eastern/1700 hrs Pacific. Check your local listings.

The “War Stories with Oliver North” episode includes interviews with many mariners including former POWs Stanley Willner, George Duffy, and Kenneth Pride.

Some of the scenes were filmed on the SS JEREMIAH O’BRIEN in San Francisco. For more info on Fox’s war series, go to www.foxnews.com/warstories/index.html.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MM&P VOLUNTEERS AT LA-BASED SS LANE VICTORY

The Los Angeles/Long Beach-berthed SS LANE VICTORY just completed two of the six annually scheduled day trips to Catalina Island the weekend of July 19. MM&P retirees Ed Royles and Bent Christiansen usually do the piloting for LA Harbor and Richard Page is one of the regular Third Mates.

Also volunteering as Deck Officers on this voyage were Dave Ferbert and Capt. Jeff Cowan. Unfortunately the Captain of the LANE VICTORY, Bill Carroll, was taken ill a week before the voyages were to start. MM&P’s Pacific Ports Agent Capt. Dave Boatner volunteered and sailed as Master for the weekend.

All the MM&P members participating said they had a great time. MM&P is pleased to report that Capt. Carroll is recovering from his illness and should be in command for the day trips scheduled for August 16 and 17.

For info about the trips and the SS LANE VICTORY call 310-519-9545 or visit the website at www.lanevictoryship.com.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

FORMER BALTIMORE PLANS REPRESENTATIVE “RED” HAYES PASSES AWAY AT 90

Retired Capt. Edward C. “Red” Hayes, a longtime MM&P member and port official who lived in the Baltimore area, passed away on July 21. He was 90 years old. Joining the MM&P in 1943 at former Local 4 in Mobile, AL, Capt. Hayes transferred to Local 14 in Baltimore the following year. He became heavily involved in organizing during his tenure with the Union, most notably during his service in the Port of Baltimore.

Remembered as one of MM&P’s league of colorful characters, Capt. Hayes last served the MM&P as Plans Rep for the Port of Baltimore from 1969 until his retirement in May 1981. Prior to that, he sailed for US Lines. His last vessel was the AMERICAN VETERAN. His wife Dorothy predeceased him in 2001. They had been married for 60 years. He is survived by his son Edward “Chris” Hayes, Jr., also of the Baltimore area.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

CREDIT UNION “BACK-TO-SCHOOL” LOAN SALE

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



 

MITAGS/PMI UPGRADES SECURITY OFFICER TRAINING PROGRAM

MITAGS and PMI have announced an upgrade in their Security Officer Training program which is now called, “Security Officer Training , Port Facility, Company and Ship.”

Since September 11, 2001, the maritime industry has come under increasing pressure to improve security awareness and develop security measures appropriate to the threat level for all passenger and cargo vessels and port facilities.

The Department of Homeland Security has published an interim rule in the Federal Register and will issue its final rule on November 25. The rule is intended to implement strong Port State Control measures to aggressively enforce these regulations, including tracking the performance of all owners, operators, port facility managers, flag administrators and recognized security organizations.

The MITAGS/PMI Security Officer Training incorporates this Interim Final Rule, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amendments that contain the International Ship and Port Security Code (ISPS Code), which comes into effect in July 2004, and USCG NVIC 10-02.

The USCG has concluded that they will impose their new requirements on many US inspected vessels, towboats and foreign vessels. Oil, chemical and dangerous cargo facilities and all vessels on international voyages must comply with these regulations.

In an effort to help port authorities, port facility managers and vessel owners/operators develop and implement their security plans, MITAGS/PMI now includes the Port Facility element into their successful, three-day Company and Ship Security program. This course is designed to provide practical, comprehensive, and effective approach to solving these new maritime security challenges.

The Security Officer training program will serve as an invaluable resource to managers who need to learn more about these requirements, conduct a risk-based security assessment, identify the critical elements of security plan, identify suspicious behavior and materials, identify crowd behaviors and their impact on security management, learn search techniques in a marine setting and identify types of security equipment.

This three-day program has been designed to assist companies and managers meet the new security requirements and, more importantly, prepare their organizations, facilities, vessels and personnel for the post 9/11 world.

For more info on the MITAGS/PMI Security Officer Training program contact Craig Thomas at 866-656-5569 or via Email at cthomas@mitags.org or Gregg Trunnell, PMI, at 206-239-9965 or via Email at gtrunnell@mates.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

AFL-CIO PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT ON BUSH’S PENSION PROPOSAL

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney issued the following statement last week on the Bush Administration’s pension proposal currently before Congress:

“Employment-based pensions are an essential component of a strong national retirement system for America’s working families. But the Bush Administration’s pension proposal, could derail secure pension plans for workers. Defined benefit plans remain the soundest vehicle for building and safeguarding retirement income security, as they are federally insured and provide a guaranteed monthly lifetime benefit. However, these plans are now facing excessive funding pressure under the Administration proposal that could unnecessarily jeopardize their stability.

“The current proposal being considered by the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures and the Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Employer Employee Relations is very troubling on several counts, including the fact that it will change the way that private pension liabilities are calculated and therefore the timing and amount of employer contributions to pension funds.

“With workers’ retirement security at stake, Congress should be considering proposals that encourage and preserve traditional pension plans while maintaining the security of workers’ benefits. There is a real risk, however, that the Administration’s proposal could signal the end of secure pension benefits for millions of American workers.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

PRESCRIPTION DRUG CONFERENCE IN CONGRESS UNDERWAY

House and Senate negotiators are working to meld into one package two recently passed Medicare prescription drug bills that could cost as many as 4.4 million retirees the prescription drug coverage they currently receive under employer-provided plans.

Also, the House bill aims to privatize Medicare, and both bills lack any method to control the soaring cost of prescription drugs. A final vote on the bill may come before Congress adjourns for the summer in August. To send a message to your senators or representative that you want a real Medicare prescription plan, visit www.aflcio.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MEMBERS SOUGHT FOR MARITIME SECURITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security is establishing the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) and is requesting qualified individuals interested in serving on this committee to apply for membership. Application forms for membership should reach the USCG by August 8.

The NMSAC will advise, consult with, report to, and make recommendations to the Secretary on matters relating to national maritime security. Such matters may include, but not be limited to:

  • developing a national strategy and policy to provide for efficient, coordinated and effective action to deter and minimize damage from maritime related transportation security incidents;
  • recommending actions required to meet current and future security threats to ports, vessels, facilities, waterways and their associated inter-modal transportation connections and critical infrastructure;
  • promoting international cooperation and multilateral solutions to maritime security issues;
  • addressing security issues and concerns brought to the Committee by segments of the maritime transportation industry, or other port and waterway stakeholders; and,
  • examining such similar matters that the Secretary may charge the Committee with addressing.

NMSAC will be composed of seven members each of whom must have at least 5 years practical experience in maritime security operations. Applicants may be required to pass an appropriate security background check prior to appointment.

A copy of the form to apply for membership can be obtained by calling 202-267-4132; by faxing a request to202-267-4130; or by writing to:

Lieutenant Junior Grade Holly Wendelin
Commandant (G-MPS-2)
United States Coast Guard
2100 Second Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590-0001

Send your application in written form to the above address. The notice and application form are available at the Department of Transportation’s Docket Management System website on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov.

For further info contact Lt. Wendelin at 202-267-4132.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MATSON NAMES ANDRASICK PRESIDENT, CEO AMONG OTHER CHANGES

MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company has named James Andrasick as its new president and chief executive effective August 1. He had been serving in that position on an interim basis since July 1, 2002 and will relocate to the company’s Bay Area offices.

“Jim has successfully led Matson through some difficult challenges over the last year, while serving as interim president and chief executive officer,” said Allen Doane, Matson’s chairman of the board and chief executive of Alexander & Baldwin, Matson’s parent company.

Additional management changes and re-alignments were also announced:

Dave Hoppes has been promoted to vice president, ocean services, and will have responsibility for all Matson sales, marketing, pricing, and customer service activities.

Jack Sullivan has been promoted to vice president-vessel operations.

Gary North will assume the title of senior vice president-Pacific.

Bal Dreyfus will assume the position of director-vehicle operations, and will focus on new initiatives in Matson’s Hawaii auto transportation business, including improvements to the SS LURLINE, and related shore-side investments at Oakland, Honolulu and Kahului.

Matson also announced that Paul Stevens, executive vice president, will be leaving the company effective July 30.

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. What could be better? How’s an old-fashioned, all-you-can-eat bull and oyster roast sound?

For the low, low price of just $37 per person, both fantastic experiences can be yours. This will truly be a night to remember. Don’t miss the boat to this big bash featuring the unsinkable Hubcaps… reserve your tickets now! There’s even a bed and breakfast plan available.

This gala event will be held on the MITAGS campus in Linthicum, MD on Saturday, October 11 from 6-11:30 PM. Menu selections include: pit beef, ham, turkey, oysters, BBQ chicken, jumbo hot dogs, and assorted beverages.

Overnight accommodations available: Room rate, (2 persons per room) includes 2 tickets for Hubcaps, dinner & breakfast for the price of $140.

For tickets & or overnight accommodations, contact reservations@ccmit.org or voice 410-859-5700 extension 0. For more info, contact: Howard Van Kirk at Email: hvankirk@ccmit.org or voice at 443-989-3515.

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, attending a Baltimore Orioles baseball game as well as a potential day trip to Annapolis are being considered.

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.

Additional info and updates will be posted as details are firmed up.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Course Groupings Available at MITAGS

The five-day Military Sealift Command module covers CBRD Orientation, Environmental Protection, Damage Control, and Level 1 Anti-Terrorism Training. These courses are required for civilian mariners working on MSC contracted vessels and are being offered at MITAGS on August 18-22, October 13-17, and December 15-19.

 

Take Advantage of the following Class Openings

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA: 9/15
  • ASSESSOR TRNG: 8/8

~~~

  • BRM: 8/4
  • BST: 9/15

~~~

  • CMM-ADVSTB: 8/18, 9/27
  • CMM-ADVWX: 9/29
  • CMM-CHS I: 8/25
  • 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
  • COMP-NET: 8/25
  • CONT-PLNG: 8/5, 9/11, 10/24
  • CSE-AAES: 8/4

~~~

  • FF-ADV: 7/28, 9/22
  • FL: 8/1, 9/5
  • FRB: 9/22

~~~

  • GMDSS: 8/4, 10/27
  • HAZ: 8/25
  • ISM/REG-UPDT: 8/4
  • LAP: 7/28

~~~

  • MED-DOT-DA: 7/26, 8/16, 8/30, 9/20, 10/4
  • MEDIA-RSP: 8/6, 8/29, 9/12, 10/20
  • MED-PIC: 8/11, 9/29
  • MED-PRO: 8/11, 9/29
  • MED-SMC: 9/1
  • MSC-ATER: 8/20, 10/15
  • MSC-CBRD-1: 8/18, 9/26, 10/13
  • MSC-COMMS: 8/11
  • MSC-DC: 8/9, 9/13, 9/18, 10/16
  • MSC-ENVPRO: 8/19, 10/14

~~~

  • ROP: 8/25
  • ROR-1: 8/4, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29

~~~

  • SEC-MAR: 8/7
  • SEC-OFF PCS: 8/18, 9/8, 9/22, 10/20
  • SHS-BAS: 7/28, 9/15, 10/20
  • SHS-EMR5: 8/18, 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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 7/30-31: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
  • 7/28-8/8: Advanced Cargo Handling and Stowage
  • 7/2/-8/1: ARPA

~~~

  • 8/4-8: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 8/18-22: VPEN
  • 8/18-22: ARPA & Basic Safety Training
  • 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 7-23 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,194.50

+ 100.00 for the week

 1,719.18

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

 91.39

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

22.69

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 13.52

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 13.17

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 23.27

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.54

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.20

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.31

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

13.59

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

14.91

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 32.80

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 88.56

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.06

 

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



 

TAX RELIEF FOR OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM CIVILIAN MARINERS

Qualified merchant mariners serving on vessels under Department of Defense operational control in direct support of US Armed Forces have been determined by the IRS to be eligible for the benefits of section 7508 of the Internal Revenue Code. 26 U.S.C. §7508.

This includes individuals, (including the spouse of such individuals) serving in the combat zone as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom aboard Maritime Administration and Military Sealift Command owned or controlled vessels.

Mariners are advised to consult their tax professionals with respect to the impact of this relief with respect to their individual situations.

Only mariners serving in the combat zone are covered. At present, the combat zone for Operation Iraqi Freedom is defined as follows:

  • Persian Gulf;
  • Red Sea;
  • Gulf of Aden; and
  • Gulf of Oman;
  • That portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees north latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude; and
  • The total land area of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Section 7508(a)(1) permits the postponement of certain time-sensitive acts for individuals serving in support of the Armed Forces in a designated combat zone. Activities specifically mentioned include the filing of tax returns, the payment of income, estate, or gift taxes (except employment and withholding taxes), tax claims filings or bringing suits for credits or refunds, filing any petition with the US Tax Court, making a qualified retirement contribution to an IRA, or performing any other act listed in Revenue Procedure 2002-71.

Detailed information can be obtained by consulting Publication 3 Armed Forces’ Tax Guide (2002 Returns). The Guide can be obtained by contacting the IRS or from the IRS website, www.irs.gov.

These benefits are afforded to the spouse of a qualified individual without any requirement that the individual and spouse file a joint return. Taxpayers within the US may seek assistance by calling the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040. Taxpayers outside the US may call the IRS in Philadelphia, PA., at 215-516-2000 or via fax at 215-516-2555 (these are not toll free numbers).

More detailed info can be found on the MARAD website at: marad.dot.gov/Publications/employment/marinertaxes.html.

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 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 and is posted on our web page.

Return to Top

IOMMP

IOMMP

IOMMP

Latest posts by IOMMP (see all)