Wheelhouse Weekly – July 31, 2003

July 31st 2003


– Bridging the Information Gap WithE-News You Can Use –

Volume7 . . . . . Number 31 . . . . July 31, 2003





The MMP and AMO today have executed an agreement resolving their long standingdispute regarding AFL-CIO Article XX sanctions. The AFL-CIO had issuedsanctions against AMO for raiding which ultimately led to their withdrawingfrom the House of Labor. AMO has been prevented from returning to theAFL-CIO until these Article XX sanctions were resolved with the MMP andthe ILA. This agreement removes the major obstacle to their return to membershipin the AFL-CIO.

The agreement that has been reached between the two unions providesfor:
    (1) an alternative mechanism to the AFL-CIO’s ArticleXX provisions to resolve any future raiding allegations in a speedier processthat will allow for liquidated, compensatory and punitive damages for raiding;
    (2) a bilateral manning and pass through agreementthat will allow the unions to fill positions in the event of manning shortageswith members of each other’s unions and will allow the pass through ofbenefit payments and dues;
    (3) a commitment to preserve the Tripartite Agreementbetween MMP and AMO which prevents any of the unions from undercuttingeach other when bidding on government contracts such as the LMSRs and
    (4) monetary payments for reparations for previousraiding violations.

It is hoped that this agreement paves the way for a new era of cooperationbetween the maritime unions. The GEB had authorized John Singleton, MMPInternational Counsel to negotiate the agreement with AMO Vice PresidentTom Bethel. The agreement has been approved by President Tim Brown, ILAPresident John Bowers and AMO President Mike McKay.

This agreement opens the door for the three officers unions to worktogether for the benefit of the industry and our members, said MM&PInternational Secretary-Treasurer Glen Banks.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Federal Credit Union office will be closed from Aug.4-8 forvacation. Please conduct all credit union business ahead of time. It willreopen on Aug.11.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


  • 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.orgto reserve space.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



A maverick member of the Hawaiian Congressional delegation, Rep. Ed Case(D-HI), has introduced three bills that contain amendments to the JonesAct that would overturn long-standing trade protections for US carriersand open the state’s domestic trade to foreign-flagged vessels. The measureshave been referred to the committees on Transportation and Infrastructureand Armed Services.

Case contends that the Jones Act, which requires that vessels in thedomestic trades be built in US shipyards and owned and crewed by US citizens,stifles competition and raises prices in Hawaii where only two lines, MM&P-contractedMatson Navigation and MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines, now operate.

The legislation stands little chance for passage due to the pro-JonesAct stance of the committees’ leadership. Plus, other senior and more influentialmembers of the Hawaii congressional delegation including US Rep. Neil Abercrombie(D) and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D), both long-time supporters of the US-flagmaritime community, do not support repeal or revision of the Jones Act.

The bill does demonstrate that there are always going to be foes ofthe Jones Act looking for any opening to scuttle domestic cabotage. Inthis instance, the pressure comes from Hawaiian cattle exporters. Rep.Case, whose district includes ranchers, maintains that foreign carriers,who are excluded from the trade, can provide specialized cattle ships andmeet other rancher needs at lower costs than US-flagged ships.

In-harbor cattle waste, in-transit cattle mortality and lower-weightcattle delivery to market are some of the problems posed by the currentservice, Case claims.

Case’s cattle charges add up to just so much bull according to the MaritimeCabotage Task Force, whose members include the MM&P and other maritimelabor unions, ship and barge owners and operators, and shipbuilders.

Referring to the higher labor, environmental and safety-related coststhat come with US-flag status, Cabotage Task Force Chairman Philip Grillsaid, “It is unfair to expect an American flagged vessel to go head-to-headin competition with a foreign-flagged ship that does not have the samecosts imposed on it.” In announcing its vigorous opposition to effortsto weaken or repeal the Jones Act, MCTF also noted that the highly-competitivetrade to Hawaii and other non-contiguous destinations will be further enhancedin the next year or so by the addition of new, state-of-the-art containershipsand auto carriers.

Grill, who is also vice president of government affairs for Matson,acknowledged that while there have been some cattle-handling problems,Matson’s loss rates were in-line with those of foreign-flagged vessels.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



In a major move to attract vessels back to its state registry, German ChancellorGerhard Schröder has announced $100 million in financial aid to thatcountry’s shipping industry over the next two years. The country’s shipownerssay this will enable them to reflag 100 German-owned ships to the Germanregistry, followed by an additional 100 ships after 2005.

To facilitate the reflagging, the ITF-affiliated Ver.Di transport unionhas agreed to allow some flexibility in the application of crewing regulations.Dieter Benze, head of the union’s seafarers’ section, said it was crucialthat the shipowners should be made to keep their promise to reflag theships.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly




New Zealand’s Maritime Union (MUNZ) has launched a national campaign forcoastal cabotage similar to this country’s Jones Act, whereby domesticshipping between New Zealand ports would be undertaken by New Zealand-operatedand crewed ships.

The ITF-affiliated union is organizing a national campaign, backed upby meetings with government and opposition politicians, designed to persuadethe authorities to reintroduce the cabotage restrictions which were scrappedin 1991.

Dave Morgan, MUNZ Joint National President, commented: “Since foreignand flag-of-convenience shipping has been allowed in, we have had cheaplabor being employed in New Zealand waters while our seafarers are putout of work.”

For more info on the New Zealand cabotage campaign, go to

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


 International Shipholding Corporation, parent company of MM&P-contractedWaterman Steamship, Central Gulf Lines and Sulphur Carriers, Inc., hasreported results for the three months and six-month periods ending June30, 2003. Net income for the three months ending June 30, 2003 was $2.49million as compared to $1.116 million for the three months ended June 30,2002.

For the first six months of 2003, net income was $5.484 million as comparedto $196,000 for the same period last year. Improvement in the second quarterand first half of 2003 occurred in several areas of the company’s operations.

The Company’s US-flag coal carrier, ENERGY ENTERPRISE, that operatesin the coastwise trade, was utilized for all but two days during the firstsix months of 2003 under its basic time charter contract. During same periodlast year, the ship was out of service 14 days for repairs. It also operatedfor 60 days in the spot market at lower rates as compared to its base charterrate.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


In a speech to the delegates of the recently concluded ILA convention inSan Juan, the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union(ILWU) pledged his union’s support to the ILA during upcoming contractnegotiations.

ILWU President James Spinosa noted his members appreciated the ILA’ssupport during their union’s contract negotiations in 2002. During thosetalks, the ILWU was locked out for 10 days by the Pacific Maritime Association,prompting the Bush Administration to seek a back-to-work injunction underthe Taft-Hartley Act.

Spinosa said shippers organized as the West Coast Waterfront Coalitiontook an anti-ILWU stance before and during their negotiations. He notedthat the coalition has changed its name to the Waterfront Coalition inpossible preparation to intervene against the ILA as they did against theILWU.

The ILWU president told the ILA convention delegates that, If thatis their goal, they will find that our solidarity stands strong.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



While the summer hit movie Pirates of the Caribbean makes for great entertainmentas it continues to bring big grins to large audiences, the number of real-lifepiracy attacks on vessels is no laughing matter.

In the last year, pirate attacks have risen to an all-time high, anastounding 37 per cent over last year, according to the International MaritimeBureau’s Piracy Reporting Center. The latest figures available list a totalof 234 attacks on ships in the first six months of 2003, compared with171 during the first half of 2002.

The level of violence used in such attacks is also increasing, the IMBreport says, noting that 16 seafarers have been killed in attacks sinceJanuary and a further 52 have suffered injuries.

The waters off Indonesia are the most dangerous in the world as piracyand armed robbery rule the waves. The country also saw the greatest violence,with many pirates armed with guns and knives. Bangladesh, Nigeria and Indiaall recorded increased rates of attacks. =

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Helen Bentley, ex-chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission and formerCongresswoman from Maryland, has called on Congress to reconsider legislationthat requires private-sector shipping terminal owners and the nation’sseaports to pick-up nearly all of the costs involved in a massive maritimesecurity overhaul.

“Congress gave the airports more money than they knew what to do with.Then they turn around and give the maritime industry a boatload of unfundedmandates, which are nothing more than taxes in my book, and a few millionhere and there,” said Bentley, who addressed the recently held InternationalLongshoremen’s Association convention.

“This has nothing to do with patriotism. It’s about the very differenttreatment two key segments of America’s transportation network receivedfrom Congress,” said Bentley, whose maritime background spans 50 plus years.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Chuck Raymond, president and CEO of MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines (formerlyCSX Lines) has warned that the US is facing a transportation gridlock inthe not too distant future.

Speaking at the recent ILA convention in San Juan, Raymond said thatgridlock will occur if the US does not act decisively to build a trulyintermodal transportation system that can handle this trade growth thatlooms just around the economic corner.

He predicted that it will not only adversely affect the nation’s economybut also the livelihoods of US maritime transportation workers. It is hisbelief that the greatest challenge facing the country’s economy today isthat of safe and efficient freight movement in the global market.

He said that by 2020, major container ports in the US are projectedto at least double the volume of cargo they now handle, with some triplingor quadrupling in volume. Raymond noted that the national highway and railsystems will not be able to handle this impending trade explosion.

“Water, especially the water along our coastline, offers a natural andinexpensive solution to these growing congestion problems�especially whenyou compare it to the $32 million dollar cost per mile price tag that thehighway system offers,” he added.

Raymond’s thoughts echo those of US Maritime Administrator Capt. WilliamSchubert who has been promoting MARAD’s Short Sea Shipping initiativewhich utilizes coastwise shipping to help eliminate freight congestionon interstate highways that run parallel to US coastlines.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



The MM&P MATES Program graduate reunion will held at MITAGS from September19-21. Current plans include a mixer on Friday complete with food, musicand entertainment. The Saturday night function is shaping up to be a traditionalMaryland Crab Feast, with tasty BBQ items to round out the menu.

More info will be posted on the MM&P website at www.bridgedeck.orgas details are firmed up.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Course Groupings Available at MITAGS

The five-day Military Sealift Command module covers CBRD Orientation, EnvironmentalProtection, Damage Control, and Level 1 Anti-Terrorism Training. Thesecourses are required for civilian mariners working on MSC contracted vesselsand are being offered at MITAGS on August 18-22, October 13-17, and December15-19.

Take Advantage of the following Class Openings

Between now and the end of September, seats are available in the followingcourses:
~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA: 9/15


  • 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 associatedwith 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 toadvise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintaina Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for othermembers.

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

Courses are subject to change. Always check the MITAGS website for updatedcourse availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailedcourse descriptions and register on-lineor contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.orgor by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Summer Class Openings


  • 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&PWheelhouse Weekly



 D O W
 N A S D A Q
+ 16.50 for the week
 + 1.73 for the week
 Vanguard 500 IndexFund (VFINX)  91.31
 Vanguard Extended MarketIndex Fund (VEXMX) 22.91
 Vanguard InternationalGrowth Fund (VWIGX)  13.67
 Vanguard Morgan GrowthFund (VMRGX)  13.12
 Vanguard Windsor IIFund (VWNFX)  23.33
 Vanguard GNMA Fund(VFIIX) 10.41
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund(VWEHX):  6.14
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)  10.21
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX) 13.59
 Fidelity Asset Manager(FASMX) 14.83
 Fidelity Growth andIncome (FGRIX)  32.79
Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)  88.42
 Spartan US Equity IndexFund (FUSEX)   35.03


MM&PWheelhouse Weekly

~Reminders ~




A MM&P Pacific Maritime Region-contracted company with operations inthe San Francisco Bay area is seeking to add up to six tug captains totheir 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’sPortland Branch Agent, by Email to jschaeffner@bridgedeck.orgor 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&PWheelhouse Weekly




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

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

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

For more info or reservations contact the MITAGS reservation departmentat 410-859-5700 extension 0, or Email:

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



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 fora standard room has been reduced to just $69.

Rates are in effect from June 1 to September 30 and do not include aresort 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 early for reservations as rooms are subject to availability and makesure to ask for the Union Leisure Rate.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



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

To take advantage of this offer or for more info contact Station WLOon HF SSB channels 405, 607, 824, 1212, 16401, 1807, or 2237 or on HF radiotelex 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 andprovide the operator with the last 4 digits of their MM&P book numberin order to get the discounted rate.

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Qualified merchant mariners serving on vessels under Department of Defenseoperational control in direct support of US Armed Forces have been determinedby the IRS to be eligible for the benefits of section 7508 of the InternalRevenue 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 MaritimeAdministration and Military Sealift Command owned or controlled vessels.

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

Only mariners serving in the combat zone are covered. At present, thecombat 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 latitudeand 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 actsfor individuals serving in support of the Armed Forces in a designatedcombat zone. Activities specifically mentioned include the filing of taxreturns, the payment of income, estate, or gift taxes (except employmentand withholding taxes), tax claims filings or bringing suits for creditsor refunds, filing any petition with the US Tax Court, making a qualifiedretirement contribution to an IRA, or performing any other act listed inRevenue Procedure 2002-71.

Detailed information can be obtained by consulting Publication 3 ArmedForces’ Tax Guide (2002 Returns). The Guide can be obtained by contactingthe IRS or from the IRS website,

These benefits are afforded to the spouse of a qualified individualwithout any requirement that the individual and spouse file a joint return.Taxpayers within the US may seek assistance by calling the IRS toll-freeat 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 freenumbers).

More detailed info can be found on the MARAD website at:

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Mariners renewing their licenses, Z-cards, other Merchant Marine Documentsor Coast Guard credentials are advised that under the USCG’s national credentialingrequirements, Coast Guard offices and Regional Exam Centers require “DrugFree Certificates” on stationery from a drug testing service agent. Drugtesting service agents are defined in 49 CFR Part 40 (available for downloadat: 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 satisfythe USCG drug test requirement for credential transactions.

MM&P members and applicants are advised that request forms for thispurpose are available at MM&P port offices along with info on drugtesting facilities. This is a nationwide USCG credentialing requirementand this notice is a clarification of info originally provided in the February27, 2003 Wheelhouse Weekly, Volume 7 Number 9.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



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

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

Contact the National Maritime Center for additional info or questions at202-493-6798.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



  • Do you want an easy way togrow your savings?
  • Do you want an easier way tomake deposits to your Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Unionaccount?

Consider establishingpayroll or pension direct deposit.

Many employers allow you to directly deposit your pay into several differentfinancial institutions. Trinity Management, Strong America and Moran Towingof Florida are among the MM&P-contracted companies that already providefor employees to deposit funds directly into the MM&P Federal CreditUnion.

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

Add to your savings by paying yourself first! Contact your payroll officeto establish Credit Union direct deposit or to find out if this is availablefor 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 immediatefamilies.

Want to Know More?

For additional details or to get answers to your questions on all MM&PFederal Credit Union programs, contact Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager,toll-free at 1-800-382-7777 or by Email at

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



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


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


The Plan will pay 90% for all PPO hospitals after satisfying Major Medicaldeductible and $150 per admission inpatient deductible. The Plan will pay70% for all non-PPO hospitals after satisfying the Annual Major Medicaldeductible and $150 per admission deductible.


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


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


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


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

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly




The Board of Trustees, based on recommendations by the Cost ContainmentCommittee, adopted changes to the Health & Benefit Plan. The followingchanges 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 raisedto $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 to70% of UCR.
  • New contract with Delta Dental replaces Aetna/US Healthcare (PrudentialDental) agreement. See below for additional information.

Prescription Drug Program
Mail order drugs will be subject to a 20% co-pay forall 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 differencebetween 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 programmay still be less expensive to you.
A synopsis of these changes and additional changes effective April 1, 2003appears in the November-December 2002 issue of the MM&P’s Master,Mate & Pilot newspaper. The Plan Office has also maileda summary of all changes, with examples, to Health & Benefit Plan participants.


Remember to notify the Plan office whenever you move or have a change ofaddress. There are a number of important mailings scheduled for the nextfew months and we would like to keep all members well informed. You canfax your address changes to the Plan Office at 410-850-8655 or you canemail them to the Plan Office at



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

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

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

Plan participants who choose to go to a contracted provider will pay10 percent of the contracted amount and the Plan will pay 90 percent. Participantswill have access to all Delta providers in the Delta Premier Network optionthat includes over 133,000 dentists nationwide.


~ Where Does My Dentist Submit My Claims?

Effective October 1, 2002, all dental claims with dates of service onor after October 1, 2002, from both in and out-of-network providers, shouldbe 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 PlanOffice on August 11. Your dentist can copy this form and use it to submitall 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. Youcan 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 you have signed on to the website, key on the bar marked “Pennsylvania”.(MM&P Plan members are enrolled in the Delta Premier Option throughDelta Dental of Penn.) Next enter the search criteria to find participatingDelta dentists in your area or enter your own dentist’s name to find outif he/she participates with the Premier network.


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

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

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


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


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

It is important to remember that MM&P claims will be processed byDelta Dental of Pennsylvania. You or your dentist can access your eligibilityby calling either the Plan Office or Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783.
If you or your dentist have any questions, you can contactDelta 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 GroupPlan number for MM&P which is 7117.
Billing for both in and out of network claims should be submitted on standarddental 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, Mates and Pilots members have access to providers in all of theDelta networks.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the officialelectronic 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: further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vesselsat sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our webpage.
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