News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 19, 2003

June 19th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 25. . . . . June 19, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

CONGRESSMAN PRAISES EFFORTS OF US MERCHANT MARINERS

Earlier this month, Congressman Jim Saxton (R-NJ) praised the efforts US merchant mariners before the House of Representatives. Some of his remarks are excerpted below.

“I again want to extend our collective and sincere thanks to all our members who serve, and I also want to recognize a particular group of truly unsung yet most deserving heroes — our US Merchant Mariners.

“Once again, our country has turned to its mariners to take the fight to the enemy, to project our force half a world away, to secure the precious freedom that now spreads to an Iraqi people free to choose their own destiny, to raise their families as they choose, and to renew the glories of one of the world’s greatest civilizations.

“Our liberating force was decisive and it moved on the brawn, ingenuity, and dedication of our merchant marine. Not in 12 years have we moved such a force by sea, and we have done it better, against greater challenge than ever before.

“We recently saw a line of ships spread from our east coast through the Straits of Gibraltar, through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, and into the Gulf of Oman . . . a ‘steel bridge’ of resolve.

“A bridge as strong as those mariners who crew our enormous ships and who go on in harms way to deliver our force any place, anytime they are called. Truly, our country’s merchant mariners have answered the call selflessly and brilliantly.

“At this crucial time in history, our US mariners stepped forward with skill, bravery, and an unrivaled legacy of service. They made all the difference… long after the fighting stops, our mariners will still be on the watch, returning the troops, sustaining the force, and providing for the needy …

“Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our Congress and a grateful Nation, it is my humble honor to say thank you to all our US Merchant Mariners. We wish them God Speed and a safe return. They are a national treasure, long may they serve.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MM&P STRONGLY SUPPORTS FUNDING FOR FERRY OPERATIONS

In a letter sent to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) last week, the MM&P was joined by several other maritime unions in voicing strong support for her efforts to include adequate funds for ferry boat operations in the upcoming Safe Accountable Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act Of 2003 (SAFETEA).

Sen. Murray is the ranking minority member of the Transportation, Treasury and General Government Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee that has jurisdiction over this funding initiative.

The Ferry Boat Discretionary Fund has been a component of Transportation Equity Act legislation since 1992. However the authorized funding level, $38 million per year, is woefully inadequate to pay for existing, much less growing, demand for ferry services. Maritime labor, along with the ferry systems are pushing for the ferry boat discretionary fund to be increased to $150 million per year in the upcoming SAFETEA bill. It is estimated that the 4 largest ferry systems alone require nearly $3 billion in infrastructure investment over the life of the new SAFETEA, to meet expected demand.

The letter states, “Alaska Marine Highway (AMH), Washington State Ferries (WSF), and the Water Transit Authority of San Francisco Bay are engaged in vigorous efforts to expand ferry service to meet expected demand. The maritime workers we represent provide the skills to operate these vessels and the ferry terminals. We appreciate your support for system funding and look forward to working with you to ensure that the ferry infrastructure receives its fair share in the upcoming SAFETEA.”

Ferry boats provide an increasingly critical alternative to congested highway, bridge, and transit systems. As this congestion continues to increase, ferry transit provides a highly cost effective supplemental transportation option. In other parts of the country, ferries are essential because there may not be surface transportation options available.

MM&P Pacific Maritime Group members crew AMH and WSF vessels. The Water Transit Authority is a government body seeking to increase the level of ferry operations in and around the San Francisco Bay area. Besides the MM&P, the letter was signed by the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

SCHUBERT TO ADDRESS WASHINGTON PROPELLER CLUB LUNCHEON

Maritime Administrator Capt. William Schubert will be the keynote speaker at the Washington, DC Propeller Club luncheon on June 26. He is expected to provide an update on how the US-flag maritime community is supporting the rebuilding of Iraq.

To date, more than 5,000 US merchant mariners have supported the war effort, including 80 Midshipmen from the US Merchant Marine Academy serving aboard US-flag ships, and more than 1,200 merchant mariners crewed Ready Reserve Force vessels.

81 percent of the cargo, approx. 16.4 million square feet, moved to support the war effort was carried aboard US-flag vessels, including up to 22 percent aboard the RRF ships. MARAD projects dry cargo movements will increase to 85 percent by July to support future mission requirements.

US-flag commercial ships carried more than 26,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers to allied forces. If you staged all the transported equipment and cargo together on land, it would cover almost 300 acres or 220 football fields of space.

MARAD has provided War Risk Insurance on 97 vessels. An average vessel moved the equivalent of some 300 C-17 cargo aircraft, which freed up aircraft for other critical missions.

The DC luncheon will take place at the Phoenix Park Hotel. For more info Email Nancy Peele at: npeele@joneswalker.com or Fax her at: 202-203-0000.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

AHL’S CAPT. DOWNING PASSES AWAY AFTER IMPRESSIVE CAREER

Capt. Henry (Boe) Downing, who was the founder of American Heavy Lift Shipping passed away on May 24. AHL was formerly owned by MM&P Plans and became the first-ever shipping company with ESOP ownership. AHL ships are crewed top-to-bottom under MM&P contract. Under Capt. Downing’s leadership, AHL became the first US Jones Act qualified tanker company to construct OPA­90 compliant product tankers. Today, AHL has a major share of the US Product Tanker Market and employs 350 first-rate mariners.

Capt. Downing began his maritime career in 1939 as he started sailing for Texaco as a utility. During World War II Capt. Downing served his country plying the waters of the Atlantic in the US Merchant Marine.

Subsequently, after the war and by mid-year 1946 he was sailing for Gulf Oil as Third Mate and advanced to Master. In 1952 Boe came ashore for Gulf as Port Captain. There he served Gulf for 10 years overseeing Gulf’s domestic fleet. 1962 saw Boe being transferred to Naples Italy as managing director of AFRAN Transport (Gulf Oil’s international fleet office).

Highlights there are near storied as that group developed the concept of VLCC’s and working with the Ludwick group the world and our industry saw the beginnings of the super tankers.

Capt. Downing’s next career highlight was as Project Manager for the Construction of Bantry Bay, Ireland’s VLCC port, the first ever VLCC terminal facility. He retired in 1978 after 34 years of service as Gulf’s General Manager of Marine Operations.

That same year, MTL recruited Downing to take over the position of Executive Vice President. He served MTL until again retiring in the Spring of 1984.

In December 1984, Boe began the process of creating American Heavy Lift Shipping (AHL) from the remnants of the Gulf Oil Domestic Fleet. So at the age of 61 he began yet another career.

Under Captain Downing’s guidance, in the midst of the deepest tanker market downturn in history, Boe helped push this small tanker venture to the success it enjoys today.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

WASHINGTON STREET MARINE OFFICERS’ CORP. TO DISBURSE ASSETS

The board of directors of the Washington Street Marine Officers’ Corp. (WASMOC) report that they have successfully applied to the New York State Supreme Court to take control of WASMOC funds. WASMOC is the trust that holds the assets of MM&P’s former Local 88 in New York City. WASMOC’s present board of directors are Henri Nereaux, John Seybert, Robert Darley, Charles Moy and Demos Kukeas.

In their report, the WASMOC board states that:
“Notice is hereby given to all surviving WASMOC member shareholders that, upon the completion and filing of necessary tax forms dating back to 1995, and after the disbursement of Accounting and Legal Fees, etc., with the permission of the Court, the remainder of the funds will be equally divided and distributed to the surviving member shareholders, hopefully before the end of the year.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

HORIZON’S RAYMOND NAMED 2003 AOTOS AWARD WINNER

The 2003 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award will be presented to Charles Raymond, chairman, president and chief executive of MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines, the United Seamen’s Service announced Tuesday.

In addition, a special AOTOS will be presented to the US Military Traffic Management Command for its role in supporting US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The AOTOS awards will be presented at an industry dinner on Nov.7 in New York City that benefits the United Seamen’s Service, a non-profit organization that provides community services for the US Merchant marine, the American Armed Forces and seafarers of the world.

Raymond and the MTMC were selected from nominees solicited from more than 200 maritime management, labor and government officials. Raymond began his 35-year career as a midshipman at the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Points, NY.

Upon graduation, he served as a deck officer for Sea-Land Service, then held numerous management positions, including vice president and general manager of the Americas division; senior vice president for operations and inland transportation; and senior vice president and chief transportation officer.

He was an executive of CSX Corp. from the time of its acquisition of Sea-Land in 1988 until 1999, when he was named president and CEO of CSX Lines, the US domestic portion of Sea-Land. When the carrier became part of the Carlyle Group, its name was changed to Horizon Lines, with Raymond as CEO.

The MTMC, established in 1965, moved 18,000 ammunition shipments, 6,200 railcars and tens of thousands of truck movements on more than 150 cargo ships during the recent Middle East conflict.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MATES REUNION BEING PLANNED FOR SEPTEMBER

The MM&P is in the process of preparing a schedule of activities for the upcoming MATES PROGRAM graduate reunion to be held at MITAGS from September 19-21. The names of those individuals who have responded positively are now posted on the Union’s website at www.bridgedeck.org. Click on the “Original MATES Program Reunion” button on the left side of your screen. Additional info and updates will be posted as they become known.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

PMI OFFERS OPERATIONAL USE OF MAXIMO FOR HORIZON OFFICERS

The Pacific Maritime Institute (MITAGS West) will be offering a two-day program in the Operational Use of Maximo presented by Bruce Sherman on August 11 & 12, 2003.

The Maximo Training course will be a two-day intro to the Maximo program as used by the former CSX, now Horizon Lines. This course will be appropriate for any Master, Mate or Engineer who sails on Horizon Vessels. It will be particularly relevant for those sailing as permanent Master, Chief Mate, Chief Engineer and First Engineer.

MEBA members who wish to attend must fill out the Calhoon School Application and send it to the Calhoon School. Applications are available at the MEBA Union hall or at the www.mebaschool.com web site.

If you have found yourself in a position of using AmosD on a Horizon vessel, you will now be using Maximo and could benefit from this course.

The Maximo training course will consist of a general introduction to Maximo followed by a specific description of how Horizon uses the program. Each area of use will be covered such as, Consumables and Spares ordering, Work Order Generation (used by the Deck Department to request Deck repairs), Maintenance tracking, Preventive Maintenance, and Spares tracking.

There will be time for each student to practice on a computer using the areas of the program most likely to be relevant to you. Sample exercises will be provided that will be appropriate for your area on interest.

If you have already seen the program or had some contact with it on board a vessel, this course will help you gain a better understanding for the overall program as well as give you valuable practice time on a test database resembling the one used by Horizon.

Please contact Ms. DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) to schedule. PMI will require a six-student minimum to run this course, so please schedule as far in advance as possible. Horizon Lines will be covering transportation to and from Seattle for all eligible MM&P and MEBA Members. Please contact us if you have questions regarding eligibility.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Class Openings

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

  • 6/27: CBRD-1

 

  • 7/14-18: CMM-SHS-ADV II
  • 7/21-25: BST Week, CMM-VPEN, MED-PRO
  • 7/21-23: SEC-ShpOff
  • 7/24: CONT PLNG
  • 7/25: MEDIA RSP
  • 7/26: MED-DOT-DA, LIC-EXAM-PREP
  • 7/21-8/1: MED-PIC
  • 7/28-8/1: FF-ADV, SHS-BAS, CMM-ECDIS

 

  • 8/1: FL
  • 8/4-15: GMDSS
  • 8/4-8: BRM, ARPA, CSE-AAES, CMM-SHMGT I
  • 8/4: ROR-1, ISM/REG-UPDT
  • 8/5: CONTG PLNG
  • 8/6: MEDIA RSP
  • 8/7: SEC-MAR
  • 8/8: ASSESSOR TRG
  • 8/11-22: MED-PIC
  • 8/11-15: MED-PRO, CMM-SHS-ADV II, MSC-COMMS, CMM-SHMGT II
  • 8/16: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/18-22: SHS-EMR5,CMM-ADVSTB
  • 8/18-20: SEC-ShpOff
  • 8/18: CBRD-1
  • 8/19: MSC-ENVPRO
  • 8/20: MSC-ATER
  • 8/21-22: MSC-DC
  • 8/25-29: HAZ, ROP, COMP-NET, CMM-CHS I
  • 8/25-28: SMA
  • 8/30: MED-DOT-DA

 

  • 9/1-26: MED-SMC
  • 9/1-5: CMM-CHS II
  • 9/8-12: COMP-ABSS, CMM-WKP
  • 9/8-10: SEC-ShpOff
  • 9/11: CONT PLNG
  • 9/12: MEDIA RSP
  • 9/15: ROR-1
  • 9/15-19: ARPA, SHS-BAS, CMM-MPP, BST Week
  • 9/18-19: MSC-DC
  • 9/20: MED-DOT-DA
  • 9/22-26: FF-ADV, FRB, COMP-APS, T-PIC
  • 9/22-24: GMDSS-ROC
  • 9/22-25: SMA
  • 9/26: CBRD-1, ROR-1

Check the MITAGS website for descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations.

 

Small Arms Training Off-Site

The temporary option to take a 3-day small arms course off-site at San Diego or Virginia Beach will end as of July 31.

In order to be eligible for off-site training, members in good standing of the Offshore Membership Group must have 360 days of covered employment with a company or companies contributing to the MATES program. Qualified members will still be able to arrange a 1-day renewal at Virginia Beach after July 31.

In addition to MITAGS eligibility requirements, MSC requires that all 1-day renewal applicants have qualified on all three weapons within the last two years.

Remember that to be eligible for reimbursement through the MATES program, all off-site training must be arranged through MITAGS.

For further information, contact either Mike Wein 443-989-3238 or Debbie Walton 443-989-3224.

 

Confined Space Training

Check with admissions on our new Confined Space courses. A 1-day awareness course and a more extensive 5-day program have been developed.

In the 5-day version, attendees gain invaluable knowledge in “competent person” regs and standards as well as hands-on training with test equipment and practical exercises. It’s highly recommended that all licensed deck officers take the 5-day course at least once. The shorter awareness course is an excellent refresher. The 5-day course (CSE-AAES) is scheduled for week of August 4.

 

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


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-18 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,293.90

+110.60 for the week

 1,677.14

 +31.12 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 93.57

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

22.36

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 13.80

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 13.24

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 24.39

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.71

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.28

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.58

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

14.04

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

15.24

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 35.78

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 90.48

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.78

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



~ Reminders ~


 

 

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


 

 


 

MM&P HQ MEMO TO ALL OFFSHORE MEMBERS AND APPLICANTS

Effective for employment commencing on or after April 10, 2003 and until further notice, any Member or Applicant who is known to have shipped as a Licensed Deck Officer aboard a vessel under contract with another labor organization shall lose his/her shipping card and be required to re-register prior to seeking employment with MM&P.

Members and Applicants are advised that such action jeopardizes their standing in Masters, Mates & Pilots. Members and Applicants are urged to contact MM&P if they are solicited for offshore employment by other labor organizations. Any Licensed Deck Officer employment with other labor organizations must be dispatched through Masters, Mates & Pilots.

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.

For MM&P members at sea who might have difficulty accessing the MARAD website, the MM&P Communications Department will Email this info to you upon request. Email requests to: communications@bridgedeck.org.

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


 

GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD CLARIFIES OFFSHORE QUOTA SYSTEM

During MM&P General Executive Board meetings held at MM&P HQ on January 15-16, 2003, the quota system established for admittance to the Offshore Membership Group was clarified to make it clear that this quota system does not apply to MM&P Offshore Unlicensed members.

On October 3-4, 2002, the GEB established quotas effective October 4, 2002, stating that “No member of any membership group, including the Offshore Unlicensed Membership Group, may transfer into the Offshore Licensed Membership Group without having been a member of the organization for at least as long as the length of time that the lowest applicant admitted into membership has in the organization.” The wording of this statement was subsequently determined to be incorrect.

On January 16, 2003, the GEB corrected the quota guidelines to read:

“No member of any MM&P membership group, except for members of the MM&P Offshore Unlicensed Membership Group, may transfer into the Offshore Licensed Membership Group without having been a member of the organization for at least as long as the length of time that the lowest applicant admitted into membership has in the organization.”

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


 

MM&P HEALTH PLAN PARTICIPANTS: Delta Dental Payment Errors

Effective January 1, 2003, the reimbursement under the dental portion of the Plan was changed from 90 percent in-network to 80 percent in-network and from 80 percent out-of-network to 70 percent out-of-network.

DUE TO AN ERROR at Delta Dental, the claims for MM&P members for services rendered after 1/1/2003, in some cases, have been paid at the old reimbursement rate. The error has been corrected, however, and Delta will be asking for refunds from providers for the 10 percent overpayments. That means that members who were affected by this error will most likely receive a bill from dentists for the additional 10 percent.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM THE MM&P PLANS OFFICE

 

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


 

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, Moran Towing of Florida, and McAllister Brothers 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. For additional details or to get answers to your questions on this or other 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.

 

 

NEW, USED OR REFI: LOW VEHICLE LOAN RATES AT MM&P FCU

Members are reminded that the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is offering vehicle loans as low as 5.25 percent. Rates range from 5.25 to 6.99 percent for terms of 24 to 60 months. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a new, used or a refinanced vehicle.

These rates are also in effect for new or used recreational vehicles, motorcycles or boats. Limited funds available at this rate, certain terms and conditions apply.

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.

Rates and terms of offer are subject to change. Call Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll free 1-800-382-7777 or Email mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org for all the details.

 

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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