Wheelhouse Weekly – November 27, 2003

November 27th 2003


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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 48 . . . . November 27, 2003






On Monday morning, November 24, 2003, President Bush signed the defense authorization legislation, which contains the MSP reauthorization legislation, into law.

As reported previously, the measure provides for the reauthorization of the Maritime Security Program, effective upon expiration of the current MSP in 2005.

The new Maritime Security Act of 2003, as agreed to by the conferees will increase the number of participants from 47 ships to 60 ships; provide financial assistance to construct 5 newly built tankers in the US that are capable of carrying military petroleum products during a war; and extend the current program for ten additional years.



Saying, “the best solution to security is an international one,” USCG commandant Adm. Thomas Collins discussed the ongoing effort to refine maritime homeland security strategy last week at a Wash, DC Propeller Club meeting.

“A terrorist incident against one of our maritime transportation system elements would have a serious and long-lasting negative impact” on, among other things, global shipping and international trade, Collins said.

He called the maritime transportation system valuable and vulnerable. Maritime domain awareness is the key, Collins noted, saying that new technologies must be leveraged through maritime domain awareness, and from a risk mitigation perspective, to create a “comprehensive awareness” of anything that happens at sea.

Collins said that identifying and intercepting threats requires the application of maritime power to:

  1. Build and administer an effective domestic and international maritime security regime;
  2. Increase our awareness of all activities and events in the maritime industry;
  3. Increase military and civil operational presence in ports and coastal zones and beyond for a layered security posture; and
  4. Improve the response posture in the event of a security incident. Adm. Collins noted it was a “global marketplace needing a global approach.”



Kings Point alum and MM&P applicant Joey Smith along with Rebecca Stephens, also a US Merchant Marine Academy graduate from the Class of ’99, are competing as the Silver Team and in a nationally televised home improvement competition on the TBS Superstation.

They are one of three teams of amateur home remodelers pitted against each other in the new reality series “House Rules”, presented by Lowe’s. The series, which will result in one team winning the home they’ve renovated, is hosted by Mark Walberg (Temptation Island) and airs each Friday night at 8 Eastern/7 Central.

The three teams chosen for the inaugural edition of the show are

  • the Red Team: Katie & Adam, newlyweds who will spend their honeymoon competing on the show;
  • the Blue Team: Cindy & Bill, who have been married for 11 years; and
  • the Silver Team: Rebecca & Joseph, who have been in a long-distance relationship for nearly a year.

Self-proclaimed perfectionists Rebecca (26) and Joey (28) bring abundant renovation skills to the show. Rebecca, a commercial analyst and MBA candidate, has just completed renovating her home in Houston, while Joey, with his Second Mate’s license, is in the process of rebuilding his seaside home in North Carolina. Their long-distance relationship means that they’ve rarely been together more than two weeks at a time. The pressure of the competition and the presence of cameras could test their relationship in ways they can’t even imagine.

Each week, the teams must compete to win their share of a remodeling allowance to be used to pay for the renovations. Once a week, they will also have an opportunity to spy on each other’s progress as they each host weekly dinner parties for their opponents on a rotating basis.


Your Vote Counts…

TBS Superstation viewers also have a chance to get in on the action. At the end of the 12-week competition which began October 10, it will be up to viewers to select the winning team by voting. The team with the most votes will actually win the deed to their newly remodeled home.

The winning team will be announced live on TBS on Friday, December 19.


For the latest on the show, go to:,,,00.html

To read the interview with Joey and Rebecca, visit:,,11162,00.html



Just in time for the holidays is a special 12/12 promotion for the MM&P Federal Credit Union. The special: $1200 for 12 months at 7.5 percent for loans originated between Dec.1 2003 and Jan.31, 2004.

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. 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 800-382-7777 or by Email at



Give the Gift of Good Jobs: Holiday shoppers have a new way to support good jobs as well as please family and friends, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said today in announcing AFL-CIO support for “Buy Union Week,” Nov.29 – Dec.7.

“Shoppers can take the sweat(shop) out of holiday shopping and can give the gift of good jobs – the gift our country needs most of all,” he said.

Consumers can visit new Internet web sites that specialize in selling union-made clothing and other items, Sweeney said. One site – – serves as a “virtual mall” populated by such union companies as No Sweat Apparel; SweatX; Union Jean and Apparel; Union Threads and Unionwear. Shoppers can also visit the AFL-CIO’s The Union Shop at, and Justice Clothing [].

“You can fill 10 shopping carts with union-made gifts through these companies. You could shop all day at any mall in the US and have problems filling even one cart with US union-made goods. That’s an indication of how bad the economy is for US workers, but here is a chance for us to start turning things around,” Sweeney said.



Dec.15; 1200-1400 at the MITAGS Dining Room. RSVP by Dec.11 to Diane at 410-850-8700, x21.

Dec.12; 1200-1600 at the Knights of Columbus Hall
75 W. School Street; Charlestown, MA.

Dec.14; 1130-1400 at the MM&P Union Hall.
Multi-union party with MM&P, MFOW, SUP & MEBA. Contact: Union Hall for more info. Special Request: Please bring canned food items or a monetary donation for the food bank in Hawaii. Please also bring a toy suitable for a child between the ages of 2 and 10 years.

Dec.17; 1200-1600 at the Union Hall.

Dec.12; 1200-1600 at the Union Hall.

Dec.12; 1200-1600 at Union Hall.

Dec.19; 1100-1400 at the Union Hall.

Dec.10; 1200-1500 at the Hall. RSVP by 12/8.

Dec.17; 1230-1630 at the Union Hall.

Dec.19; 1200-1600 at the Union Hall.

Dec.22; 1230; Location TBA. Contact Hall.

Dec.19; Holiday Luncheon; 1330-1530 at Levi’s Sports Restaurant; 1109 Ponce De Leon Avenue; RSVP: in person, by phone, fax or Email to Frank Reyes at the Hall.

Dec.19; 1230-1600 at the Union Hall.


Other Holiday Happenings

December 17; Holiday Luncheon; 1200-1600 at the Waikiki Yacht Club; RSVP: by December 1 to Council Secretary-Treasurer Neil Dietz, 808-523-8183, or call Carmela Gomez, Council President, at the MM&P Union Hall for more info.

December 26; Labor’s Community Service Program of Hawaii’s Annual Holiday Project: Holiday Party for Stroke Survivors
Call the Honolulu Union Hall for more info.



Seeing the US Army’s new Stryker combat vehicles for the first time can spark some confusion. Are the high-tech vehicles similar to the Army’s lightweight humvees, or are they more like their armored tracked fighting machines?

MM&P licensed deck officers aboard USNS SHUGHART are getting the chance to look over these hybrid vehicles while transporting nearly 300 Strykers to the Persian Gulf. Soldiers from the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division based in Fort Lewis, Wash., headed to Iraq in late Oct. where they will play a peacekeeping role in the country.

The 950-foot large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off (LMSR) SHUGHART can carry 300,000 square feet of combat cargo and equipment. The ship has seven internal decks with connecting ramps that enable vehicles and equipment to be quickly loaded. It is managed and operated for the government by MM&P-contracted Patriot Contract Services.

The SHUGHART’s size, stowing capacity and strengthened decks are ideal for transporting 140,000-pound M1 Abrams tanks, 60,000-pound Bradley fighting vehicles and Strykers. Compared to M1 Abrams tanks, Strykers are lightweights. They weigh between 38,000 to 42,000 pounds depending on the configuration of the highly maneuverable vehicle.

The SHUGHART sailed with extra security personnel aboard. Called Guardian Mariners, 12 armed Puerto Rican National Guard soldiers from the 92nd Separate Infantry Brigade were aboard to provide armed protection for the crew and the critical cargo.

Prior to establishing the Guardian Mariner program in early 2003, the ship’s crew was responsible for ship security supplemented with small detachments of military personnel. Once the ship arrives at her destination, the Guardian Mariners move on to other assignments.



Member unions of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), including the MM&P, elected Edward Wytkind as President and Mike Ingrao as Secretary-Treasurer. They will assume their duties on Dec.1.

The election of Wytkind and Ingrao follows a recent restructuring of the organization under which the President and Secretary-Treasurer become full-time positions. Formerly, leaders of international unions filled these positions.

Wytkind has served as TTD’s Executive Director for almost 13 years and has briefed delegates to the MM&P Convention on major transportation issues on many occasions. The TTD represents 35 member unions in the maritime, aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, and related industries.



The USCG has decided to accept volunteer service on the LANE VICTORY “as creditable towards a mariner’s credential based on the guidelines of policy letter 09-01.” She is the last fully operational Victory ship from World War II.

The ruling means that for every three days volunteered onboard the ship, licensed deck or engine mariners can receive one day’s credit – up to 180 days – towards time required to renew or upgrade credentials.

This volunteer time will now be accepted at any USCG inspections office in the US. The LANE VICTORY is a National Historical Monument and is home to one of the most inclusive and extensive maritime museums afloat. For over ten years, she has made six-day cruises to Catalina each year as well as trips to San Diego, Port Hueneme and San Francisco. For further info, visit the LANE VICTORY website at or call 310-519-9545.



As a holiday reminder, MM&P members are reminded that through a special arrangement with ShipCom, 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, 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.



The buildings remain where they have always stood, but they have now been assigned new addresses. Local authorities have determined that it was necessary to put in place new street numbering for the MM&P’s MITAGS facility and for the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan office. The longstanding address of 5700 Hammonds Ferry Rd., used for both MITAGS and the Plan, has been eliminated.

Effective immediately:

  • The mailing address for MITAGS has been changed to 692 Maritime Blvd.
  • The new mailing address for the Plan Office is now 700 Maritime Blvd. This is the same street address as the Union headquarters since both offices are housed in the same building.
  • The mailing address for the MM&P Federal Credit Union, located in the Plans Building Lobby, is also now 700 Maritime Blvd.

The change brings the MITAGS, Plans and MM&P FCU addresses into conformance with Postal and 911 emergency mapping since all the buildings are located on the same road of the campus.

Plan Administrator Valerie Verrecchio advises Plan participants that “it is important to remember when you send mail to the Plans that you clearly address it to ‘MM&P Plans’. Otherwise, the Post Office may send it through the mail system at the Union and your claims processing could be delayed for a couple of days.”

There is no change to the Union HQ mailing address.



You may have a FCC GMDSS Radio Operator’s License, but how competent are you operating other GMDSS communications systems?

MITAGS’ 70-hour GMDSS course provides you with “hands-on” lab operation of systems including DSC/VHF, DSC/MF/HF, NBDP (Telex), INMARSAT C, and others, to prepare you for the IMO/STCW-95 competency exams at the end of the course. You will depart MITAGS with the confidence that you not only know the theory, but the practical operation of the equipment. MITAGS’ GMDSS Course is USCG approved, satisfies the STCW-95 requirements, and is being offered on December 8, 2003.


Class Openings

Between now and the end of January 2004, seats are available in the following courses:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA — Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 12/1, 1/5


  • BRM — Bridge Resource Management: 1/12
  • BST — Basic Safety Training: 12/8, 1/19


CMM = Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVWX — Advanced Meteorology: 1/26
  • CMM-ECDIS — Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 1/12
  • CMM-MPP — Marine Propulsion Plants: 12/1, 1/19
  • CMM-SHMGT-I — Ship Management-Week I: 12/8
  • CMM-SHMGT-II — Ship Management-Week II: 12/15
  • CMM-SHS-ADV II — Shiphandling Advanced-Week II: 12/8
  • CMM-VPEN — Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 1/5


  • COMP-ABSS — American Bureau of Ship Management Software: 12/1
  • CONT-PLNG — Contingency Planning Workshop: 12/4, 12/11, 1/15


  • FF-ADV — Advanced Firefighting: 1/26


  • GMDSS — Global Marine Distress & Safety Systems: 12/8


  • LAP — License Advancement Program: 1/12
    (must be pre-approved to upgrade by USCG)


  • MED-DOT-DA — Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/6, 1/10
  • MEDIA-RSP — Media Response: 12/5, 12/12, 1/16
  • MED-PIC — Medical Person In Charge: 12/1, 1/5
  • MED-PRO — Medical Care Provider: 12/1, 1/5


MSC = Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 — Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 12/19, 1/26
  • MSC-DC — Damage Control: 12/9, 1/22, 1/27
  • MSC-SMA-Requalification: 1/27, 1/29
    (must have passed all 3 weapons within the previous 2 years)


  • ROR-1 — Radar Observer Renewal: 12/1, 1/5, 1/26


  • SEC-OFF PCS — Security Officer-Port, Company, Ship: 12/1, 12/8, 1/12
  • SHS-BAS — Basic Shiphandling: 1/5


  • T-PIC — Tankship/Barge Dangerous Liquids Person In Charge: 12/1

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions.


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 or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.



Course Schedule

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 12/1-5: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 12/1-5: Basic Meteorology
  • 12/1-5: Advanced Stability
  • 12/8-12: Basic Safety Training
  • 12/8-19: Ship Management and Business Law
  • 12/8-12: ARPA
  • 12/8: Radar Recertification
  • 12/8-12: Medical Care Provider
  • 12/8-19: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 12/8-10: Ship Security Officer


  • 1/5-16: Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
  • 1/5-16: Advanced Cargo Operations
  • 1/5-16: GMDSS
  • 1/5-9: Tankerman-Person-In-Charge
  • 1/12-16: ECDIS
  • 1/12-16: Basic Safety Training
  • 1/19-23: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 1/19/23: Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation
  • 1/19-23: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 1/19-30: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 1/19-21: Ship Security Officer
  • 1/26-28: Compasses


  • 2/2-6/04: ARPA
  • 2/2-6: Advanced Stability
  • 2/2: Radar recertification
  • 2/2-13: GMDSS
  • 2/9-13: Electronic Navigation
  • 2/9-17: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 2/9-13: Basic Safety Training
  • 2/9-13: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 2/16-20: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 2/16-27: Celestial Navigation
  • 2/16-20: Advanced Watchkeeping
  • 2/16-20: ARPA
  • 2/23-25: Ship Security
  • 2/23-3/5: Ship Management

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registration.



 D O W

 N A S D A Q


+ 135.50 for the week


 + 68.10 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)


 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)


 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)


 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)


 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)


 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)


 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):


 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)


 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)


 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)


 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)


Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)


 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)


~ Reminders ~



All Licensed Deck Officers who possess STCW-95 certificates containing Basic Safety Training (BST) completion dates close to or more than five years old need to carry copies of their USCG discharges with them so they can prove that they have the required sea service necessary to extend their BST qualification. For questions or further info, contact Mike Rodriguez at 410-850-8700 ext.23 or Email:



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 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



In an increasing tight job market, many former private sector employees are considering a civil service mariner position with Military Sealift Command, a global Navy command that operates more than 100 civilian-crewed, non-combatant ships in support of the Department of Defense.

Civilian mariners who are licensed deck officers are MM&P bargaining unit members. MSC offers its civil service mariners many benefits including competitive pay, health insurance, lodging, meals and training.

It is a branch of the Navy, but its mariners are not military personnel. MSC is the largest single employer of US merchant mariners. MSC’s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force ships provide underway replenishment of supplies, towing and salvage operations for the Navy’s combatant fleet.

Two NFAF ships also serve as afloat medical facilities normally kept in reduced operating status. MSC ships also conduct oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, underwater surveillance, missile flight data collection, submarine support and other specialized services through its Special Mission Program ships.

The command’s sealift ships provide ocean transportation of cargo for the Department of Defense. Through the Prepositioning Program, MSC maintains ships laden with combat equipment and supplies in strategic ocean areas around the world for US forces. These ships are ready to sail quickly to potential contingency sites.

The NFAF ships and two special mission ships are crewed by federal civil service mariners hired by MSC. Sealift ships, prepositioning ships and the remaining special mission ships are crewed by commercial mariners working for operating companies under contract to MSC.

Based on the fiscal year 2004 Congressional budget, MSC is expecting a 33 percent increase in the civil service mariner workforce from 4,044 in 2003 to 5,385 in 2008. About 1,340 civil service mariners will be needed to crew the additional eight ships that will join the MSC fleet in the next five years. For more on employment info with the MSC, visit or call 877-JOBS-MSC.



MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine announced that MITAGS and PMI have implemented an innovative program, with reduced tuition and hotel costs, to assist professional mariners seeking license advancement to Chief Mate/Master (CMM).

The Institutes now offer one of the fastest, most versatile, and cost-effective routes for mariners to obtain their CMM licenses. The MITAGS/PMI program, which covers all USCG requirements, is only 12 weeks in duration.

Forty-one of the 53 required assessments may be completed during these courses. To flexibly meet their schedule, students can take the required courses at the PMI campus in Seattle, Washington and/or at the MITAGS campus in Baltimore, Maryland.

The MITAGS/PMI program can be completed in 60 days for under $14,000. Other programs take up to 71 days and charge $19,000 to complete the CMM requirements. Students taking ALL of the CMM courses at MITAGS and/or PMI will receive a 15 percent tuition discount from the normal pricing, which brings the total CMM tuition down to $13,303.

In addition to this cost reduction, those students taking ALL of the CMM courses at MITAGS/PMI will receive a substantial reduction in the room and board rates. If needed, MITAGS and PMI will also provide a convenient and flexible payment plan.

For more info regarding the CMM License Advancement, or any other course programs offered by MITAGS or PMI, please contact Capt. Craig Thomas (MITAGS) toll free at 866-656-5569 or via Email at You may also contact Gregg Trunnell at PMI in Seattle at 206-239-9965 or via Email at



The Robert J. Pfeiffer Memorial Fund has been established at California Maritime Academy Foundation with the input and guidance from Brad Mulholland, Jeff Hull, and Capt. Lynn Korwatch.

It is anticipated that many seagoing personnel as well as Matson employees will wish to donate to this fund in honor of Mr. Pfeiffer. Donations may be sent to:

California Maritime Foundation Attn: Robert Pfeiffer Memorial Fund 200 Maritime Academy Dr. Vallejo, CA 94590

or contact Mr. Chris Walker at 707-654-1245 or Email at

All donations are tax deductible and all contributors will receive a letter of thanks acknowledging their donation. Names and donation amounts will also be passed on to the Pfeiffer family.



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.



The National WWII Memorial has a site on its webpage for individuals who served in any capacity during WWII to register to be included in the Memorial’s Registry. The main site is

If the individual clicks on WWII Registry, he/she can find out if he/she is already included as a result of one of the WWII databases and, if not, can follow the directions to register. Any American who contributed to the war effort is eligible for the Registry.



  • 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




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



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.


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.



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.



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.



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



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.




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.


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




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.



~ 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 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.



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.



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.



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 Masters, Mates and Pilots members have access to providers in all of the Delta networks.

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: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at 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.

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