News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 16, 2003

October 16th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 42 . . . . October 16, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL LDOs ON STCW-95 CERTIFICATION

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 MM&P’s Executive Assistant to the President Mike Rodriguez at 410-850-8700 ext.23 or Email: mrodriguez@bridgedeck.org.



 

Updated Info: IMPORTANT TAX NOTE FROM THE UNION AND THE PLANS

Since it is approaching the end of the year and a number of members have already paid their social security maximum for the year, we would ask that when you file for vacation, along with your discharge of service papers, please bring your final pay stub from the vessel with you if it shows the YEAR-TO-DATE Social Security Tax withheld.

If the final pay stub DOES NOT provide year-to-date information, please bring with you ALL pay stubs for the calendar year for that particular company.

It is highly likely that your social security obligations for the year have been met and your pay stub will provide documentation to the Port Office and the Plan that you won’t require additional deductions from your check. This will benefit you because you will have use of the money instead of Uncle Sam and the Plan will benefit because they won’t be paying unnecessary payroll taxes.



 

INAUGURAL VOYAGE FOR MATSON’S NEW MV MANUKAI TO HONOLULU

MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company’s new 712-foot containership MV MANUKAI arrived October 5 in Honolulu on its inaugural voyage. The vessel is the first new containership built for Hawaii trade in the 21st century and is the first newbuild to enter the Matson fleet since the MV R.J. PFEIFFER in 1992.

MM&P member Capt. Katherine Sweeney is the master of the MANUKAI. Other MM&P members who made the voyage possible include C/M John Bloomingdale, C/M Jeff Idema, 2/M Anders Brinch, Jr., 3/M Jeffery Reed and 3/M Chris Groark.

The ship has the capacity to carry 2,600 TEUs and will be deployed in Matson’s Hawaii service between Long Beach and Honolulu. It is the first of two new Matson containerships being built at Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (KPSI) at a cost of $110 million each.

The second vessel, MV MAUNAWILI, is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2004. Both vessels have been designed to meet Hawaii’s current and future market requirements. Foremost among those requirements is the additional capacity for large container sizes, including 40, 45 and 53-foot boxes.

The vessels are also equipped with enough generator capacity to support the refrigerated container requirements of the Hawaii trade. Other features include a more fuel-efficient diesel engine, modern shipboard technology and a number of “green” environmentally friendly design elements.

“This new ship will help ensure that Matson continues to provide Hawaii with efficient, dependable ocean transportation services of superior quality and value,” said Jim Andrasick, Matson president and CEO.

“This significant investment also underscores our long-term commitment to remaining the state’s leading ocean carrier. Most importantly, it has been designed and built specifically for our Hawaii service customers and will meet the current demands of our market.”

The ship was christened in July at KPSI by Margaret Inouye, wife of Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii. Margaret Inouye’s participation in the ceremony had a special significance in that she christened Matson’s SS HAWAIIAN ENTERPRISE in 1969, which was later renamed MANUKAI. At the time, the ship was the largest and most powerful containership under the US-flag, While in service, she completed over 700 voyages and carried over a million containers of cargo, a record for the Hawaii trade.

 



 

MEMORIAL SERVICES SET TO HONOR CAPT. ROBERT J. “BOBBY” PFEIFFER

Memorial services for Bobby Pfeiffer, Chairman Emeritus of Alexander & Baldwin, and MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company who passed away at his home in Orinda, CA on September 26, were held in San Francisco on Thursday, October 16.

In Honolulu, services will be on Wednesday, October 22 at 4 PM at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, on the corner of Beretania Street and Alakea/Queen Emma Streets , with a reception to follow at the Hawaii Maritime Center, located at Pier 7.


Capt. Pfeiffer was one of Hawaii’s most renowned sailors and captains of industry. During his 12 and-a-half years at the helm of Alexander & Baldwin, Capt. Pfeiffer became practically synonymous with business leadership in Hawaii. He charted a course of modernization and diversification, and led A&B through one of its strongest periods of growth and prosperity. At the same time he earned a reputation for leadership — personal as well as corporate — in support of charitable and other community causes.

Pfeiffer’s maritime and business career spanned 58 years, nearly 38 of them with A&B and Matson. He served as A&B’s chief executive longer than all but two of his predecessors, and he piloted Matson for 19 years, longer than any other of the company’s chief executives since founder, Capt. William Matson.

For his significant contributions to the mid- and late-20th-century modernization of American shipping, Pfeiffer was recognized with the transportation and maritime industries’ highest honors.

During his nearly two decades at the helm, Pfeiffer led Matson’s transformation into one of the world’s most efficient ocean transportation companies, shaping and directing a $400 million capital investment program that modernized both the company’s fleet and its terminals in Hawaii and on the West Coast.

More on Capt. Pfeiffer’s career lifetime achievements and his numerous professional and community service awards is available at www.alexanderbaldwin.com.



 

JOB OPENINGS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

A MM&P Pacific Maritime Region-contracted company with operations in the San Francisco Bay area is seeking to add up to six tug captains to their employee roster. The jobs are located in the Bay area.

  • Tractor Tug and Conventional Tug experience is highly desired.
  • MM&P members from any Membership Group are encouraged to apply.
  • Living within commuting distance is a necessity.
  • Relocation assistance may be available.

For additional info or to indicate interest, contact John Schaeffner, PMR’s Portland Branch Agent, by Email to jschaeffner@bridgedeck.org or by phone to 503-283-0518.

Resumes may be sent to him by Email, faxed to 503-283-0518, or delivered to the PMR Portland Hall:

John Schaeffner, Branch Agent Pacific Maritime Region – IOMM&P 2225 N. Lombard St. #206 Portland, OR 97217



 

MARAD RELEASES STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FISCAL YEARS ’03-’08

The Maritime Administration strategic objectives during the next five years, as outlined in its just-released strategic plan for fiscal years 2003-2008, include:

Commercial Mobility

Promote and facilitate a US maritime transportation system that improves the safe and efficient movement of goods and people. This objective primarily addresses congestion reduction. Currently, the nation’s inland waterway, marine and landside infrastructure is operating at or near capacity due to global industry changes.

National Security

Assure that sufficient sealift capability and intermodal transportation infrastructure exist to support vital homeland and national security interests. More initiatives are required to make US ports and the container shipping system more secure.

Environment

Promote maritime and intermodal transportation solutions that enhance environmental stewardship including: ship disposal, marine air emissions and energy use, and ballast water management. The risk of environmental contamination posed by MARAD-owned transportation assets, particularly the obsolete vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, must be lessened.



 

COURT ALLOWS FOUR “GHOST FLEET” VESSELS TO BE TOWED TO UK

A federal judge has cleared the way for four ships in the James River “ghost fleet” to be towed to England for scrapping. Two of the ships have already left Hampton Roads for the long tow to England. Their route will take them past the English south coast through the Dover straits and into the North Sea.

The ships have been called an environmental hazard by Friends of the Earth and other campaigners, who believe there is a risk ships could break up on the Atlantic voyage. Able UK has signed a multi-million dollar deal with the US Maritime Administration to scrap the vessels, creating 200 British jobs.

District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer has issued a temporary restraining order barring the export of any additional ships overseas until the government can show it has complied with all environmental regulations.

The ruling comes as a partial setback to the US Maritime Administration, which signed a contract to send 13 of the environmentally hazardous reserve ships to a British scrapper. Environmental groups had filed suit to block the ships, citing safety concerns in towing decrepit vessels laden with toxic PCBs across the Atlantic Ocean.

MARAD released this statement concerning Judge Collyer’s ruling on the temporary restraining order: “The Maritime Administration welcomes the opportunity to demonstrate with a four ship pilot program as authorized by Congress, that our plans to export 13 ships from the James River Reserve Fleet to the Able UK facility in Teesside, England is environmentally responsible and fiscally sound.”

The first two ships being towed to the UK are the CANISTEO and the CALOOSAHATCHEE. Built in the 1940s, they will travel across the Atlantic containing 68 tons of chemicals including PCBs, asbestos and heavy diesel.



 

MM&P EXHIBITS MEMBERS CAPABILITIES AT KC NDTA MEETING

MM&P Director of Special Projects Richard Plant and Special Representative Joseph Stone attended the National Defense Transportation Association annual conference recently held in Kansas City, MO.

While there, they manned the MM&P exhibit booth informing high-ranking military (TRANSCOM, MSC, NAVY) and senior government officials of the many capabilities of MM&P mariners.



 

MM&P REPRESENTED AT MERPAC MEETING IN HOUSTON

Special Representative Capt. Joe Stone represented the MM&P at the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee meeting held in Houston, TX. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and give guidance on proposed changes to STCW-95, BST and Licensing changes being proposed by the USCG and National Maritime Center.

Capt. Stone is the MM&P representative on the USCG IMO Delegation. He reports that it is expected that in the future, the USCG will propose to generate computer-based testing for merchant mariner license exams. This idea is just in its infancy and will be discussed in more detail with the industry before a final solution is developed.



 

UPDATE ON MARAD’S SHORT SEA SHIPPING INTIATIVES

Last week at two-day Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) held at the SIU School at Piney Point, MD, Raymond Barberesi of the Maritime Administration gave a detailed explanation on current and future efforts involving the Short Sea Shipping (SSS) initiatives.

He noted that, “It was not until Transportation Secretary Mineta came aboard” that SSS became a focal point.” The initiative is designed to increase of water transportation while easing truck highway congestion.

MARAD says the plan will result in lower surface transportation improvements and maintenance costs, reduce the amount of hazardous materials moving on the nation’s surface system and improve the overall security and safety of the nation’s transportation system.

Of primary importance in assuring that the initiative will be successful is formation and workability of the SSS Cooperative Program, Barberesi explained. The first meeting of the program will be held October 15 at Department of Transportation HQ.



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Courses in high demand fill early, so plan ahead. Remember that the Admissions office maintains a standby list of candidates for full courses. Cancellations do happen. Openings are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Submit a complete application so all will be in order should an opening occur.

Class Openings

Between now and the end of 2003, seats are available in the following courses:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA — Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 12/1

~~~

  • BRM — Bridge Resource Management: 11/3
  • BST — Basic Safety Training: 11/3, 12/8

~~~

CMM = Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB — Advanced Stability: 10/27
  • CMM-CHS-I — Cargo Handling & Stowage-Week I: 11/3
  • CMM-CHS-II — Cargo Handling & Stowage-Week II: 11/10
  • CMM-MPP — Marine Propulsion Plants: 12/1
  • CMM-SHMGT-I — Ship Management-Week I: 12/8
  • CMM-SHMGT-II — Ship Management-Week II: 12/15
  • CMM-SHS-ADV I — Shiphandling Advanced-Week I: 12/1
  • CMM-SHS-ADV II — Shiphandling Advanced-Week II: 12/8
  • CMM-WKP — Watchkeeping Procedures: 11/17

~~~

  • COMP-ABSS — American Bureau of Ship Management Software: 12/1
  • CONT-PLNG — Contingency Planning Workshop: 10/24, 11/13, 12/4, 12/11
  • CSE-AAES — Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 11/3

~~~

  • FF-ADV — Firefighting Advanced: 11/10

~~~

  • GMDSS — Global Marine Distress & Safety Systems: 10/27, 12/8

~~~

  • HAZ — Hazardous Materials: 11/17

~~~

  • MED-DOT-DA — Dept.of Trans Drug/Alco Testing: 11/15, 12/6
  • MEDIA-RSP — Media Response: 10/23, 11/14, 11/21, 12/5, 12/12
  • MED-PIC — Medical Person In Charge: 12/1
  • MED-PRO — Medical Care Provider: 12/1
  • MED-SMC — Shipboard Medical Care: 10/27

~~~

MSC = Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 — Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 12/19
  • MSC-COMMS — Strategic Sealift Communications: 12/8
  • MSC-DC — Damage Control: 11/13, 12/9

~~~

  • ROP-5 — Radar Observer Unlimited: 11/17
  • ROR-1 — Radar Observer Renewal: 11/15, 12/1, 12/8

~~~

  • SEC-OFF PCS — Security Officer-Port, Company, Ship: 11/10, 12/1, 12/8
  • SHS-EMR5 — Shiphandling Emergency: 10/13, 12/15

~~~

  • 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.

 

REMINDER: Attendance Verification & Cancellation is Vital

If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.

 

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

Courses are subject to change. Always check the MITAGS website for updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.org or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.


 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI is looking for a few good mariners to attend the CMM Advanced Meteorology course at PMI October 20-24. The course has been recently revised and improved. All west coast MM&P members in need of STCW certificates that include this course are encouraged to register at the number listed below. Lee Chesneau of the Ocean Prediction Center, who also teaches the course at MITAGS, will be your instructor.

Here’s the entire PMI Course Schedule

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 10/20-24: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 10/20-10/24: Medical Care Provider
  • 10/20-31: Medical PIC
  • 10/20-24: ARPA
  • 10/20: Radar Recert
  • 10/20-24: Advanced Meteorology
  • 10/27-28: Compasses
  • 10/27-31: Basic-Adv. Firefighting
  • 10/27-31: Adv Watchkeep

~~~

  • 11/5-6: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
  • 11/3-7: VPEN
  • 11/3-14: TCNAV
  • 11/3-14: GMDSS
  • 11/10-12: Ship Security Officer
  • 11/10-14: ECDIS
  • 11/10-14:Basic Safety Training
  • 11/17-25:Able Bodied Seaman
  • 11/17-21:Marine Propulsion Plants
  • 11/17-21: Tankerman PIC

~~~

  • 12/1-5: Basic-Adv. 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 Recert
  • 12/8-12: Medical Care Provider
  • 12/8-19: Medical PIC
  • 12/8-10: Ship Security Officer

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-15 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,710.10

+ 80.10 for the week

 1,939.50

 + 45.82 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 96.77

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

25.23

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 15.17

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 14.21

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 24.55

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.43

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.25

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.23

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

14.18

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

15.27

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 33.88

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 93.13

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  37.13



~ Reminders ~



 

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO THE MEMBERS OF MM&P, MEBA & SIU


The following letter was issued October 8, 2003, by MM&P President Tim Brown, MEBA President Ron Davis and SIU President Mike Sacco regarding the transfer of the MSP Operating Agreements from USSM to Maersk.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters:

“We are writing to update you on important information concerning the transfer of Maritime Security Program (MSP) Operating Agreements from U.S. Ship Management (USSM) to Maersk Line, Limited (MLL).

“IT IS VITAL TO NOTE THAT THE UNIONS HAVE JOB PRESERVATION AGREEMENTS IN PLACE THAT PROTECT EVERY JOB ON THE 15 VESSELS THAT WILL BE TRANSFERRED FROM USSM TO MLL.

“The Job Preservation Agreements also contain provisions that protect all jobs including the new vessels Maersk brings under the American Flag to replace some of the older ones.

“It must be understood that Maersk purchased Sea-Land in 1999, not USSM. MLL has the ownership interest in the vessels, not USSM. MLL owns the containers and intermodal systems associated with the vessels, not USSM. MLL owns port terminals and facilities all over the world, not USSM. Basically, USSM does not own any assets that are required by the Maritime Security Program.

“Further, Congress is positioned to approve MSP reauthorization legislation that would allow the exact same arrangement as proposed by MLL. As a result, USSM’s days are numbered in the current program and less than certain in any future program.

“You may be told by USSM that MLL is not a United States Company. What USSM will not tell you about Maersk Line, Limited, is that MLL is based in Norfolk, Virginia and was incorporated in the United States in 1947. MLL began actively managing five vessels in 1983 under a long-term contract with the Military Sealift Command (MSC).

“MLL is independently controlled by a board of directors comprised entirely of United States citizens including two retired Admirals from the U.S. Navy. And, MILL today is the largest sealift contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense.

“Our duty to our respective members dictates that we preserve your jobs. Accordingly, we ask that you not be tricked into believing that you will lose your jobs or be looked upon as un-American. Instead, know with certainty that when MLL takes over direct control of the MSP vessels you will keep your job, be sailing on an American flag vessel as a U.S. Merchant Mariner and be working for a U.S. company.

“Finally, on October 3, MARAD published a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on a request by MLL to transfer the MSP Operating Agreements from USSM to MLL. The Department of Transportation — specifically the U S Maritime Administration — has already ruled that MLL is an “eligible transferee” of the MSP Operating Agreements should MLL desire to become the MSP contractor.

“To this end, USSM may ask you to support their position to remain as the operator of MLL’s vessels. USSM may even ask you to sign certain form letters that they will submit to the Department of Transportation. WE ADVISE THAT YOU NOT SIGN ANY LETTERS THAT HAVE BEEN PREPARED BY USSM. Instead, the unions will be forwarding to their respective members form letters that in turn should be signed and sent to the Department of Transportation — letters that will protect your jobs.

“Fraternally,

“/s/ Timothy A. Brown, President
“International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots

“/s/ Ron Davis, President
“Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association

“/s/ Michael Sacco, President
“Seafarers International Union”

 


 CLICK HERE TO READ THE SAMPLE LETTER
AND TO DOWNLOAD A COPY FOR USE IN SUBMITTING COMMENTS

 


 

MESSAGE TO ALL MEMBERS FROM MM&P PRESIDENT TIM BROWN

I urge you to consider very carefully the above joint statement signed by Mike Sacco (SIU), Ron Davis (MEBA) and myself regarding the position that your Union has taken on the transfer of the MSP Operating Agreements from USSM to Maersk Line Limited.

Your Union has been working with Maersk Line Limited for over a year to facilitate a change that would benefit both Maersk and the maritime unions.

The situation, to put it very simply, is a question of who the Department of Defense wants to do business with. This is important since the money for the MSP (Maritime Security Program) will be coming from the Department of Defense (DOD). The DOD wants to do business with the owners of assets, not the managers of assets.

This is more important than ever after 9/11. Remember that the current MSP program will end in September 2005 and Maersk, the owners of the vessels, will be free to place these vessels with any company that offers to manage them or Maersk may manage them directly. Come September 2005, there is no guarantee that MM&P will be on these ships.

The MM&P has had an excellent relationship with those individuals who work for and represent USSM and most of this has continued and carried over from their former service with Sea-Land. However, MM&P and the other maritime unions are doing what is in the best interests of their membership over the long term.

As mentioned above, the comment period regarding the transfer will terminate on the 24th of October. On the MM&P website at www.bridgedeck.org, in the Wheelhouse Weekly section, there is a suggested comment letter that will support the joint position of the maritime unions along with info on where to send it. Again, this is a short comment period and replies must be received by October 24.

 


 CLICK HERE TO READ THE SAMPLE LETTER
AND TO DOWNLOAD A COPY FOR USE IN SUBMITTING COMMENTS


 

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.


 

WWII REGISTRY SITE OPEN TO ALL WHO SERVED IN ANY CAPACITY

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

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


 

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS: PAY YOURSELF FIRST WITH DIRECT DEPOSIT

  • Do you want an easy way to grow your savings?
  • Do you want an easier way to make deposits to your Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union account?

Consider establishing payroll or pension direct deposit.

Many employers allow you to directly deposit your pay into several different financial institutions. Trinity Management, Strong America and Moran Towing of Florida are among the MM&P-contracted companies that already provide for employees to deposit funds directly into the MM&P Federal Credit Union.

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

Add to your savings by paying yourself first! Contact your payroll office to establish Credit Union direct deposit or to find out if this is available for you.

 

Who Can Be a Member?

MM&P Federal Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members, to all MM&P, MITAGS, MIRAID and Plans staff, and to their immediate families.

 

Want to Know More?

For additional details or to get answers to your questions on all MM&P Federal Credit Union programs, contact Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll-free at 1-800-382-7777 or by Email at mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org.

 


 

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.



 

 

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 theDelta 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: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.

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