News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 04, 2003

September 4th 2003



THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume7 . . . . . Number 36 . . . . September 4, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS



 

BACK IN SESSION: CONGRESS TACKLES MARITIME ISSUES

As Congress returns to work following its summer recess, it faces a numberof issues important to the US-flag merchant marine. The articles belowhighlight some of these bills.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM REAUTHORIZATION

A proposal to extend, expand and enhance the Maritime Security Programis pending action by the House-Senate Conference Committee dealing withthe defense authorizations bill.

At this time, the proposal would extend MSP until Sept.30, 2015; increasethe size of the maritime security fleet from 47 to 60 militarily-usefulUS-flag commercial vessels; and increase the amount of government supportnecessary to maintain US-flag shipping operations.

In addition, the legislation is expected to authorize a new programto facilitate the construction of up to five militarily-useful producttankers in American shipyards. The tankers built under this new programwould be eligible to participate as part of the maritime security fleet.

The MM&P has been one of the organizations leading the fight forthe enactment of MSP reauthorization legislation. The Union will continueto work with the Members of the House of Representatives and Senate todevelop and enact a final MSP reauthorization proposal.

While there are a number of controversial and unresolved issues involvingnon-MSP related aspects of the defense bill that are slowing down finalaction, we remain hopeful that the defense bill with its MSP componentwill be cleared by the Congress and sent to the President before Congressadjourns later this year.

One of the most contentious issues pertains to “Buy America” requirementsfor defense equipment – the House proposal includes language sponsoredby Chairman Duncan Hunter that would increase the domestic content requirementfrom 50 percent to 65 percent. His proposal is vigorously opposed by defensecontractors, the White House and many American allies. The Administrationhas threatened to veto the defense bill if it includes Congressman Hunter’s”Buy America” proposal.
 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM FUNDING

Legislation (HR 2989) appropriating fund for the Maritime Security Programfor fiscal year 2004 is pending action by the House of Representativesand by the Senate Transportation and Treasury Subcommittee.

As cleared by the House Committee on Appropriations (and as requestedby the Administration), the legislation includes $98.7 million for MSPfor FY’04. The House is expected to consider this legislation over thenext two weeks. The Senate Subcommittee is scheduled to begin its workover the next few days with funding for Amtrak consuming most of the panel’stime and attention.

The Subcommittee, with MM&P’s strong support, is expected to followthe lead of the House and the Bush Administration and approve full fundingof $98.7 million for MSP. Full funding of MSP will ensure that the maritimesecurity fleet of militarily-useful US-flag vessels and their US citizencrews will continue to be available to the Department of Defense.

These American flag vessels and crews provide the assured base of sustainmentshipping capability needed by the military to supply our forces overseas,and help guarantee that a sufficient number of US citizen seafaring personnelwill be available to operate the US government owned and chartered surgesealift vessels required to transport troops and equipment at the outbreakof hostilities.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

ANTI-JONES ACT LEGISLATION

Immediately prior to the Congressional summer recess, Congressman Ed Case(D-HI) introduced three bills (HR 2845, 2846, and 2847) that would repealthe Jones Act for the carriage of cargo in the Hawaii and other non-contiguousdomestic trades.

His bills would allow cargo to move between these domestic points onforeign built, foreign flag vessels. This legislation has been referredto the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Chaired byCongressman Don Young (R-AK), and the House Committee on Armed Services,Chaired by Cong. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

The MM&P, working with the Washington, DC-based Maritime CabotageTask Force, is strongly opposing these ill-advised proposals. No actionhas been scheduled yet by either of these two Committees on CongressmanCase’s legislation.
 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

USCG LEGISLATION ADDRESSES CREW FATIGUE

As part of its Coast Guard authorizations legislation (HR 2443), the HouseCommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure added a provision relatingto hours of service on towing vessels. The Committee included this provisionin response to growing concerns about the impact of crew fatigue on thesafety of towing vessel operations. — The provision, sponsored by CongressmanJim Oberstar (D-MN), allows the Secretary of Transportation to “prescribeby regulation requirements for maximum hours of service (including recordingand record keeping of that service) of individuals engaged on a towingvessel that is at least 26 feet in length measured from end to end overthe deck (excluding the sheer).”

It further directs that the Secretary should conduct a demonstrationproject involving the implementation of Crew Endurance Management Systemson towing vessels. The MM&P is strongly supporting the language addedby the Committee and will be working with Congressman Oberstar and othersto block an attempt by towboat management to delete this provision whenthe Coast Guard bill is considered by the full House of Representativeslater this year.
 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT LEGISLATION ADVANCES

The House of Representatives and Senate have each passed legislation thatwould create a prescription drug benefit for Medicare’s more than 40 millionbeneficiaries and would give seniors the option of obtaining coverage throughtraditional Medicare or through a private health plan.

At the same time, there are a number of major differences, both philosophicaland substantive, between the two bills. For example, the House (but notthe Senate) envisions that Medicare would directly compete against privateplans.

The Senate (but not the House) contains a fallback provision that wouldoffer a government-run drug benefit in areas where at least two privateplans do not offer drug benefits. These and other issues must be resolvedin conference. Republican leaders have set as their goal having this legislationto the President later this fall.
 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

ON THE BEACH IN CAPE TOWN: THE S/L EXPRESS SAGA CONTINUES

In Cape Town, South Africa, work continues in the effort to free the groundedcontainership SEALAND EXPRESS. The ship’s ballast tanks have been filledwith seawater after they were emptied to help lighten the vessel in lastweekend’s failed attempts to free her from the sand.

Despite some inclement weather, the ship’s hull has shown no signs ofstress. With her ballast tanks full, the ship is sitting rock solid onthe sand off Sunset Beach.

Meanwhile, a dredge continues to cut a channel through the sandbankentrapping the SEALAND EXPRESS. The next attempt to free the ship is plannedfor a high seasonal tide after the dredge has opened a channel to the vessel.
 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

9-11 PLUS 2: THE CHANGING FACE OF MARITIME SECURITY

As the two year anniversary of the graphic and horrible events of Sept.11,2001 approaches, America has been on special security alert, but only recentlyhas attention truly focused on port security.

Less than one year from now, the security regulations to be imposedon America’s maritime industry will signal the end of international shippingas we know it. For better or worse, the deadline is July 1, 2004, the datewhen the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 becomes law.

Some provisions of it already are being instituted, such as the 24-hournotice before loading containers, heavier fencing at ports, along withlighting and guards, and VACIS machines that x-ray containers.

This proposed maritime legislation is groundbreaking as the waterfronthas never seen anything of this magnitude. The new rules and regulationsalready are 700 pages long, and before all the Federal agencies are finished,it could be 1500 or 2000 pages in length.

Whatever the final version is, the Maritime Transportation SecurityAct will forever change the way the maritime industry does business.

The ports, the terminal owners, and others affected by this act�theyrightfully want to know who is going to pay for all this enforcement. Theysay their current revenue streams have no extra room for such an oversizedburden.

The reason is that even with “only” 700 pages of regulations�heavenforbid 1500 or 2000�the total estimated costs for the 361 US ports whoseoperations this bill affects exceeds $8 billion over the next 10 years.

Some in Congress say costs could hit $11 billion as things stand now,while others say $15 billion. The USCG, which shoulders most of the securityresponsibility, says $7.3 billion will get the job done.

Whichever billion-dollar amount proves correct, the big question is:Where are the funds coming from?

Besides dollars, another sweeping aspect of this legislation that directlyaffects US maritime workers is personal identification.

This will involve the issuing of what is described as a “smart card,”which uses biometric technology to verify a person’s identity on the basisof an individual’s unique personal characteristics found in their eye,hand and facial patterns. Smart cards will be required for workers in themaritime labor chain.

Besides better worker ID, there will also be better cargo ID. The CustomsService has already purchased 35 VACIS machines�Vehicle and Cargo InspectionSystem�which are scanners that can be mounted on trucks, and has been steppingup the examination rate substantially. These X-ray machines are scatteredthrough various ports.

Besides the VACIS scanner, which screens a 40-foot container in 40 seconds,an equally vital benefit of the advanced technology being applied to thewaterfront uses a sensor that can detect nuclear, biological and chemicalagents. The matter of how this device can or will be applied should soonbe resolved.

Another high-tech initiative is an onboard device that automaticallytransmits 12 different data streams to help improve America’s intelligencegathering capabilities. The question of what happens to that data afterit is sent is another important security concern.
 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

SS LANE VICTORY SET TO CRUISE INTO HISTORY SEPT.13-14

In the Southern California area and looking to relive some maritime history?Then check out a one-day cruise to Catalina Island aboard the restoredcargo ship, SS Lane Victory – at Berth 94 in San Pedro.

The LANE VICTORY will be making its last passenger cruises for 2003on Sept.13-14. Boarding time is 0730-0800 hrs. each day. The cruise beginswhen the gangway is pulled up at 0830. The big ship departs at 0900 fora fabulous cruise filled with fun, food, fellowship, and many interestinghappenings during voyage.

The LANE VICTORY is a National Historic Landmark and a fully operationalship. She is USCG approved to take as many as 800 passengers on each cruise.Each cruise begins with a tasteful continental breakfast.

As the tugboats make fast to the ship and slowly edge her into the channel,she navigates inside the breakwater, past the USCG station, to the LongBeach harbor entrance, and then out to sea headed for Catalina Island.

At this point during each cruise there are services held for one ofthe over 700 ships lost during WWII. An Honor Guard comprised of differentmilitary services presides over the rifle salute. A wreath is placed overthe side of the ship with a moment of silence for the lost mariners.

While underway, there is various kinds of entertainment on board, suchas music from the Yellow Hound Dawg Blues Band, narration on ship activities,and guided tours of the engine room once the LANE leaves the breakwater.

The rest of the ship, including the wheelhouse, is open to all. Themain museum and gift shop are open to passengers. Beer, wine and soft drinksare served throughout the trip. And any crewmember will be happy to answerany questions pertaining to the ship.

Around noon comes what some say is the best part of the trip, an all-you-can-eatluncheon buffet. Once the ship reaches the Isthmus end of the island, sheturns toward the mainland, and sets a course for the Angels Gate entranceto San Pedro harbor.

Before she makes port, with much ceremony, the crew will have captureda spy on board and fended off an aerial attack by World War II vintageaircraft. Once again victorious, the tugs meet her and guide her up thechannel to Berth 94 where the gangway is lowered at 1630. A wonderful dayends, and as the passengers go down the gangway you hear “what a greatcruise,” “best money I ever spent,” and “I am going again!”

Cruise Prices: Adult: $100; Youth 15 and under: $60. For more info call310-519-9545 or fax 310-519-0265. More info and photos are also availableon the web at: http://www.lanevictoryship.com/index.htm
 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

MATES REUNION PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER 19-21

The MM&P MATES Program graduate reunion will held at MITAGS from Sept.19-21.Plans include a mixer on Friday complete with food, music and entertainment.The Saturday night function is shaping up to be a traditional MarylandCrab Feast. More info will be posted on the MM&P website at www.bridgedeck.orgas details are firmed up.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Take Advantage of the following Class Openings

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

  • ARPA: 9/15, 9/29

~~~

  • BST: 9/15, 10/6

~~~

  • CMM-ADVSTB: 10/27
  • CMM-ADWX: 9/29
  • CMM-ECDIS: 10/20
  • CMM-MPP: 9/15
  • CMM-VPEN: 10/13
  • CMM-WKP: 9/8
  • COMP-ABSS: 9/8
  • COMP-APS: 9/22
  • CONT-PLNG: 9/11, 9/26, 10/8, 10/23

~~~

  • FF-ADV: 9/22

~~~

  • GMDSS: 10/27

~~~

  • MED-DOT-DA: 9/20, 10/4
  • MEDIA-RSP: 9/12, 10/24
  • MED-PIC: 9/29
  • MED-PRO: 9/29
  • MED-SMC: 10/27
  • MSC-ATER: 10/7
  • MSC-CBRD-1: 9/21, 10/6
  • MSC-DC: 9/13, 9/19, 10/9
  • MSC-ENVPRO: 10/17

~~~

  • ROR-1: 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, and 10/10 (Evening Class)

~~~

  • SEC-OFF PCS: 9/8, 9/23, 10/20
  • SHS-BAS: 9/15
  • SHS-EMR5: 10/13

~~~

  • T-PIC: 9/22

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

 

REMINDER: Attendance Verification & Cancellation is Vital

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

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Class Openings

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 9/8-12: Basic Safety Training
  • 9/15-19: VPEN, Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 9/15-26: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 9/22-26: ECDIS, Ship Construction and Stability
  • 9/29-10/3: Basic Safety Training
  • 9/29: Radar Recertification
  • 10/1-3: Ship Security Officer
  • 10/6-10: Search and Rescue and Emergency Procedures
  • 10/6-17: GMDSS
  • 10/13-17: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 10/13-37: Cargo Handling and Stowage
  • 10/20-24: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 10/20-31: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 10/20-24: ARPA
  • 10/20: Radar Recert.
  • 10/20-24: Advanced Meteorology
  • 10/27-28: Compasses
  • 10/27-31: Basic and Adv. Firefighting
  • 10/27-31: Advanced Watchkeeping
  •  

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 9-3 CLOSE

 D O W
 N A S D A Q
 9,547.60
+ 214.10 for the week
 1,848.58
 + 66.45 for the week
 Vanguard 500 IndexFund (VFINX)  94.66
 Vanguard Extended MarketIndex Fund (VEXMX) 24.28
 Vanguard InternationalGrowth Fund (VWIGX)  14.14
 Vanguard Morgan GrowthFund (VMRGX)  13.68
 Vanguard Windsor IIFund (VWNFX)  23.89
 Vanguard GNMA Fund(VFIIX) 10.34
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund(VWEHX):  6.13
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)  10.11
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX) 13.76
 Fidelity Asset Manager(FASMX) 15.04
 Fidelity Growth andIncome (FGRIX)  33.40
Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)  91.13
 Spartan US Equity IndexFund (FUSEX)   36.31

 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



~Reminders ~


 

 
 
 
 
 


 

JOB OPENINGS IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA

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

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

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

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

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



 

UPDATED MATES REUNION PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER 19-21

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

In addition, the possibility of attending a Baltimore Orioles baseballgame for Friday or Saturday night is being investigated as is a potentialday trip to Annapolis, home to the US Naval Academy.

The names of those individuals who have responded positively are postedon the Union’s website. Click on the “Original MATES Program Reunion” buttonon the left side of your screen for this and more.

Additional info and updates will be posted as they become known. Havequestions? Email Diane Chatham at dchatham@bridgedeck.org.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

BULL & OYSTER ROAST WITH THE FABULOUS HUBCAPS AT MITAGS

The oldies show band, The Fabulous Hubcaps, will bring their high-energyrock & roll to MITAGS on Saturday, October 11, from 6:00 PM -11:30PM. Also featured is an all-you-can-eat bull and oyster roast.

Tickets are just $37 per person. A bed and breakfast plan is also availablefor the price of $140.

Reserve tickets and/or overnight accommodations now by contacting reservations@ccmit.orgor voice 410-859-5700 x 0. For more info, contact: Howard Van Kirk at Email:hvankirk@ccmit.orgor voice at 443-989-3515.

MM&PWheelhouse 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 fora standard room has been reduced to just $69.

Rates are in effect from June 1 to September 30 and do not include aresort fee of $7 per room, per night. Kids 12 and under eat free breakfast,lunch and dinner when accompanied by a paying adult.

For more info, call 1-800-248-7890 or go to their website at www.royalplaza.com.Call early for reservations as rooms are subject to availability and makesure to ask for the Union Leisure Rate.

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

To take advantage of this offer or for more info contact Station WLOon HF SSB channels 405, 607, 824, 1212, 16401, 1807, or 2237 or on HF radiotelex channels (selcall 1090) 406, 606, 806, 810, 815, 1205, 1211, 1605,1615, 1810 or 2215.

MM&P members must identify themselves as an MM&P member andprovide the operator with the last 4 digits of their MM&P book numberin order to get the discounted rate.

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

WWII REGISTRY SITE OPEN TO ALL WHO SERVED IN ANY CAPACITY

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

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


 

CLARIFICATION OF DRUG FREE CERTIFICATE FOR MMD RENEWAL

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

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


 

LATEST USCG INFO ON PRIORITY SYSTEM FOR MMD CARDS

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

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

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 

CREDIT UNION “BACK-TO-SCHOOL” LOAN SPECIAL

Need money to pay for those back-to-school needs, summer vacation bills,or even your holiday shopping? Now is a great time to borrow from yourcredit union. The Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is pleasedto announce a “Back to School” signature loan sale.

The new standard loan rate is 9.99%. The preferred rate is 9.24%.

Don’t let time pass you by as this rate is available only for a limitedtime – until September 30. Rates and conditions for this loan sale areeffective July 22.

If a new or new-for-you car is in your future, your MM&P FCU continuesto offer competitive loan rates. Rates start as low as 5.25% and believeit or not, MM&P FCU auto loan rates may cost you less than dealers’zero-percent financing incentives.

Share savings and share certificates of deposit are also available.Savings accounts may earn up to 1.51% APY and certificates are earningup to 2.73% APY.

All MM&P FCU rate offerings and conditions are subject to changewithout notice. Call or Email Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, forcomplete details regarding these low-interest loans. She can be reachedby Email at: mmpfcu@bridgedeck.orgor toll-free at: 1-800-382-7777.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


 

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS: PAY YOURSELF FIRST WITH DIRECT DEPOSIT

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

Consider establishingpayroll or pension direct deposit.

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

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

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

Who Can Be a Member?

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

Want to Know More?

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2003

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

INPATIENT HOSPITAL DEDUCTIBLE

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

 
REIMBURSEMENT FOR INPATIENT HOSPITAL EXPENSE

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

IN-NETWORK (PPO) PHYSICIAN VISITS

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

OUT-OF-NETWORK PHYSICIANS

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

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – IN NETWORK (PPO)

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

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – OUT-OF-NETWORK

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

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

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


 

 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES

The Board of Trustees, based on recommendations by the Cost ContainmentCommittee, adopted changes to the Health & Benefit Plan. The followingchanges became effective January 1, 2003:

Annual Deductible
The current annual deductible of $150/$300 will be raised to$250/$500.
Out-of-Pocket Maximum
The current out of pocket maximum of $2,000 will be raisedto $3,000.
Dental Reimbursement Levels

  • The Plan payment to in-network dental providers will go from 90% to 80%.
  • The Plan payment for out-of-network providers will go from 80% of UCR to70% of UCR.
  • New contract with Delta Dental replaces Aetna/US Healthcare (PrudentialDental) agreement. See below for additional information

Prescription Drug Program
Mail order drugs will be subject to a 20% co-pay forall single source brand name and generic drugs with a maximum out of pocket,per prescription, of $75.

For brand name drugs where the generic equivalent is available,the member will be responsible for paying the total cost of the differencebetween the brand name and the generic drug. The Plan will then pay 80%of the cost of the generic and the member will be responsible for the 20%up to a per prescription maximum of $75.

The Plan has also removed the mandatory mail order provision.This means that any prescription, regardless of the number of refills,can be obtained at a retail level but will be limited to a 30-day supply.However, obtaining maintenance medications through the mail order programmay still be less expensive to you.
A synopsis of these changes and additional changes effective April 1, 2003appears in the November-December 2002 issue of the MM&P’s Master,Mate & Pilot newspaper. The Plan Office has also maileda summary of all changes, with examples, to Health & Benefit Plan participants.


ADDRESS CHANGES

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


 

NEW DENTAL PROGRAM WITH DELTA DENTAL

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

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

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

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

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

~ Where Does My Dentist Submit My Claims?

Effective October 1, 2002, all dental claims with dates of service onor after October 1, 2002, from both in and out-of-network providers, shouldbe sent directly to: Delta Dental, One Delta Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6999.Participants will receive a claim form in the mailing sent out by the PlanOffice on August 11. Your dentist can copy this form and use it to submitall dental claims incurred on or after October 1, 2002.

~ How Do I Find A Delta Dentist?

You can locate participating dentists in your area in two ways. Youcan call 1-800-932-0783 from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday,or you can sign on to the Delta website at 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 throughDelta Dental of Penn.) Next enter the search criteria to find participatingDelta dentists in your area or enter your own dentist’s name to find outif he/she participates with the Premier network.
 
 

WORK IN PROCESS

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

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

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

CLAIMS QUESTIONS

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

IDENTIFICATION CARDS

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

It is important to remember that MM&P claims will be processed byDelta Dental of Pennsylvania. You or your dentist can access your eligibilityby calling either the Plan Office or Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783.
If you or your dentist have any questions, you can contactDelta Dental at 1-800-932-0783 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time,Monday through Friday.

Plan members are identified by social security number and the GroupPlan number for MM&P which is 7117.
Billing for both in and out of network claims should be submitted on standarddental billing forms and sent directly to Delta at

Delta Dental of Pennsylvania One Delta Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
You can locate participating providers on-line at www.MidAtlanticDeltaDental.com.Masters, Mates and Pilots members have access to providers in all of theDelta networks.
 
 

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the officialelectronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates,and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941.Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: 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 vesselsat sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our webpage.
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