News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 11, 2003

September 11th 2003


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 7 . . . . . Number 37 . . . . September 11, 2003

STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




 

SENATE HEARING ON POST-9/11 MARITIME SECURITY CONCERNS

At a Senate hearing earlier this week, government witnesses said that while much has been accomplished to increase maritime security since 9/11, much more remains to be achieved in the war against terrorism.

Concerns were also expressed that the Bush administration remains ill-prepared and under-funded to secure ports and monitor cargo and vessel arrivals because it has focused primarily on airports.

The General Accounting Office outlined significant concerns at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing about a breakdown in communication between the two chief agencies responsible for maritime security, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security.

Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) noted: “While the Administration has taken action to implement the many important requirements of the Maritime Security Act of 2002, many in the maritime community still wonder who is in charge. They are confused by what in some cases appears to be competing requirements of the various agencies claiming responsibility for maritime security.”

“Such confusion, not unique to the maritime industry, is compounded by the lack of agreements between the various agencies and departments responsible for transportation security. Transportation security is too important to be placed in limbo due to agency turf battles,” McCain said.

Senator Fritz Hollings (D-SC) commented on the White House’s apparent reluctance to adequately fund maritime security, noting: “On Sunday night, the President announced that the Administration will be looking for an additional $87 billion for Iraq. This would bring the total amount spent there to over $160 billion. This request alone represents three times the amount the President requested for our nation’s homeland security efforts this year.”

Sen. Hollings continued by saying that, “I was reluctant to create a Department of Homeland Security, because I felt bureaucratic reshuffling without adequate planning and expertise would detract from our ability to fight terrorism. But we are stuck with what we have, and now the Administration must take the steps necessary to make this bureaucracy work.”

Sen. Hollings stated, “When it comes to port security, this Administration still hasn’t gotten serious about it. The President continues to be long on rhetoric and photo-ops, and short on substance and resources for our ports.

“He’s busy taking pictures with the Coast Guard at the Port of Philadelphia, yet he hasn’t provided that same port the funds needed to comply with its federally approved security plan. In fact, we aren’t even providing funding for the Coast Guard to review the security plan. That’s shameful,” Hollings said.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY FOR SIMULATOR HEAD AT MITAGS

The MM&P’s Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies is searching for a Shiphandling Simulator Department Head. The Department Head is responsible for all aspects of the Department’s scheduled course delivery, administration, and instructor personnel. From time to time the Department Head provides instruction in other maritime courses. He/she reports directly to the Director of Training.

The candidate should have a Master – Oceans Unlimited license, with at least 10 years’ sailing experience, with a minimum of 3 years as Chief Mate or Master. Tanker, Piloting and experience involving maneuvering in restricted waters desired. Demonstrated initiative, ability to meet schedules, and to work with high-level technology is strongly desired. The candidate should have excellent verbal and writing skills. Excellent interpersonal skills and proficiency with office support software a must.

The position is available immediately. Send resumes with letter of interest to MITAGS, ATTN: Human Resources; fax: 443-989-3258; Email: hr@mitags.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MARITIME SECURITY POSITIONS FOR MASTERS AND MATES

The Maritime Security Division of Phoenix Security Corp. is recruiting masters and mates with extensive oceangoing experience. Candidates with these qualification who are interested in being trained in the ISPS Code, USCG rules and survey methodology as Ship Security Assessors should contact Security Personnel Coordination at 866-926-7724.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

AGENDA SET FOR MATES REUNION AT MITAGS SEPTEMBER 19-21

The agenda has been set for the MM&P MATES Program graduate reunion that will held at MITAGS from September 19-21. Check-in will begin at 1200 with lunch being served from 1130 to 1400. At 1700, MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown will welcome attendees.

MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine and MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Capt. Glen Banks will also make welcoming remarks. Attendees will also receive a briefing on the political climate in Washington relative to maritime issues from MIRAID Director Jim Patti. A maritime mixer complete with fabulous food, music and entertainment will follow the presentations.

On Saturday, after breakfast at MITAGS, attendees will have their choice of a day of shopping and sightseeing in either Baltimore or Annapolis. Tours of various MITAGS training facilities, including the ship simulator and planetarium will also be conducted. The Saturday night function will be a traditional Maryland Crab Feast and BBQ that will feature lots of regional favorites.

On Sunday, after a leisurely morning breakfast in the dining room, those attending the Orioles game will depart MITAGS at 1215. There will be rooms available on Sunday night for a cost of $85 that will include Sunday dinner and Monday morning breakfast. For more info, contact Diane Chatham at 410-850-8700 ext.21 or by email to dchatham@bridgedeck.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

NEXT SEALAND EXPRESS REFLOAT ATTEMPT SCHEDULED FOR FRIDAY

South African salvage experts in Cape Town report that the next attempt to refloat the grounded SEALAND EXPRESS will be on Friday (9-12). Swells of up to 14-feet are being forecast on that day and are expected to help in the refloating efforts.

A dredge that has been clearing a channel to deeper water will stop work on Thursday so that a tug can be positioned to hold the container ship in place while deballasting is carried out. Three tugs will be used in this latest refloating attempt.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

U.S. COAST GUARD TO BE ENLARGED AND STRENGTHENED

In comments made to delegates at an international maritime conference, Rear Admiral Charles Wurster, USCG Fourteenth District, said that one of the lasting effects of 9/11 will be that the USCG will be “larger, better-equipped and better-prepared” in the months and years ahead.

In his remarks, Wurster underlined the need to modernize the Coast Guard for maritime security operations as part of measures to build what he called critical security capabilities. The USCG is also conducting threat and vulnerability assessment of its key port infrastructure to minimize the risk of “high consequence” events.

Comments on USCG’s Interim Rules on the Maritime Transportation Security Act will be taken into consideration before publishing the final version of the rules next month, Wurster said.

“The primary objective in rule making is to balance concerns for the efficiency of commerce with domestic and international security requirements,” he said and urged the international maritime community to expedite the full implementation of the SOLAS amendments and the ISPS Code by July 2004.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

U.S. GHOST FLEET DEAL WITH U.K. COULD HAUNT MARAD

Congressman Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, has asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to audit the controversial transaction between the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) and Able UK, which was recently contracted to dismantle 13 aging US ships by towing them to the UK for scrapping. The GAO is the investigative arm of the US Congress.

The request comes amid a growing controversy about the deal from lawmakers and shipyard supporters, who say the work should have been awarded to a US company. MARAD should “let all of us know exactly how much money was wasted in this bad decision,” Ortiz said in a letter to the GAO. “We are paying people in another country to do the job while our industry in the US is deeply hurting.”

Ortiz wants the GAO to conduct a general review of MARAD’s ship breaking program, which is conducted jointly with the US Navy.

Many US shipyards are struggling to survive, as evidenced by the recent bankruptcy of Baltimore Marine Industries shipyard that has been linked to a slowdown in government work. BMI was one of four US companies that participated in a pilot program on scrapping old ships.

Under MARAD deal, the agency awarded a $14.8 million contract for removal of 15 ships from the James River (VA) Reserve Fleet to Post-Service Remediation Partners (PRP) of New York. This is the largest removal of obsolete ships in a single year from the National Defense Reserve Fleet since 1993. In May, the EPA approved the export the ships.

Thirteen of the vessels will be dismantled in England at the Able facility in Teesside. Ownership of the other two vessels will be sold to PRP in the form of a $3 million credit. PRP is then free to resell these vessels to a third party for maritime service if it so desires.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

FIRST MARITIME INTERCEPTION EXERCISE SET FOR THIS MONTH

According to published reports, the US, Australia, Japan and France are to stage the first maritime exercise aimed at intercepting ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction from September 12-14 in the Coral Sea.

Dubbed “Pacific Protector”, the joint operation will be a series of maritime, air and ground, interdiction training exercises. The US launched a Proliferation Security Initiative in May, with 11 nations signing the pact that would allow the interception of ships and aircraft suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

The seven other nations in the initiative are Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. The “Pacific Protector” exercise will be the first of 10 planned in coming months but it has raised concerns among legal experts that the action may be illegal.

A spokesman said any interception on the high seas would be conducted within international and domestic law. “Any such activities will be conducted within the existing legal parameters,” he said.

In a major incident last December, Spain intercepted a North Korean ship in the Arabian Sea carrying Scud missiles for Yemen and handed over the vessel to the US. The ship was allowed to continue its voyage after US officials concluded the missile shipment did not break any laws.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MATSON TO INCREASE FUEL SURCHARGE

Due to dramatic increases in fuel prices, MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company has announced that it is raising its fuel surcharge from 6.5 to 7.5 percent in its Hawaii and Guam services effective September 15. “As anyone who drives a car is well aware, fuel prices have been rising steadily in recent months,” said Dave Hoppes, VP of Ocean Services.

“For transportation companies, the costs are especially significant. Matson buys approximately 1.9 million barrels of fuel annually. For every dollar increase per barrel of bunker fuel, Matson experiences an approximate $1.9 million increase in annual operating costs.

“We cannot continue to absorb these additional fuel-related operating costs. We will continue to monitor fuel costs and adjust the surcharge accordingly,” Hoppes said.

Matson has historically adjusted its fuel surcharges based on current trends in oil prices. In May, Matson lowered its fuel surcharge from 7.5 to 6.5 percent, based on a downward trend in fuel prices.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Take Advantage of the following Class Openings

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 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
  • COMP-APS: 9/22
  • CONT-PLNG: 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: 9/23, 10/20
  • SHS-EMR5: 10/13

~~~

  • T-PIC: 9/22

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Class Openings

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 9/15-19: VPEN & Basic and Adv. Firefighting
  • 9/15-26: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 9/22-6: ECDIS
  • 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&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 9-10 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,420.40

– 127.20 for the week

 1,823.81

 – 24.77 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 93.68

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

23.97

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 14.35

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 13.51

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 23.59

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.49

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX):

 6.17

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 10.28

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

13.43

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

15.09

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 33.10

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 90.20

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.94

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



~ Reminders ~


 


 

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

BULL & OYSTER ROAST WITH THE FABULOUS HUBCAPS AT MITAGS

The oldies show band, The Fabulous Hubcaps, will bring their high-energy rock & roll to MITAGS on Saturday, October 11, from 6:00 PM -11:30 PM. 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 available for the price of $140.

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

SPECIAL RATES FOR UNION MEMBERS AT ORLANDO DISNEY HOTEL

As a special summer promotion for union members at the Hotel Royal Plaza, a unionized hotel located in the heart of Downtown Disney, the rate for a standard room has been reduced to just $69.

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MM&P MEMBERS AT SEA CAN NOW SAVE ON SHIP-TO-SHORE CALLS

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

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

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

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

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.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CLARIFICATION OF DRUG FREE CERTIFICATE FOR MMD RENEWAL

Mariners renewing their licenses, Z-cards, other Merchant Marine Documents or Coast Guard credentials are advised that under the USCG’s national credentialing requirements, Coast Guard offices and Regional Exam Centers require “Drug Free Certificates” on stationery from a drug testing service agent. Drug testing service agents are defined in 49 CFR Part 40 (available for download at: www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/main/CFRintro.htm). Drug test certifications issued by other parties, such as health plans, will no longer be accepted.

Upon request, drug testing service agents will send “Drug Free Certificates” on their own stationary to merchant marine personnel so that they can satisfy the USCG drug test requirement for credential transactions.

MM&P members and applicants are advised that request forms for this purpose are available at MM&P port offices along with info on drug testing facilities. This is a nationwide USCG credentialing requirement and this notice is a clarification of info originally provided in the February 27, 2003 Wheelhouse Weekly, Volume 7 Number 9.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

LATEST USCG INFO ON PRIORITY SYSTEM FOR MMD CARDS

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

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

Contact the National Maritime Center for additional info or questions at 202-493-6798.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

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 your credit union. The Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is pleased to 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 limited time – until September 30. Rates and conditions for this loan sale are effective July 22.

If a new or new-for-you car is in your future, your MM&P FCU continues to offer competitive loan rates. Rates start as low as 5.25% and believe it 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 earning up to 2.73% APY.

All MM&P FCU rate offerings and conditions are subject to change without notice. Call or Email Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, for complete details regarding these low-interest loans. She can be reached by Email at: mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or toll-free at: 1-800-382-7777.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS: PAY YOURSELF FIRST WITH DIRECT DEPOSIT

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

Consider establishing payroll or pension direct deposit.

Many employers allow you to directly deposit your pay into several different financial institutions. Trinity Management, Strong America 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.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2003

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

 

INPATIENT HOSPITAL DEDUCTIBLE

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

 
REIMBURSEMENT FOR INPATIENT HOSPITAL EXPENSE

The Plan will pay 90% for all PPO hospitals after satisfying Major Medical deductible and $150 per admission inpatient deductible. The Plan will pay 70% for all non-PPO hospitals after satisfying the Annual Major Medical deductible and $150 per admission deductible.

 

IN-NETWORK (PPO) PHYSICIAN VISITS

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

 

OUT-OF-NETWORK PHYSICIANS

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

 

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – IN NETWORK (PPO)

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

 

OUTPATIENT FACILITY – OUT-OF-NETWORK

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

 

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

 

HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN CHANGES

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

Annual Deductible

The current annual deductible of $150/$300 will be raised to $250/$500.

Out-of-Pocket Maximum

The current out of pocket maximum of $2,000 will be raised to $3,000.

Dental Reimbursement Levels

  • The Plan payment to in-network dental providers will go from 90% to 80%.
  • The Plan payment for out-of-network providers will go from 80% of UCR to 70% of UCR.
  • New contract with Delta Dental replaces Aetna/US Healthcare (Prudential Dental) agreement. See below for additional information

Prescription Drug Program

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

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

The Plan has also removed the mandatory mail order provision. This means that any prescription, regardless of the number of refills, can be obtained at a retail level but will be limited to a 30-day supply. However, obtaining maintenance medications through the mail order program may still be less expensive to you.

A synopsis of these changes and additional changes effective April 1, 2003 appears in the November-December 2002 issue of the MM&P’s Master, Mate & Pilot newspaper. The Plan Office has also mailed a summary of all changes, with examples, to Health & Benefit Plan participants.




ADDRESS CHANGES

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

 




 

NEW DENTAL PROGRAM WITH DELTA DENTAL

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

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

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

Plan participants who choose to go to a contracted provider will pay 10 percent of the contracted amount and the Plan will pay 90 percent. Participants will have access to all Delta providers in the Delta Premier Network option that includes over 133,000 dentists nationwide.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

~ Where Does My Dentist Submit My Claims?

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

~ How Do I Find A Delta Dentist?

You can locate participating dentists in your area in two ways. You can call 1-800-932-0783 from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday, or you can sign on to the Delta website at www.MidAtlanticDeltaDental.com. Once you have signed on to the website, key on the bar marked “Pennsylvania”. (MM&P Plan members are enrolled in the Delta Premier Option through Delta Dental of Penn.) Next enter the search criteria to find participating Delta dentists in your area or enter your own dentist’s name to find out if he/she participates with the Premier network.

 

WORK IN PROCESS

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

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

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

 

CLAIMS QUESTIONS

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

 

IDENTIFICATION CARDS

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

It is important to remember that MM&P claims will be processed by Delta Dental of Pennsylvania. You or your dentist can access your eligibility by calling either the Plan Office or Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783.

If you or your dentist have any questions, you can contact Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Plan members are identified by social security number and the Group Plan number for MM&P which is 7117.

Billing for both in and out of network claims should be submitted on standard dental billing forms and sent directly to Delta at

Delta Dental of Pennsylvania One Delta Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

You can locate participating providers on-line at www.MidAtlanticDeltaDental.com. Masters, Mates and Pilots members have access to providers in all of the Delta networks.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page.

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