Health Insurance letter

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by jessibee2013, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. jessibee2013

    jessibee2013 Member

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    Is anybody else bothered by the "changes in health insurance letter" sent via parents associations by email?
    I found it offensive and troubling on many levels...

    So KP isn't REALLY a real service academy so no health insurance for the mids? Who exactly determined that and why, when and how?

    You must prove your mid is covered under your policy or be forced to purchase their policy "like all other universities require"???
    Ummm, my other child just graduated from a 4 year university after attending 2 and NEITHER ever inquired about our health insurance. We paid a health services fee- which was minimal. Just to be sure, since she started college 4 years ago, I asked a parent whose child will start at a major university in 2 weeks and no, they were never asked to prove their child was covered by insurance. They also paid a health services fee!

    Our DS is 2013 so he is done with sea year but how does health insurance work for injuries and illness at sea? or even in NY if you are from another state?
    Our DS became ill on a family vacation to Wyoming a number of years ago and we had a heck of a time getting our insurance to cover the emergency room, doc and prescriptions because it was out of network and out-of-state.

    If our DS was beginning or even mid-way through his KP adventure, I'd be raising some Cain about this latest smack in the face... oops, turn of events!
     
  2. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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  3. OldAirForce

    OldAirForce Member

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    You need to keep your own insurance. Our 2011 grad damaged his shoulder in the spring of his 4th class year. They called it a preexisting condition because he dislocated his shoulder his sophomore year of high school. They dropped the $18,000 surgery bill back in my lap.

    Doing great by the way, just got home from Kodiak Alaska yesterday after being gone for 6 months.
     
  4. jessibee2013

    jessibee2013 Member

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    I was not suggesting anybody drop their kids from their insurance. I was commenting that KP is no longer providing the coverage they have been providing for reasoning I find disconcerting (not really a REAL service academy) and then saying this is consistent with the procedures at all universities. First, KP is not "all other universities" by virtue of the fact that our kids are required to go to sea for 300 days in order to graduate as the most obvious reason. Second, this is NOT consistent with the practice at all universities!

    Your mid's surgery was "dumped" on you for a pre-existing condition but she HAD the KP coverage. Now they are no longer providing insurance BUT demanding that you have it.

    I think we are owed an explanation of WHO made the decision, WHY & HOW it was concluded that KP doesn't qualify for insurance at the taxpayers expense like other service academies because KP is not really one of them, WHERE was this decided? I.e., helig's office, LaHood's, the MARAD bureaucracy? And WHEN? Before or after Helig took the helm?
     
  5. Navy1981

    Navy1981 Member

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    Just my personal opinion, but I think the reality of this situation is that those of us who have had DS/DD attend the Merchant Marine Academy in the past years have probably benefited from an oversight in medical care billing; i.e. if your DS/DD happened to be sent out in town for medical care, that bill should have been sent to the Student's (aka Parent's) personal medical insurance. The letter that was recently sent out seems to be aligning the medical insurance billing with the Code of Federal Regulations (see below). By Federal law, only limited Medical & Dental care is available at no cost to midshipmen at the US Merchant Marine Academy; which explains why the care at Patten Clinic will not be changing. I don't believe this is a change in policy, just USMMA correcting another financial problem that was identified in the GAO report from September 2009. Here’s the link to that post. http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=8193&highlight=Kings+Point

    And the 01 October 2012 implementation date is pretty typical for the U.S. Government since that is the first day of the new Fiscal Year and many new policies & changes take effect then.

    And if I am right that USMMA is just correcting another financial problem, then just consider yourself lucky that you got something free from the government for once.



    Title 46: Shipping
    PART 310—MERCHANT MARINE TRAINING
    Subpart C—Admission and Training of Midshipmen at the United States Merchant Marine Academy


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    § 310.62 Allowances and expenses; required deposit.
    (a) Items furnished. Each midshipman shall receive: Free tuition, quarters and subsistence; limited medical and dental care; and certain travel expenses, in accordance with chapter 5, part A, of the Joint Travel Regulations For Members Of Uniform Services, Vol. 1 (U.S. Department of Defense publication, Serial No. 0516–LP–255–0265), while traveling under official Academy orders

    (b) Required Deposit. Prior to admission to the Academy, each midshipman shall make a specified deposit, as established by Academy regulations, to help defray the cost of items and services generally of a personal nature which are not provided by the Academy. Additional deposits, as prescribed in Academy regulations, are required to be made in subsequent years. Failure to make any required deposit will result in denial of admission, suspension or disenrollment.
     
  6. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    Then how does this impact KP's input into what treatment your DS or DD receives? In the past, they have had primary say in whether something is done, say a torn shoulder. If the parents are paying, shouldn't they have first and last say. For example, when the students were sent to the hospital for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, who should have been financially responsible for that?

    In other colleges, the college doesn't make the decision what treatment is received after the student leaves the health office and goes to another facility for treatment, say the hospital. The parents are then in the middle of things. That's not the case at the academies. You can potentially be "honor boarded" right now if you have a treatment outside of school that the school doesn't give permission for.
     
  7. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    No, it IS a real Service Academy.

    It is not a Military Academy. Yes, there is a difference.

    Active duty military is provided with health insurance, provided by the US Government. And all cadets and mids at a Military Academy are considered on active duty.
     
  8. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    So I expect about a thousand replies to this post. However, if you look into 10 USC, 14 USC, 46 USC and 46 CFR, you will see that Kings Point is not by legal definition a "federal service academy" but in fact a "federal academy" There is a big legal distinction between the two. With that being said, it is one reason why Kings Pointers who go on active duty are able to apply for and get the GI Bill unlike their "service academy" counterparts.
     
  9. kpbaseballmom

    kpbaseballmom Member

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    From the USMMA website

    Midshipmen Health Services

    The Academy’s Health Services staff includes medical and dental officers, a psychiatrist, a physician’s assistant, nurse and other health care team members. The campus has the well-equipped Patten out-patient clinic. Midshipmen are seen for medical and dental care on an appointment basis with emergency cases seen at any time. Additionally, the Academy has a contract with a nearby university hospital to provide care outside the scope of the on-campus clinic, and for after-hours emergency care. Consent forms and authorization for medical services are provided to and required from all students.

    Midshipmen qualify for benefits under the Federal Employee Compensation Act in the event of illness or injury in the line of official duty. Medical care continues while aboard ship during sea training either under the Federal Employees Compensation Act and/or under the shipping company’s protection and indemnity
    coverages.

    The Academy has a comprehensive health service program in order to ensure proper personal protection against illness and injury in instances where the Federal Employee Compensation Act, the shipping company, and other limited coverages provided by the government do not apply. As an integral part of this comprehensive program, the Academy has initiated an “excess” medical care plan. Some types of medical care, however, are not provided under any of the health delivery systems discussed above.

    It is important to note that while Academy medical care is extensive, a midshipman is not entitled to unlimited medical care at government expense. The midshipman and midshipman’s family are advised to maintain any existing health care insurance plan already in force. The use of private insurance may be necessary in some instances.
     
  10. JMS

    JMS Member

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  11. sook

    sook Member

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    Not that different from USMMA 2010 grads. Mine was under my insurance health and dental. My state allowed children that were full time college students up to the age of 25 to be covered. The other Academys have the students covered under the military, USMMA is not military, thus, no health insurance. Same applies to my other child who is at a State College, school required proof of health insurance or buy theirs and proof that vacinations were up to date.
     
  12. jessibee2013

    jessibee2013 Member

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    This sounds like the current policy that will change in October based on the letter we received. Perhaps the website has not been updated- which certainly isn't a rare occurrence at KP.
     
  13. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Isn't this a distinction between 3 of the other academies being under the Dept. of Defence and KP being under the Dept of Transportation? I would imagine USCGA would also be slightly different since they are under Homeland Security.
    Not the same mission, not the same benifits.
     
  14. luv2fly

    luv2fly Member

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    In the summer of 09 Rear Admiral Allen B. Worley stated to the parents of the class of 2013 " that your children now belong to us" If you son or daughter needs medical treatment while at Kings Point, they will be taken care of at Patton Hall. If they require medical attention outside of Kings Point the will be taken to North Shore Hospital. He stated "make sure your son or daughter give the Kings Point address and not you home address so the medical bills come to Kings Point" He also stated that the mids will get this info about the address.

    So what's the deal??

    luv2fly
     
  15. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    There is no difference between the "benefits" of USMA, USNA, USAFA, and USCGA, as all 4 branches they represent are part of the Armed Forces of the United States.

    They are all subject to the UCMJ, they are all paid at 35% of the current O-1 pay grade, they are all considered to be on active duty during their academy attendance, they all are covered under TriCare insurance, and they all owe minimum 5 years active duty after commissioning.

    I also understand that a yearly fee must also be paid by KP mids (or parents) for necessities that are not funded by the Govt (things that, at the other 4 academies are paid by deductions from their pay - laundry, tailoring, barber, etc) - the website indicates about $7k in total fees.
     
  16. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Thank you Luigi for the clarification. :redface:
    How is your football team this year? :wink: and you about ready to start your annual tally for the trophy? Is it the Superintendents Trophy? Maybe you can get the new readers up to speed on that before KP beats CG!:shake:
     
  17. dkkght

    dkkght Member

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    I find you statement that Kings point is not a "real" service academy when it is, what it is not is a military academy even though they operate as a paramilitary organization.
     
  18. NYBEAR

    NYBEAR Member

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    Letter to Midshipmen and Parents from Col. Helis

    Today I received a mailing from USMMA regarding the mandatory health insurance requirement, effective October 1, 2012.

    What is the big deal? The Academy wants everyone covered in the event of an expensive medical problem/emergency. If you have a family plan, "Obama Care" now allows us to keep dependent kids on the family plan until age 26.

    The letter also says that if you have no family plan and the cost of the new premium is too much for your family, you can request financial aid, even if you have never asked for aid for the deminimus fees that are now required each year. The letter suggests that the Academy will take care of special circumstances if insurance and family finances can not get it done.

    So this "policy change" is not a policy change at all, just a clarification of what has always been the policy with respect to medical insurance for Mids at USMMA.

    The letter states that the USMMA is a Federal "service" academy and not a Federal "military" academy. But we already knew this , so what has really changed and why is anyone concerned about this?

    When my guy was nearly asphyxiated in his barrack last winter, the bills that he received from his emergency room stay were ultimately payed by Patton, and not charged against our family plan.
     
  19. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    It is not quite what the policy has always been. When DD started, I seem to recall being informed that whenever or wherever she needed care, she should use USMMA as the address. All medical care went through KP. At some point during her time there the policy changed. We were never clearly informed of the change. Illnesses while at KP were treated at Patten. Injuries that happened as a result of duty at KP were covered, to include sports injuries while a member of a team. But I do know of classmates of DD who had no insurance coverage through families and therefore had only limited coverage. It sounds like they are finally being clear in the information they are giving families. That is excellent news.

    Someone asked earlier whether this means having more control over the medical care your mid receives. I sincerely hope that it does. We had a bit of a nightmare with DD's care for a knee injury she sustained as a member of the track team. Since it was covered under USMMA medical coverage, she had no say in whom she saw for treatment. We eventually got permission for her to get a third opinion by an orthopedist who specialized in sports medicine in the DC area. It was a real struggle, though in the end she was able to get the care she needed and it was covered my KP worker's comp. That was the only time during her years at KP that we actively stepped in to influence how she was treated. I guess my point is that it is worth keeping an eye on who is treating your DS/DD whether you are paying or not. If you do have some say in the doctor treating them, don't be afraid to do your research and put your foot down. The folks at Patten do want to do right by your mid, but sometimes the default answer isn't the right one for all situations.

    Bottom line: It is an excellent change for them to be clear and up front about the policy for medical coverage! :thumb:
     
  20. jessibee2013

    jessibee2013 Member

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    Thank you KPMUM2012. Folks get so argumentative here. I KNEW what the policy was in 7/2009 and it was coverage for mids while at KP and performing duties for KP. And yes, we were told to tell our mids never to give our insurance and always use the USMMA address. My kid goes there, I knew the current policy wasn't the policy when DS enrolled. Thank you everybody who assured me I didn't know what I was talking about!

    However, I had no idea the policy changed sometime between 7/09 and the date of the letter (which came in the mail this weekend). So, yes, it is a good thing that they are being transparent and letting us know about a change that apparently already happened. :smile:
     

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