SIU members have a new online option for scheduling clinic exam services.
As reported at the May membership meetings, those services may now be ordered through the members-only portal HERE. The members-only area itself has been available since June 2011 and is free of charge.
Seafarers Health and Benefits Plans (SHBP) Administrator Maggie Bowen noted in her May report to the membership, “You can order exams within 60 days of your current expiration dates, so don’t wait until the last minute. This site will also allow ineligible participants to order exams and pay using PayPal.”
She added, “If you do not see the exam that you are trying to order, please email email@example.com and if you have any other questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-252-4674.”
As reported in past issues of the LOG, on the union’s website and at the monthly membership meetings, the SHBP started using a new health clinic system in early 2013. Comprehensive Health Services (CHSi) features more than 2,000 participating facilities in the contiguous United States, which has made it much easier for Seafarers to find clinics that are closer to home, whether they’re taking annual exams, functional capacity evaluations or interval exams.
Using the clinic system allows mariners to schedule the exams they need as follows:
Annual Physical Examination – required no more than once annually, no sooner than 60 days prior to the expiration date of the previous exam
New Member Physical Exam – this is a one-time requirement and is necessary only upon entry into the system
U.S. Coast Guard Exam – required once every two years unless the mariner is upgrading
Interval Exam – needed once every six months for deep sea members
DOT/U.S. Coast Guard Drug Test – required when renewing documents or when random exemption expires
Benzene Clearance – mandatory (for mariners sailing on tankers) no more than once annually, no sooner than 60 days prior to the expiration date of previous clearance
Steward Department Certification – required no more than once annually, no sooner than 60 days prior to the expiration date of the mariner’s certification
Unlicensed Apprentice Physical Exam – will become automated after initial HLSS notification of acceptance. This exam, which must be requested at a local port office, is required one time only upon entry into the system
Functional Capacity Evaluation – required no more than once annually, no sooner than 60 days prior to expiration date of previous annual exam
Approval Required Exams
Return to Duty Exam – (repatriation, interval illness or injury, etc.) required upon demand by SHBP Medical Department
MSC Physical Exam – required by job order and approved as necessary by the SHBP Medical Department
MSC Shots only – required by job order and approved as necessary by the SHBP Medical Department
Commercial Non-MSC Shots only –approved as necessary by the SHBP Medical Department
ARC Exam – approval required by ARC and SHBP Medical Department
TB Screening only – required no more than once annually, no sooner than 60 days prior to expiration of existing clearance
Additionally, as a result of amendments to the STCW Convention, mariners who sail internationally are required to carry a medical certificate issued by the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC). The Seafarers who need those medical certificates should have received them in the mail by March 31.
Any SIU member who sails internationally and who has not received the medical certificate should contact the NMC right away, either by phone at 1-888-427-5662 or via email at IAskNMC@uscg.mil.