SIU members are reminded that they have an online option for placing orders for clinic exam services in addition to services offered at the hiring halls.
As previously reported, those services may be ordered through the membersonly portal on the union’s website, www. seafarers.org. 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 stated, “You can order exams within 60 days of your current expiration dates, so don’t wait until the last minute. This site also allows ineligible participants to order exams and pay using PayPal.”
The SHBP started using a new health clinic system, Comprehensive Health Services (CHSi), in early 2013. 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 member portal allows mariners to order the exams they need as follows:
– Annual/MSC Physical Examination – Required no more than once annually, no sooner than 60 days prior to the expiration date of the previous exam.
– Functional Capacity Evaluation – Required no more than once annually, no sooner than 60 days prior to expiration date of previous annual exam.
– New Member Physical Exam – This is a one-time requirement and is necessary prior to registration.
– U.S. Coast Guard Exam – Required once every two years unless the mariner is upgrading.
– Interval Exam – Needed once every six months after annual exam for deep sea members and under several inland contracts.
– DOT/U.S. Coast Guard Drug Test (Pre-Employment or Periodic) – Required when renewing documents, returning to work, or when random exception 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.
– Food Handler 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 – This exam is required for those participating in the UA program. Once the admissions department notifies you of acceptance into the UA program, you must work with a local port office.
– TB Screening only – Required no more than once annually, no sooner than 60 days prior to expiration of existing clearance. The TB screening is included in every Annual/MSC exam, UA exam and New Member exam.
Approval Required Exams
– Return to Duty Exam – (repatriation, interval illness or injury, etc.) Required upon demand by 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 Addictions Rehabilitation Center (ARC) and SHBP medical department.
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Are You Ready to Ship Out?
Make sure your documents and paperwork are current:
– Merchant mariner credential (MMC) with security endorsements (security awareness and/or vessel personnel with designated security duties, abbreviated as VPDSD, VSO for officers)
– MMC indicating completion of Basic Training (formerly BST) (VI/1 and related verbiage)
– Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
– ServSafe Management (chief cook and higher)
– ServSafe Food Handler (entry level)
– Medical certificate (acquired by passing U.S. Coast Guard physical once every two years and submitting to local REC)
– Annual physical exam and interval exam (required once every six months)
– Drug test (every six months unless continuously sailing)
– If you take prescription drugs, make sure your medications will last longer than the duration of your voyage. If you need early or extended refills, contact the claims department for assistance. Dial 1-800-252-4674 and follow the prompt for prescriptions.