The White Falcon


The White Falcon - 05.03.1976, Blaðsíða 1

The White Falcon - 05.03.1976, Blaðsíða 1
White Falcon VoUne XXXII. Number 9 Ke/fev*. Iceland MeichS.WB ¦¦«¦¦¦¦«¦¦¦¦ Head tor the hills: Hvitarbakki opens Saturday CHILDREN TAKE IN Lodne area there. the scenery at Hvitarbakki as they fish and play in the Navy CHAMPUS revises charges A revised formula for determining prevailing charges has been put into effect according to the NATO CHAMPUS ad- visor, HM1 Charles Lesher. This move brings these changes in line with those of other federal health care programs such as Medicare. A prevailing charge is one of three factors used by CHAMPUS in setting a reasonable charge for a health care ser- vice or supply. The others are the actual charge. The reasonable charge is the closest of the three. It includes both the beneficiary's share and the government's share. Reasonable charge All CHAMPUS payments for outpatient service for supplies and for maternity care benefits are based on a reasonable charge. Also, CHAMPUS payments for in- patient services and supplies are not included in hospital bills and based on a reasonable charge. According to the CHAMPUS advisor, the revision could affect the amount that the program pays for any specific serv- ice or supply. Under the revised formula, the pre- vailing charge is now set at an amount which is high enough to cover the customary charges for three out of every four bills from all doctors or other health care providers in a geographic area during the preceding calendar year for a service or supply. In technical terms, this means that the prevailing charge is set at the 75th percentile profile. A customary charge is generally the one most frequently made by a doctor or other health care provider for a service or supply. No reduction The change from setting prevailing charges on the basis of the 90th per- centile profile has created misunder- standing on the part of some beneficiar- ies who believe that CHAMPUS benefits have been reduced from 90 percent to 75 percent. CHAMPUS officials emphasize that this is not an accurate statement. Since prevailing charges are set by geographic area, they may vary from one area to another. Petty Officer Lesher points out that other federal health care programs have been setting the prevailing charge at an amount which is high enough to cover the customary charges for three out of every four bills. Lesher said that the charge in the CHAMPUS formula makes the pro- gram's payment policy more consistent with those of other federal health care programs. Participating doctors Because the change could affect the amount paid by the government for a particular service or supply, CHAMPUS officials urge that all beneficiaries make a special effort to use a doctor or other health care provider who partici- pates in the program. A participating provider agrees to accept the reasonable charge set by CHAMPUS as payment in full. Thus, a beneficiary is protected against respon- sibility for costs above his share of the reasonable charge. A doctor or other health care provid- er who does not participate in CHAMPUS does not agree to accept the charge as payment in full. The nonparticipating provider's fea may be more than the rea- sonable charge set by CHAMPUS. A bene- ficiary is then responsible for his share of the reasonable charge and the actual fee. One hundred miles northeast of the NATO base is a quiet hideaway called Hvitarbakki. This guest lodge, located on a work- ing farm, has eight bedrooms, a large kitchen for guests' use, lounge, and sauna. ATCS Larry Sutherland, the mana- ger, lives in the house for the 10 months of the year Hvitarbakki is open. The farm is located in a peaceful and picturesque farming area that offers many opportunities for sightseeing in short day trips. Some of the points of interest include hot springs, and many hiking and mountain climbing areas. Twenty miles away, the pleasant town of Borganes has shopping facilities and a hotel with a very fine restaurant. For the more adventuresome, there is fishing available in the Hvita River on the lodge grounds and arrangements can be made to fish in the rivers and lakes in the area. Horseback riding is avail- able through the neighbor farmers. Hunting is in season August through March for all members of the Base Rod and Gun Club. For the camper there are camp sites in abundance, and for the swimmer, heated pools in the area are open during the summer months. Last year over 1,000 NATO base per- sonnel and dependents utilized this most beautiful facility, most of whom left with a much greater appreciation of the host country. The rates for this snug hideaway are very reasonable. Campers are charged only 50c per person a night, while in the lodge bedrooms the charge is only $3 per person per night. Children may sleep in their sleeping bags in their parent's room for only $1 per night per child. Reservations may be made at the Recreation Office in Building T-170, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. One does not have to drive the whole distance to the lodge. One alternate route is to catch the ferry leaving from Reykjavik harbor, right in front of the customs house and go by boat to Akranes, then travel the customary route the last 20 miles to the lodge. For those who do not have a car, bus service is available from the bus term- inal in Reykjavik at a cost of Kr875 More information is available at the Recreation Office on travel arrangements and reservations at 4393 or 7500. W-2 important to you Most military personnel and their dependents have received their W-2 In- come Tax forms and now are preparing to file their Federal Tax Return. But one would be wise not to stop there. This year states are making a con- certed effort to locate delinquent tax- payers in the military and they are pre- pared to impose penalties for failing to file. It is the personal responsibility of each member of the military to obtain the necessary forms and information on state taxes and above all to pay taxes in those states that require military members to do so. If you have been avoiding state income taxes in the past, you may not be so lucky this time around. This year your home of record state, or the state of your legal domicile will be getting a copy of your W-2 form from the service. Laws pertaining to state income tax vary from state to state and many states have made some changes in their laws over those imposed on earnings claimed during 1974. WF corrects error In last week's White Falcon story on advancement requirements, it was incorrectly stated that 24 months was required for Time in Rate for E-4. The correct TIR is six months. DOD shows military strength The Department of Defense has re- leased tentative figures on the total numerical strength of the Armed Forces as of Jan. 31, 1976. According to preliminary reports, there was a total of 2,091,794 men and women on the defense rolls. This figure was an increase of 7,488 over the number serving at the end of December, 1975. But, it was 53,093 below the total for the end of January, 1975. A breakdown by service shows: The Army had 771,335 troops as of the end of January, up 4,298 over the pre- Navy to retire 12 ships in '77 vious month, but down 7,457 from the number a year earlier. The Navy reported a total of 526,399 on board at the end of January up 2,112 over the December figure, but, 21,191 fewer than were on Navy rolls at the end of January 1975. There were 195,094 Marines counted on January 31, up 1,745 from December and up 364 over the previous year's figure. And finally, the Air Force counted only 598,399 personnel in January, down 667 over the final December figure and down 24,810 over the previous year's January figure. Twelve of the Navy's older ships, in- cluding the aircraft carrier, Franklin D. Roosevelt, will be retired from duty with the fleet during Fiscal Year 1977 according to the Secretary of the Navy, J. William Middendorf. Eleven of the ships will be leaving the active fleet while one will be re- tired from the Naval Reserve Force. Although 11 of the ships will be leaving the active fleet during the period, 20 newly-constructed ships will enter the fleet during the FY 76 transition period and fiscal year 1977. The average age of the ships to be retired is more than 30 years. The Secretary indicated that additional re- tirements can be anticipated in succeed- ing years since more than 60 ships will be 30 years old at the end of FY 77. While the net gain in ships during Fiscal Year 77 is only nine, the Sec- retary said the long range shipbuilding program must provide about 18 ships per year to replace those which will drop from active inventory due to the end of their normal service life. This must be done to maintain the size of today's fleet of 477 ships. Of the 11 active ships to be re- tired, five are assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and six to the Pacific. Five of the units will join the Naval Reserve Force; five will be striken from the Naval Register and one, the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, will be changed from ac- tive to inactive service, commonly known as the "Mothball Fleet." The reserve unit to be retired is homeported on the east coast. It will be striker, from the Naval Register. The approximately 4,100 officers and men affected by this action will be re- assigned. The ships included on the list are: destroyers G.K. MacKenzie, DD-836, and L.F. Mason, DD-852, both homeported at San Diego, and Edson, DD-946, homeported in Long Beach. Edson will be transfered to the Reserve Force. The submarine rescue ships Tringa, ASR-16, homeported at New London; and Coucal, ASR-8 homeported at Pearl Harbor will both be stricken. Fleet ocean tugs Paiute, AFT-159 out of Mayport, Fla. Moctobi, ATF-105 and Quapaw, ATF-110, both out of Pearl Harbor, and Papago, ATF-160 at Little Creek, Va. will go to the Reserve Force. The store ship, Denebola, AF-56 home- ported at Norfolk, Va. will be stricken. MC schedules NCO boards Headquarters Marine Corps has an- nounced the tentative schedule for the 1977 Staff NCO Selection and Re- view Boards. The board to select sergeants ma- jor, master gunnery sergeants, first sergeants and master sergeants will meet on July 13, 1976, The Gunnery Sergeant Board will convene on Oct. 13, 1976 and the staff sergeant selections will begin on Jan. 11, 1977. Each board will be in session for approximately eight and one-half weeks. The official announcement of each board will be published in the Marine Corps . -lletin 1400 series approxi- mately 80 days before the convening of each board.

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