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Frequently Asked Questions

When is my NOAA physical due?

Your NOAA physical is required every 2 years regardless of age.

How soon should I reach out to medical to schedule this at MOCA/MOCP or at a sister occupational health clinic?

About 30 - 60 days before your physical expires, please reach out to sends e-mail) or sends e-mail) to schedule and/or discuss options for scheduling an appointment at a sister occupational health clinic.

I was unable to complete my physical exam before it expired. Is there a grace period?

You should be in contact with Marine Health Services prior to your physical exam expiring. As long as there is sufficient effort in fulfilling the physical exam requirement, yes, there is a grace period of 60 days. Beyond that timeframe, you are in jeopardy of being declared temporarily not fit for duty.

I am currently temporarily not fit for duty (TNFFD), how do I get cleared to return to work?

The best and most direct answer will be found in the official TNFFD letter that is mailed and/or emailed to you. Read the letter carefully as it states exactly what is needed by your provider in order to be cleared. Every scenario is different which may require different labs/tests/consults in order to be deemed safe to return to duty. Work closely with your respective Marine Health Services Center to regain clearance to sail.

Can I have my NOAA physical completed by my primary care doctor?

Yes, but typically primary care doctors’ offices are not capable of performing the hearing test (Audiogram) or the pulmonary function test (PFT) also known as a Spirometry test, which are annual requirements. If this is the case, these two required tests will need to be completed before your physical is deemed complete.

Can NOAA complete my US. Coast Guard (USCG) required physical for my Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC)?

The required biennial NOAA Physical is completed and documented on the same forms (CG719K) that are required by the USCG to obtain your MMC. We do not submit this form for you, you must get the original (or a copy if accepted) and send it to the USCG directly. Once you are granted an MMC, send sends e-mail) or sends e-mail) a copy of the certificate and we will change your NOAA physical exam expiration date in the medical readiness tracker tool (MRTT) to the same date as your MMC’s expiration date.

I am on a ship that has a Medical Officer, can he/she perform my physical?

Yes. However, they will not typically have the ability to complete the Audiogram or the Spirometry test because this equipment is not standard aboard a ship. These two tests will need to be completed before your physical is deemed complete.

I am due for my annual PPD Skin Test (Tuberculosis Skin Test) where can I get this complete?

PPDs need to be completed before you sail and valid through the duration of your time at sea. There are several options for getting your annual PPD test administered. The ship’s Medical Person(s) in Charge are trained to complete this but this has to be completed before sailing and not while underway. The PPD test can be completed at MOCA, MOCP, or one of our sister occupational health clinics. Additionally, this can be completed by your primary care doctor’s office or an urgent care/walk-in care center on your own. MHS will cover the cost only if using our approved sister occupational health clinics. Results are typically automatically sent to MHS from the respective clinics, however, it’s your responsibility to make sure we have received the results.

I have had a positive PPD Skin Test (Tuberculosis Skin Test) in the past. What should I do to fulfill my annual requirement?

According to the Tuberculosis Protection Program policy, you are required to have a medical exam by a licensed health care provider every year to sign section II of NF57-10-02 (Tuberculosis Screening Document).

I have tested positive for my PPD Skin Test (Tuberculosis Skin Test). What should I do?

You should see your primary care doctor or Tricare provider where they will evaluate you, discuss treatment options (if applicable) and future surveillance options. You are no longer required to have a chest x-ray every 5 years but you are required to have an annual exam by a medically credentialed provider to clear the annual Tb screening requirement.

I need a dive physical. Can this be completed by Marine Health Services?

Yes, please reach out to your respective center, sends e-mail) or sends e-mail) to schedule this physical.

I have been injured while on the job. What do I need to do to file a workers’ compensation claim?

Your ship's Commanding Officer/Executive Officer will complete form CA-16 (Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment). They or you will complete a CA-1 (Notice of Traumatic Injury). These forms and all Workers' Compensation forms can be found on the Department of Labor's site More specific questions can be directed to Managed Care Advisors by calling, 1-844-362-2524 or emailing, sends e-mail). You will be declared temporarily not fit for duty during this process, so please keep your respective marine health services center updated as to your health status.





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Reviewed: December 15, 2020. Contact us with page issues.

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