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U.S. Steel axing nonunion retiree health plan

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Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011

U.S. Steel Corp. is eliminating a health insurance plan it offered to some of its retirees because, the Downtown-based company said, they should be able to find cheaper options elsewhere.

In a letter that some of its nonunion retirees began receiving on Monday, U.S. Steel says that effective Jan. 1, it will cut its company-sponsored health insurance and prescription plan for Medicare-eligible nonunion retirees and their dependents.

"The market for individual Medicare health insurance options is mature and offers a broad range of cost-effective and comprehensive coverage options," U.S. Steel said in a statement.

"These options offer comprehensive coverage at lower costs in comparison to the current group plans offered by U.S. Steel."

Retiree health insurance for union members is not affected, the company said, nor is coverage for retirees who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

Nearly half of U.S. Steel's nonunion retirees previously opted out of the company's plan and are purchasing insurance from the private market, the company said. There are about 20,000 U.S. Steel nonunion retirees and eligible dependents in the United States, the company said.

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