Century Pares Health Coverage For Retirees

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Ravenswood, W.Va. (AP) -- Century Aluminum says it's eliminating health insurance for some workers who retired from its shuttered West Virginia smelter.

Spokesman Mike Dildine says workers who retired before June 1, 2006, won't be covered by Century's insurance beginning next year.

Dildine says cutting benefits costs at its Ravenswood smelter is essential if Century is to retain any hope of restarting the operation.

Retirees who are younger than 65 will retain company coverage.

Century shuttered Ravenswood and eliminated approximately 650 jobs in February.

The company blamed high costs and low aluminum prices for the shutdown.

United Steelworkers Local 5668 official Eli Morris says the affected 250 to 300 retirees and their beneficiaries are being encouraged to enroll in Medicare.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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