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UNITED STATES SUGAR CORPORATION EMPLOYEES RECEIVED NEW HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN

 UNITED STATES SUGAR CORPORATION EMPLOYEES
 RECEIVED NEW HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN
 CLEWISTON, Fla., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- United States Sugar Corporation completed full implementation of an agreement recently reached with the Jamaican government which offers all of its foreign can cutters and support workers the choice of receiving an improved health insurance plan.
 Each worker received a booklet describing benefits and claims procedures under the health insurance plan offered by U.S. Life Insurance Company. For a cost of approximately $20 per month, workers receive 100 percent coverage for non-work related illness after payment of the initial doctor's visit. Under the policy, premiums received by U.S. Life must be used solely for workers' insurance benefits and reasonable administrative expenses. Work-related injuries already are covered by workers' compensation insurance at no cost to the worker.
 U.S. Sugar negotiated the new insurance to replace the self- insurance provided by the West Indies Central Labour Organization (WICLO). The prior insurance program had been criticized because of questions concerning coverage limitations and lack of disclosure to participants.
 "We believe that the insurance plan offered today by U.S. Life addresses each and every concern that has been raised regarding our workers' insurance," said U.S. Sugar President J. Nelson Fairbanks.
 Workers also received a clarification letter from the Jamaican government explaining that participation in the insurance plan and a government sponsored savings plan were completely voluntary decisions of the workers. In recent meetings with workers, WICLO explained and distributed the clarification letter to the workers. The letter states that each worker's decision will have no effect on the individual's current or future participation in the guest worker program. Workers had previously authorized the deductions at the beginning of the harvest season, but after receiving the clarification letter, U.S. Sugar gave each worker another opportunity to reauthorize or decline his participation in the health care and savings programs. The participation decisions by the worker may be changed at any time.
 The administration and voluntary nature of the insurance and savings programs had been the focus of a congressional staff report and a recent
investigation by the U.S. General Accounting offi ? Fairbanks stated, "When we heard that concerns were raised regarding the health insurance and savings plans, we negotiated an agreement with the Jamaican government to fix them. We are very pleased this agreement has now been fully implemented for the workers."
 In a separate action, the company also announced today that together with WICLO the company will now pay the full cost of tuition and transportation for night education classes for foreign cane cutters. According to WICLO, over the last 15 years, more than 6,000 foreign cane cutters have participated in this program, which offers basic literacy courses leading to the G.E.D. high school equivalency degree, and trade classes. In prior years the workers received free transportation and partial subsidization of tuition costs.
 -0- 2/18/92
 /CONTACT: Sylvia Walters of U.S. Sugar Corporation, 813-983-8121/ CO: U.S. Sugar Corporation ST: Florida IN: SU:


JJ-SS -- FL006 -- 9846 02/18/92 10:40 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1992
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