NU Online News Service, May 6, 11:21 a.m. – Americana Financial Services Inc., Warwick, R.I., has picked The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, to provide a Medicare supplement insurance plan for members of the Retired Steelworkers Benefits Plan and Trust who are over age 65.

Retired Steelworkers Benefits is a “voluntary employee beneficiary association,” or VEBA, that helps provide health benefits for former employees of LTV Corp., Cleveland.

The steel company filed for bankruptcy court protection in December 2000 and began eliminating the health insurance programs that had covered the former employees.

The VEBA represents two groups of LTV veterans: retirees who are at least 65, who do qualify for Medicare benefits, and workers under 65, who usually do not qualify for Medicare.

The Hartford VEBA Medigap program would be available only to the retirees old enough to qualify for Medicare.

Supplemental medical benefits would start at $93 per month, and a prescription drug plan would cost $32.50 per month.

Open enrollment for the plan, which began operating May 1, will last until June 30.

The plan is available throughout the United States, except Florida, Minnesota, Vermont and Washington.