Originally created 10/01/97

Business briefs



Thiele Kaolin Co. plans expansion

Thiele Kaolin Co. announced a $40 million expansion of its plants in Sandersville, Ga., and one in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. The expansion in Sandersville - just more than $20 million - will be a calciner complex that will double capacity for calcined products, supporting the company's growing sales to the coated-paper and paperboard markets. Calciner is used in paper products.

Retirees face restrictions

NEW YORK - Retirees from big companies have less access to health insurance and more restrictions on the insurance they can get than they did six years ago, according to a study released Tuesday.

For retirees 65 and over, the share of employers with more than 1,000 workers offering health benefits declined from 92 percent in 1991 to 87 percent last year, according to the study commissioned by the Henry J. Kaiser Family foundation.

As the number of major employers offering retiree coverage declined, the number of those charging premiums, tightening eligibility, encouraging managed care and instituting dollar caps on coverage rose.

Proposed changes in the federal Medicare health program for the elderly could speed the trend in cutting retiree health benefits, the study's authors said.

Airline ticket prices hit wallets

NEW YORK - Travelers heading out of the country have already started to feel the pinch of new ticket taxes going into effect Wednesday, but now domestic travelers have also been hit with an increase.

Under a new law passed by Congress in August, airline ticket taxes were restructured as of today. A 10 percent excise tax on most domestic tickets dropped to 9 percent, and an additional $1 fee is being charged per flight segment.

For instance, a person flying from Dallas to New York on a ticket that costs $685.32 would pay $61.68 in excise tax and $1 in a segment fee.

While that might have meant a slight savings under the law itself - a 1 percent fee on a $685.32 one-way ticket, for instance, would be $6.85 compared with a $1 segment fee, the major airlines started collecting that 1 percent as a fare increase beginning last Friday.