Cold Comfort In Miami

When Southeast Banking Corp. collapsed in September, so did the bank's pension, 401(k), and medical insurance programs.

Neither the federal regulators who closed the bank nor First Union Corp., which purchased its deposits and selected assets, assumed responsibility for the benefit plans.

Before the bank was seized, employees thought their medical bills were covered by policies with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Since then, they have discovered that Southeast was actually self-insured. Met Life only administered the plan.

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