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HB 146, Firefighter Cancer Insurance

Municipal Impact Position Contact
Support Tom Gehl, (678) 686-6247

Last Updated: 2/23/2017
Subject Area: Municipal Powers | Public Safety |
Resources: bill text
This legislation would require that legally organized fire departments have insurance coverage to pay claims for cancer. In the case of any firefighter who is employed by one department and a volunteer at another, only the department which employs the firefighter would be required to provide coverage.

HB 146 would require local fire departments to provide a lump sum payment to any firefighter diagnosed with certain types of cancers and up to 3 years of disability payments to firefighters who, because of injury or illness, cannot work as a firefighter. 

To be eligible, a firefighter must have served 12 consecutive months as a firefighter with that fire department. The cancers listed in the legislation are those that occur at a higher rate in firefighters than in other occupations.

Supplemental Medical Payments
The amount of the supplemental medical payment would be based on the severity of the cancer and is intended to provide up front assistance with medical expenses such as deductibles, co-pays and prescriptions.

The most serious stages of cancer would trigger a payment of $25,000 to the firefighter. Less serious stages of cancer, which still require significant treatment, would trigger a payment of $6,250 to the firefighter. The severity benchmarks spelled out in the legislation attempt to track those found in existing, commercially available insurance products. Total lump sum, medical supplemental payments for cancer diagnosis would be capped at $50,000.  

Income Replacement
A separate benefit would be payable when a firefighter, due to injury or illness, is unable to work as a firefighter. This benefit begins six months after the disability begins. Firefighters employed by one or more fire departments would receive 60% of their salary as a firefighter at one or more departments up to a maximum of $5,000 per month. Because volunteer firefighters do not receive a salary for their service but may be paid for fire calls and firefighting training, the monthly benefit would be set at a flat rate of $1500 per month. These disability payments may continue for up to 3 years (36 months).

The disability payments would be reduced by the amount that the firefighter is receiving from another source for that disability. Those payments offset and reduce the monthly amount paid under this bill. Such an offset would not apply if the firefighter has purchased his or her own individual disability policy and is receiving payments.


3/16/2017 House Vote #280 Yea - 166 Nay - 1 Not Voting - 7 Excused - 6
3/9/2017 Senate Vote #170 Yea - 52 Nay - 0 Not Voting - 2 Excused - 1
2/7/2017 House Vote #26 Yea - 171 Nay - 1 Not Voting - 2 Excused - 6

1/1/2018 - Effective Date

5/4/2017 - Act 142

5/4/2017 - Date Signed by Governor


Micah Gravley

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