07.11.2017 GEORGIA: Fire Departments Must Provide Cancer Insurance
On May 4, 2017, Gov. Deal signed HB 146 into law, amending section 25-3-23 of the Georgia Code relating to general requirements for legally organized fire departments. The law was passed to mandate insurance coverage for the 19 types of cancer firefighters contract the most.
Specifically, this law requires such fire departments in Georgia to purchase and maintain certain cancer insurance coverage for firefighters (including volunteer firefighters), and the law also requires such departments to provide income protection for up to three years.
Coverage will need to be provided for firefighters who have served 12 consecutive months. Insurance benefits will include a lump-sum benefit of $25,000 or $6,250 depending on the cancer’s severity. In addition, for those unable to perform job duties due to the diagnosis, a monthly benefit equal to 60 percent of the firefighter’s monthly salary, or a monthly benefit of $5,000, whichever is less, will begin six months after the firefighter’s diagnosis and continue for 36 months. The monthly benefit for volunteer firefighters unable to perform their job duties will be $1,500, payable in the same manner as that for paid firefighters.
This law is effective for legally organized fire departments in Georgia as of Jan. 1, 2018.