Health law leaves volunteer firefighting in limbo

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — Fire chiefs and lawmakers are working to protect the system of volunteer firefighting that has served rural America for more than a century but is threatened by an ambiguity in the federal health overhaul.

Volunteer firefighters are considered employees for tax purposes because they're often offered such incentives as stipends, retirement benefits and gym memberships.

That leaves open the question of whether they'll fall under the health care law's requirement that employers with 50 or more employees working at least 30 hours a week must provide health insurance for them.

Small-town fire chiefs say they can't afford to pay for health insurance for volunteers.

But others say it's too early to ring the alarm. The federal government is expected to release its regulations this year that could answer the question.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 238780181 - local8now.com/a?a=238780181
Gray Television, Inc.