Burzichelli, Mosquera, Pinkin & Quijano Bill to Expand Health Benefits For Volunteer First Responders Clears Assembly Panel

Volunteer firefighters and emergency responders would be eligible to receive health insurance coverage through a municipality’s “small employer” plan under legislation (A-1487) approved Monday by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.

Bill sponsors Assembly Democrats John Burzichelli (D-Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem), Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester), Nancy Pinkin (D-Middlesex) and Annette Quijano (D-Union) released the following joint statement:

“Volunteer firefighters and emergency responders dedicate their lives to keeping their communities safe. In return, their community should offer health benefits to ease the burden on volunteers and their families. While municipalities are currently allowed to offer insurance coverage to volunteer first responders, provisions in “small employer” plans define eligible employees as those who work at least 25 hours per week, which excludes some volunteers. This legislation would resolve this conflict by making volunteer firefighters and emergency responders eligible for benefits under the small employer plan, which in turn will result in lower insurance rates for the municipality.”