Committee Advances Singleton, Oroho Bill to Qualify Volunteer Emergency Responders for Small Employer Health Benefit Plans

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Trenton – The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee advanced bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Troy Singleton and Senator Steven Oroho (R- Morris/Sussex/Warren) would permit a municipality to include volunteer firefighters and other emergency responders within the municipal eligible employee group under the small employer health benefits plan statutes.

 

“Volunteer emergency responders provide an invaluable service to their communities without financial compensation,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “This bill would provide these selfless volunteers with access to certain health benefit plans, which is one way we can show our appreciation for their service.”

 

The bill, S-331, would authorize municipalities to regard volunteer firefighters and other emergency responders as eligible employees under the small employer health benefits plan statutes.

 

Current law permits municipalities to offer group health insurance benefits to volunteer firefighters and emergency responders regarding small employer health benefits plans. However, the volunteers are not included in the definition of eligible employees regarding the statutes dealing with small health benefit plans. Under this bill, this conflict between provisions would be resolved.

 

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.