New Law Improves Emergency Service Volunteers Access to Health Insurance

Kenneth P. LaValle

January 21, 2009

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers will be afforded greater access to health coverage as a result of a new law that became effective this month. The measure was sponsored by the Senate and allows emergency services volunteers to purchase certain public employee health insurance plans at a much lower cost than they would receive as an individual or family.

The new law allows volunteer fire and ambulance companies to access the health insurance plan offered to municipal employees. The plan would not create an additional financial burden on the municipality or emergency service organization as volunteers will purchase the health coverage at their own expense. This bill is one way the state can help local municipalities meet the critical need for fire and ambulance services in their communities.

"Volunteer emergency service workers play a vital role in our communities and it is important that we recognize their efforts," said Senator LaValle. "This new law will help local fire and ambulance companies recruit and retain members and give volunteers the ability to purchase health insurance at an affordable rate."