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Friday, May 26, 2017

FRWC NEWS

The Invisible Enemy

Kathleen ADMIN 0 2879 Article rating: No rating

There are a large number of studies today that review the carcinogenic hazards of firefighting.  There is no question that firefighting and the higher risk of getting cancer go hand-in-hand.  Washington is one of many states that understand this.  It is a considered a “presumptive” state that recognizes that if a firefighter contracts cancer, it most likely was caused by the exposure to toxic chemicals such as Benzene, Hydrogen Cyanide and many other organics.  It’s essential that we are aware of this fact and do what we can to reduce this risk, and if a firefighter contracts cancer what is required to get financial aid to help battle the disease.

In late 2007 the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry which is run by the CDC, correlated the connection between Benzene and cancer.  As late as 2009, the League of Cities came out with statements saying there was not enough evidence to formulate an opinion.  Today we know that is not true.   In October of 2013 NIOSH released a study quantifying the elevated risk of cancer among firefighters (https://www.iaff.org/hs/PDF/Cancer%20Risk%20Among%20Firefighters%20-%20UC%20Study.pdf ).  However it’s not only exposure to Benzene that can contribute to contracting cancer.  Other organics along with heavy metals and particulates are contributing factors.  Firefighters are routinely exposed to many of these combustion products during their careers. 

Model Notice of Exchange for Healthcare Reform Act

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Under the Healthcare Reform employers are required to provide Notice of Exchanges to all employees.

We've attached guidance and a sample notice to help you maintain compliance, provided by the WFC Fire Rescue Wellness Corporation Broker, Russ Bong...

Do You Have to Provide Health Insurance Benefits for Volunteer Fire Fighters Under the New Health Care Law?

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has several requirements that become effective in 2014 and could force some changes to your health insurance plan.  Starting in 2014, employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees must offer affordable coverage that provides at least a defined minimum level of benefits to full time employees.   Full time employees are defined as an employee working an average of 30 or more hours per week.  Failure to comply can result in fines to the employer.  This has been called the “Pay of Play” provision of PPACA.

If you have volunteers that are working an average of 30+ hours per week, you may be required to provide access to coverage and make it “affordable.”   The minimum level of benefits means the benefit plan must be expected to cover at least 60% of total costs based on an actuarial evaluation.  The plan is considered affordable if the employee does not have to contribute more than 9.5% of their annual wages to be on the plan...

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