Treasury: Volunteer firefighters exempt under ACA

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Associated Press

Posted on January 11, 2014 at 3:01 AM

Updated Saturday, Jan 11 at 4:00 AM

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Treasury Department officials say volunteer firefighters won't require coverage under the federal health care law.

Fire chiefs were worried their volunteers would be considered employees under the health care law requiring that employers with 50 or more employees working at least 30 hours a week must provide health insurance for them.

Volunteer firefighters have been considered employees for tax purposes because they're often offered such incentives as stipends, retirement benefits and gym memberships. But the Treasury Department said in a blog post Friday that volunteer firefighters and other emergency responders won't be considered employees in its final regulations.

Dave Finger, director of government relations of the National Volunteer Fire Council, says departments are pleased with the decision and will pay close attention to the final regulations for any further issues.

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