WHITE CITY, Ore. — Representative Greg Walden has signed his support for a bill exempting volunteer firefighters from health insurance.
The bill was introduced to U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on December 10th. It waive requirements in the Affordable Care Act that would force districts to provide health insurance to those volunteers.
It’s in response to an IRS ruling that anybody who volunteers more than 30 hours a week is considered a full-time employee. In other words, they’d have to get insurance.
Fire District 3 in White City says with their 30 volunteers, it could cost them $30,000 to $60,000 a year.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 90% of Oregon’s fire departments are classified as all volunteer or mostly volunteer agencies.