The Georgia Firefighters’ Cancer Benefit Program makes the benefits required by Georgia Code § 25-3-23 available to counties and cities through programs developed by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG-IRMA) and the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA-GIRMA). Coverage also includes ancillary benefits at no additional cost to participants. The programs are fully insured and backed by The Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company (A.M. Best rating of A+ (Superior)).
Both Critical Illness (Lump Sum Cancer) and Long-Term Disability (Income Replacement) coverages can be purchased through the program. Local governments may purchase either coverage independently, but due to unique aspects of the law, most will find a need to purchase both on behalf of their fire departments. A summary of these coverages is provided below.
Who is eligible? An “Eligible Firefighter” is a recruit or a trained individual who is a full-time employee, part-time employee, or volunteer for a legally organized fire department as defined by O.C.G.A. § 25-4-2 and after having served 12 consecutive months for such fire department. The date of diagnosis of an eligible cancer must be on or after January 1, 2018.
Eligible Cancers: bladder, blood, brain, breast, cervical, esophageal, intestinal, kidney, lymphatic, lung, prostate, rectum, respiratory tract, skin, testicular, and thyroid cancer; leukemia; multiple myeloma; or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There are types of pre-cancerous conditions which would not qualify.
|Lump Sum Cancer Benefit||Full-time/Part-time Employees and Volunteers|
|Maximum Limit each diagnosis:||$6,250 (Non-Invasive Cancer as defined in the policy);
$6,250 (Non-Invasive Cancer as defined in the policy); $25,000 (Invasive Cancer as defined in the policy)
|Lifetime Maximum Benefit:||$50,000 for multiple diagnoses|
|Continuation Rights:||Coverage is portable. An eligible firefighter, age 79 or younger, that departs from employment as a firefighter, ceases to be an active volunteer, or retires may be eligible to continue coverage at their own expense. The departing firefighter must elect to continue coverage within 31 days of termination of eligibility. Continuation forms may be found under the Forms tab.|
|Long-Term Disability (Income Replacement)|
|Elimination Period:||Benefits begin 6 months after becoming disabled due to a covered cancer|
|Benefit Duration:||36 months provided the firefighter is deemed disabled due to cancer|
|Integration Method:||Primary Offset – benefits may be reduced based on other sources of income|
|Survivor Income Benefit:||3 times last monthly Benefit payable to surviving spouse or children|
|Continuation Rights:||An eligible firefighter departing from a covered fire department may have the ability to continue coverage at their own expense. To obtain coverage under the group long term disability policy, you must send the Hartford’s Portability and Conversion Unit a written enrollment request form and pay the required premium and enrollment fee within 31 days of termination of coverage your fire department. The Notice of Continuation Form for LTD can be found under the Forms tab.|
|Benefits (employed firefighter):|
|Full-time/Part-time Employee:||60% of pre-disability earnings as firefighter for Participating Employer|
|Minimum Monthly Benefit:||$100|
|Maximum Monthly Benefit:||$5,000|
|Family Care Credit Benefit:||A benefit may be available for Family Care Services if working as part of a program of Rehabilitation|
|Workplace Modification Benefit:||To accommodate a disabled firefighter and enable them to return to work, a reimbursement to the Participating Department may be available for expenses relating to reasonable Workplace Modifications|
|Long-Term Disability Income||$1,500 Monthly Benefit|
Ancillary Services: A diagnosis of cancer is a stressful event in anyone’s life. As part of the commitment to Georgia firefighters, The Hartford has availed their Ability Assist® and HealthChampionSM and Travel Assistance programs free of charge to firefighters with approved claims.
Professional counseling services for firefighters and their immediate family members is available. For more information on these free services, please see the brochure at the following link: Download Here.
The HealthChampionSM program provides firefighters access to professionals who can help guide them through health care options, connect them with helpful resources and advocate on their behalf for a timely and fair resolution of issues so they can focus on their treatment and recovery. For more information on HealthChampionSM, see the brochure at the following link: Download Here.
Travel Assistance services: Download Here.
Coverage descriptions provided on this website are not a contract or guarantee of coverage. The terms of the actual policy or policies control. Complete copies of policy forms can be found at the following links:
A one-page Schedule of Benefits is provided to each member county or city annually, which references the applicable policies.