The Affordable Care Act could soon have a big impact on volunteer fire companies. The fire companies could be forced to pay for healthcare for the volunteers. Congressman Lou Barletta is spearheading the move to get clarification from the IRS on whether the Affordable Care Act would affect these volunteer companies.
Barletta says currently the IRS treats all firefighters as employees , volunteer or not. And since they are treated as employees under the affordable care act, employers with at least 50 employees must provide health insurance to those who work 30 hours per week.
” It could be catastrophic for volunteer departments across the country and particularly in Pennsylvania where 97 % of the departments are volunteers,”says Rep. Lou Barletta (R) 11th District
Fire Chief Mark Simpson with the Camp Hill Fire Company says most volunteer companies just simply couldn’t afford to pay for healthcare.
“ A lot of them struggle to pay just to operate and training and equipment and there`s no way we could afford to pay healthcare to our members,” says Chief Mark Simpson, Camp Hill Fire Company
FOX43 did reach out to the IRS for clarification as well -but they did not return our calls.