The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance mandate requires any employer with more than 50 employees to offer health insurance to its workers. While the negative impact on small businesses is well known, a more sinister side effect of the implemented plan is just surfacing – the potential end to volunteer firefighters.
According to the AP, volunteer firefighter groups across the country often list their volunteers as employees for tax purposes, even when they are not paid. The job may not offer a salary, but it often offers perks like using the firehouse gym or contributing to a retirement plan. It’s the most that many of these organizations can do to incentivize individuals to work as firefighters in places where the state’s firefighter forces may not be enough to keep residents safe.
Now groups that can’t afford to pay for salaries for their volunteers might be expected to buy them all health insurance. Due to the nature of the trade, it is feasible that many volunteers go in and out of the league, raising the number on duty at any given time artificially for government purposes. If the firefighter leagues cannot pay for health insurance for volunteers, they will be forced to close down. There is no exception written into the Obamacare legislation for volunteer groups permitted to list volunteers on their taxes.
Read more here.