RMEBS Programs and Services Overview
Questions and Answers
Q. Has a group cancer program been established?
A. Yes, a group purchasing program is being provided through GMA’s Insurance Programs. Group purchasing helps all participants obtain lower pricing and makes it easier for them to be in compliance with the firefighter cancer benefit law.
Q. May an entity purchase only the critical illness coverage OR the income replacement (LTD) coverage from the GMA-GIRMA Firefighters’ Cancer Benefit Program depending on its needs for coverage?
A. Yes, an entity may purchase only one of the two required coverages if the other coverage has already been purchased. However, both coverages are needed to be compliant with HB 146 law.
Q. How does the critical illness or lump-sum supplemental medical benefit work?
A. The lump-sum benefit provides a payout for a diagnosis of cancer based upon severity of the condition. For severe forms of cancer, the payout is $25,000. For less severe forms of cancer, the payout is $6,250. There are types of pre-cancerous conditions which would not qualify for a payout.
Q. Does the critical illness benefit pay for more than one diagnosis of cancer?
A. Yes, the eligible firefighter may receive up to $50,000 (maximum of $25,000 for each diagnosis) in lifetime lump-sum benefits.
Q. May the firefighter take the benefit with them when they leave service?
A. Yes, the firefighter may keep the lump-sum benefit provided they have not already exhausted their $50,000 limit. An eligible firefighter may also convert the Long-term Disability coverage to individual coverage as part of the group disability plan. The firefighter must pay the premium to continue coverage and elect coverage within required time limitations.
Q. How does the Long-Term Disability benefit work?
A. The benefit starts 6 months after the date a firefighter is determined to be disabled due to cancer. For employed firefighters, the monthly benefit is 60% of their pre-disability firefighter earnings up to a maximum of $5,000. For volunteer firefighters, the monthly benefit is a flat $1,500.
Q. How long does the Long-Term Disability benefit last?
A. Provided the firefighter is deemed disabled, the maximum benefit duration is 36 months.