ACCG-IRMA Issues Proposals for Newly Required Firefighters' Cancer Coverage

Over 115 Georgia counties received proposals for the newly required firefighters’ cancer coverage through the ACCG Insurance Programs on October 19, 2017.  The proposals were issued to the counties that had submitted their census data prior to that date. Proposals were emailed from to the chairmen and the primary contacts that filled out the firefighter census and may be re-sent upon request.  New proposals will be issued weekly as the remainder of the counties submit their census data. 

For questions regarding the application process, the proposal and/or binding coverage, please contact Meghan Murray (404.302.3898) or Lindsey Albright (404.224.5044) with the program administrator Willis Towers Watson or Ashley Abercrombie of ACCG at (404.589.7828). 

Not all counties have their own fire departments but independent fire departments that serve them may purchase similar coverage directly from Willis Towers Watson.  They may call Meghan or Lindsey as previously noted.

As a reminder, effective January 1, 2018, Georgia law requires all legally organized fire departments to provide and maintain specific cancer insurance coverages for all members of the fire department that meet the definition of “firefighter” as defined in Code Section 25-4-2. This would include all full-time, part-time and volunteer firefighters. Subject to eligibility requirements, the Firefighter Cancer Insurance bill, House Bill 146, contains provisions for both a critical illness (lump sum) benefit and a disability (income replacement) benefit.  The coverages being offered are designed specifically to be compliant with the provisions of HB 146.


To Secure Coverage through ACCG

Since coverage is required to be in place by January 1, 2018, counties should return the required executed enrollment documents included in the proposal by December 1, 2017, to  ACCG has already received executed enrollment documents from several counties and numerous positive responses.  ACCG staff and its program administrator, Willis Towers Watson, have worked diligently to provide the required coverage at a reasonable cost.


Advantages of the ACCG-IRMA Firefighters’ Cancer Benefit Program

  • Coverage is being offered with a three (3) year rate guarantee, which provides stability in the county’s budgeting process.
  • In the event of a firefighter’s death, the Lump Sum Cancer Benefit is paid to his/her estate.
  • The Lump Sum Cancer Benefit does not have maximum age restrictions.
  • Long-Term Disability does not stop if a firefighter departs from employment while out on a claim.
  • Long-Term Disability does not require that a firefighter be totally disabled during the elimination period and/or throughout the benefit duration. This may allow a firefighter to partially return to work and still receive benefits.
  • Long-Term Disability does not cease if a firefighter has a workers’ compensation award or unemployment benefit, but it does coordinate with other sources of income.
  • As required by law, the firefighter is given the opportunity to continue both coverages if they depart from service.
  • Upon conversion, the firefighter is offered coverage in The Hartford’s group plan, which is likely less expensive than an individual plan.

There may be other plans in the marketplace that do not meet the criteria outlined above. Please be certain that any plan your county chooses to purchase meets all requirements of HB 146. The Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training Council will be auditing the fire departments throughout the State beginning January 2018 to confirm compliance with this new legislation which benefits firefighters that contract cancer.