We mark #GivingTuesday with #FireHeroTuesday, kicking off the holiday season of giving by making sure our Fire Hero Families know that we remember.
Family Benefits

Health Insurance – Cobra

A federal law known as COBRA guarantees that the employer of a public safety officer who dies in the line of duty must make the same type of health insurance available to the spouse and dependent children as was provided prior to the death.
In order for survivors to be eligible, the deceased firefighter and the survivors must have actually been covered under that employee health plan at the time of death.

Coverage is available for up to 36 month after the death.

There is no provision in the law for the employer to pay for the health insurance unless state law provides for this. However, in most cases, the survivors must pay for the insurance coverage.

The employer must notify the health plan administrator within 30 days after the employee’s death. The plan administrator then has 14 days to contact the survivor and offer the COBRA coverage. Upon receiving this information, the survivor has up to 60 days to decide whether or not to buy the COBRA coverage.
If a survivor elects COBRA coverage, it will be retroactive to the date that benefits ended because of the death. The first premium payment must be paid within 45 days.

Coverage under COBRA must be identical to the coverage the firefighter had prior to death. However, employers can let survivors drop some incidental benefits to lower premium costs. If the department changes its health plan, survivors will receive the benefits under the new plan.

A survivor will lose benefits since the employer is not required to offer a plan in a different area.

  •  Spouse
  •  Dependent children and stepchildren (must be under age 18, a full-time student under age 23,
    or dependent because of a permanent disability)