KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Seasonal Firefighters Now Eligible For Federal Health Coverage

Seasonal firefighters -- many working on containing wildfires in the West -- became eligible for federal health insurance coverage Tuesday after President Obama issued an executive order last week.

Denver Post: Firefighters To Get Access To Federal Health Insurance Starting Today
Seasonal, non full-time firefighters will be eligible for federal health insurance coverage starting Tuesday, under an executive order from the Obama administration. Before the rule was in place, temporary workers did not have access to insurance -- even though they are putting their lives at risk, at times, protecting federal land (Sherry, 7/17).

The Hill: Obama Administration Gives Health Care To Seasonal Firefighters
The Obama administration on Tuesday extended health insurance to seasonal firefighters and said other temporary disaster-response workers also could qualify. President Obama announced last week that he would provide health care coverage to the hundreds of firefighters battling wildfires in Colorado. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a regulation Tuesday implementing the policy. "Starting today, the brave men and women of our nation's federal firefighting forces, as well as their families, will have access to the health coverage they deserve," Obama said in a statement (Baker, 7/17).

Reuters: U.S. Gives Temporary Health Insurance To Seasonal Firefighters
The federal government on Tuesday granted temporary health care coverage for seasonal firefighters battling U.S. wildfires this summer, a move President Barack Obama said would guarantee that those putting themselves in harm's way received the care they deserved. The new mandate gave temporary firefighters and their families access to the same health insurance offered to full-time federal employees, with the option of continuing coverage at their own expense when the firefighting season ended (Reiny, 7/17).

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