OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http://www.cga.ct.gov/ofa

HB-5262

AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS' COMPENSATION COVERAGE FOR CURRENT AND FORMER UNIFORMED MEMBERS OF PAID OR VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENTS.

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Various State Agencies

Various Funds–Cost

See Below

See Below

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 17 $

FY 18 $

Various Municipalities

STATE MANDATE - Cost

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The bill may result in a cost to the state's workers' compensation program and to municipalities by creating a rebuttable presumption that certain types of cancer/conditions enumerated in the bill, which present in paid and volunteer firefighters and retirees, are work related and therefore compensable under workers' compensation. In general, volunteer firefighters are treated as employees of the municipality in which they serve. However, under CGS 7-314a(f), a volunteer firefighter who performs fire duties under the direction of the State Forest Fire Warden is considered a state employee for the purposes of workers' compensation.1 In addition, the state currently employs 68 paid firefighters in its universities and larger agencies. The cost to the state and municipalities will depend on (1) the frequency of claims filed and (2) the severity of the claim (e.g. the extent of medical treatment and lost wage benefits), which are highly variable. In addition, the bill does not specify all types of cancer compensable under the bill. Kahler's Disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are the only two cancers explicitly identified. In 2014, there were 70,800 new cases (4.3% of all new cancers) of Kahlers' Disease and 24,050 new cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (1.4% of all new cancers) nationally.2 Research estimates the average annual net cost of initial cancer treatment is approximately $57,319. The average annual net cost of ongoing treatment is approximately $11,697.3 Cost estimates vary by (1) type of cancer, (2) when the individual is diagnosed, (3) age and overall health, and (4) any other presenting symptoms. Of the state's approximately 26,650 firefighters, 22,225 are volunteer (or 83%).4

There will be a cost to municipalities determined by (1) the frequency of claims filed and (2) the severity of the claim (e.g. the extent of medical treatment and lost wage benefits), which are highly variable. The cost to fully insured municipalities will be reflected in premiums after October 1, 2016.5

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to (1) frequency of claims filed, (2) severity, and (3) changes in premiums (for fully insured municipalities).

1 For municipalities operating solely with a volunteer fire department, the state is a secondary responder. The State Forest Fire Warden has approximately 20 firefighters to support and direct municipalities in the event they are called in to assist.

2 Source: National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. (www.cancer.gov)

3 The annual initial treatment costs range from $5,047 to $138,300 and ongoing costs range from $915 to $11,697. The costs are net of any member cost sharing. (Source: Mariotto, A., Yabroff, K.R., Shao, Y., Feuer, E., and Brown, Martin (2011). Projections of the Cost of Cancer Care in the United States: 2010 – 2020; Oxford University Press. )

4 Source: Connecticut State Fire Fighters' Association, members as of 2014.

5 There are currently 32 towns and cities in Connecticut who are self-insured and therefore pay the cost of claims incurred.