A clear link exists between one’s firefighting career and his or her chances of developing work-related cancer, and if you make your living as a firefighter, you need to be aware of these serious health risks. Fighting fires in older buildings that may contain asbestos presents obvious risks, for example, and wearing soiled personal protective equipment may also enhance your chances of developing work-related cancer. Historically, Arizona firefighters who developed work-related cancer have struggled to obtain insurance coverage to help pay for cancer-related medical expenses because of a loophole that allowed insurers to deny coverage.
A newly passed bill seeks to change this, however, and if it moves forward as written, it would give state firefighters who are battling job-related cancer additional means through which to do so.
A brief history
Back in 2017, state lawmakers passed a law dictating that communities would cover cancer-related expenses for conditions that developed during firefighting careers. While some communities across the state began doing so, others did not, instead finding loopholes that would allow insurers to deny firefighters’ cancer claims.
New bill details
The new bill, if approved, would help eliminate these loopholes some insurance companies are using to deny certain firefighter claims. It would also lead to coverage for Arizona firefighters who have held their positions for at least five years, and who have certain types of cancers linked to firefighting.
When you make your living as a firefighter, you put your life on the line all the time. This new bill seeks to help firefighters who have made major sacrifices cover their associated medical costs after giving their all in the workplace.