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Volunteer Firefighter Cancer Benefit Program Improvements

It’s a well-known fact that certain types of cancer are a health risk for firefighters. With that diagnosis come major costs. Thanks to the signing of GML-205CC, volunteer firefighters throughout New York State have been entitled to an enhanced cancer disability benefit insurance program provided by their fire district, department or company. It’s why the AFDSNY, FASNY and NYSAFC, have partnered with The Hartford to bring you a way to help protect our 110,000 volunteer firefighters and their families: the New York State Volunteer Firefighter Cancer Benefit program.

At the start of the program the following firefighters were eligible BUT read to the end, now even exterior volunteers can be covered:

  • Served at least 5 years as interior firefighter.
  • Passed a physical exam with no evidence of cancer upon entrance as a volunteer.
  • Pass 5 annual mask fit tests.

What Types of Cancer Are Covered under the Enhanced Plan?

  • Cancers affecting the prostate or breast; lymphatic, hematological, digestive, urinary, neurological or reproductive systems; and melanoma are covered by this policy. As required by New York law, lung cancer, mesothelioma, sarcomas, non-melanoma skin cancers, or certain cancers of the endocrine system are not covered by this policy.

What Types of Cancer Are Covered Under the Premium Plan?

  • All cancers are covered under the Premium Plan, as defined in the policy.

Coverage Amounts for Cancer (Lump-Sum Cancer)

  • $6,250 per diagnosis for less severe forms of cancer as defined in the policy.
  • $25,000 per diagnosis for more severe forms of cancer as defined in the policy.
  • $250 once per lifetime for non-melanoma skin cancer (under the Premium Plan only).

Coverage Amounts for Long-Term Disability

  • $1,500 per month
  • 36-month maximum

Death Benefit

  • $50,000


  • For 2022, following discussions with Hartford Insurance, there will be a 15% decrease to the base and enhanced/premium plans.  This rate discount puts us at $132.50 for the base plan and $169 for the enhanced plan.
  • Contract Changes by Hartford Insurance:  The two changes approved by the NYS Department of Financial Services are: #1. allowing the AHJ to use any form of documentation to validate eligibility; and #2 allowing the AHJ to add exterior firefighters with five years of service…period, no other requirements!
  • Fire Districts should budget now to cover this expanded group, you will be receiving information in the near future and insurance agents across the state are being informed of the changes.