December 8, 2021
South Carolina Fire Service Member,
I am pleased to provide you this update regarding the South Carolina Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan.
As you may recall, the South Carolina Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan became effective July 1, 2021. The legislature appropriated funding in the FY 2021-2022 budget for State Fire to purchase an insurance policy to provide the benefits defined in the statute. After a competitive bidding process, managed by the South Carolina Division of Procurement Services, the contract for the insurance policy was awarded to AXIS Insurance Company. AXIS will be utilizing Provident Agency, Inc., for claims management and processing and the South Carolina Firefighters Insurance Services for local claims assistance.
An individual must meet the following eligibility requirements, defined by state law, to receive benefits through the plan:
Must be a resident of South Carolina
Must have served in a South Carolina Fire Department, as defined in statute (included below) for a least five (5) continuous years
Must have been in active service with a South Carolina Fire Department, as defined in statute (included below) within 10 years of the diagnosis of an eligible form of cancer
Fire Department – “...means any organization located and based in this State that provides rescue, fire suppression, and related activities including any public or government-sponsored organizations, excluding federal agencies, engaged in rescue, fire suppression, and related activities.”
Must meet the statutory definition of a “Firefighter” – “...any person, paid or unpaid, who is a resident of this State and engages in rescue, fire suppression, or related activities, under the supervision of a fire chief or fire department in this State or who is employed by the State Commission of Forestry or a forestry district for the purpose of fire protection.”
Must have been diagnosed with an eligible form of cancer on or after July 1, 2021.
The policy covers cancers of the following body areas and organ systems, as defined by state law:
Central and peripheral nervous system
Solid organ and endocrine
Genitourinary and male reproductive
Skin, soft tissue, and breast
Bone and blood
The South Carolina Firefighter Health Care Benefit Plan includes the following benefits for eligible individuals diagnosed with an eligible form of cancer on or after July 1, 2021:
One-time lump sum benefit of $20,000 upon initial diagnosis. This benefit is a one-time, lifetime benefit, for a single diagnosis of a qualifying type of cancer, regardless of how many different diagnoses are received by the applicant.
Annual reimbursement of up to $12,000 for any out-of-pocket medical expenses due to the treatment of an eligible form of cancer, including deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance costs incurred. This benefit can be paid for separate diagnoses of different forms of eligible cancer. Under no circumstance will the total annual benefit exceed $12,000.
To read the state law regarding the South Carolina Firefighter Health Care Benefit Plan, please visit the State House website.
For more information regarding coverage and how to start a claim, please visit: www.scfirefighterscancer.com
Yours to count on,
Jonathan C. Jones
State Fire Marshal