Missouri finds solution to firefighter cancer with Fire Fighters Critical Illness Pool



Missouri finds solution to firefighter cancer with Fire Fighters Critical Illness Pool

After two years of studying the 14 states who have alternative programs to a Presumption in Workers’ Compensation (WC) to address firefighter cancer issues Missouri, SB45 with $5 million in financial assistance was passed in both houses and signed by the Governor allowing for the creation of the Missouri Fire Fighters Critical Illness Pool (MFFCIP), effective May 1, 2022.

With the Steering Committee’s launch of MFFCIP, their first order of business was to appoint a Board of Directors who then began to facilitate the delivery of coverage for 17 nationally recognized cancers that are scientifically arguable as occurring more frequently in the fire service occupation. These include Bladder, Brain, Breast, Colon, Esophagus, Kidney, Lung, Melanoma, Mesothelioma, Multiple Myeloma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Prostate, Rectal, Skin, Stomach, Testicular and Thyroid and make payment starting in 10 days.

Notable Board Actions:

  • Earmarked funding for the early detection and prevention of cancer and has set best practices that members have to subscribe to.
  • The first three years of contributions are subsidized.
  • A WC offset has been built in – some primary workers’ compensation carriers are offering discounts for fire operations to join this new program.


No More Invasive Investigations – When adjusting a workers’ compensation cancer claim, it can take more than six months for a firefighter to gather evidence to build a case, and six months to two years for an employer to research prior exposures and investigate prior employment, lifestyle, family history, and medical records. Through MFFCIP, firefighters will no longer be subject to this type of an intrusive investigation.

More Claims Will Be Eligible for Compensation – More firefighters’ claims will be accepted after a confirmed receipt of diagnosis of one of the 17 covered cancers. Upon confirmation of eligibility, no investigation of the cancer’s cause is needed.

Faster Payouts – Claims processes are streamlined, and payments will start within 10 days of confirmation of a diagnosed covered cancer. It doesn’t get any easier for a firefighter to collect through this innovative MFFCIP’s accident program.

Specially-Designed Awards – Awards are already factored to pay out of pocket high deductibles, co-payments, and future anticipated costs designed into many firefighter regular benefit programs.


Caps on Losses – Caps losses covered under the award program depending on limit selected. Either $100k, $200k or $300k limits available, which is critical for small and volunteer department budgets.

Affordable Rates for Self-insured Municipalities – Keeps excess rates affordable for self-insured programs. Often Excess carriers will discount the cost for participating in a Worker’s Compensation offset provision occasionally paying the cost of this program.

Member-Owned – MFFCIP is member-owned, so every department has a say in operations as a Board of both Management and Labor define coverage, terms and conditions. This program was tailor made for Missouri firefighters.

Firefighter eligibility:

  • At least five years of continuous service in the direct provision of fire protection services
  • A medical exam is required at or after the start of employment/enrollment but before a claim
  • Coverage extends 15 years after the last year of eligibility, prior to the age of 70

A diagnosis of cancer is considered one of the most stressful events a person can experience. The Missouri program provides firefighters with peace of mind by helping cover the myriad of out of pocket expenses of battling cancer.

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