Glendale reaches deal on firefighter cancer claim coverage

Glendale officials reached an agreement where it'll cover cancer claims if they're denied by a third-party insurer.
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 5:50 PM MST|Updated: May. 18, 2023 at 6:34 PM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Firefighters in Glendale earned a huge win in their fight to get health care coverage for cancer. The city council signed a deal on Thursday afternoon that would have the city cover a cancer claim if it’s denied by a third-party company. The agreement also covers the reoccurrence of cancer. So if a firefighter has cancer before September 2021 and then it returns, the city will also cover the claims from that if it’s also denied by insurance or another company. 2021 is the year when then-Gov. Doug Ducey signed a law that expanded workers’ compensation for diseases caused by the job.

Glendale has been under scrutiny for its firefighter cancer claim coverage for the past few years. A third-party company denied Glendale firefighter Kevin Thompson’s claim, but the city overturned that decision in 2019 after months of Arizona’s Family investigations. But then, last year, Glendale firefighter Mark Fowl died of brain cancer just before Christmas. A third-party insurer denied his claim even though state law says it should have been covered. But one day after Arizona’s Family reported that, the city reversed the decision.

Hundreds of firefighters rallied outside an insurance company in support of a Goodyear firefighter who had his cancer claims denied.

Earlier this month, a Glendale City Council member brought up adopting a policy, but four members voted not to have a discussion about it. The city worked with the Glendale firefighter union to come to an agreement. It goes into effect immediately.