Senator LINDA R. GREENSTEIN
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Senator VIN GOPAL
District 11 (Monmouth)
Mandates access to cancer screenings for firefighters through health care benefits plan or program provided by public employer.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act mandating access to cancer screenings for firefighters through health care benefits plan or program provided by the public employer, and supplementing Title 40A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. A firefighter employed as a full-time paid employee of a fire department or unit of this State or a political subdivision of this State shall be provided a cancer screening examination conducted by a physician not less than three years after the start of the firefighter’s employment as a firefighter and every three years thereafter during the course of the firefighter’s employment. The examination shall include screening for, at a minimum and when applicable, the following cancers:
(10) testicular; and
b. All costs associated with screenings provided under this section shall be borne by the firefighter’s health care benefits plan or program provided by the firefighter’s employer, including a plan or program through the State Health Benefits Program, an insurance fund, joint insurance fund, or in any other manner. No co-payment, deductible, coinsurance, or any out-of-pocket expense shall be required for such examinations.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill mandates access to cancer screenings for full-time paid firefighters in this State. The bill includes screenings for colon, lung, bladder, oral, thyroid, skin, blood, breast, cervical, testicular, and prostate cancers. The first screening will take place within the first three years of employment and a firefighter is then entitled to a screening every three years thereafter. The cost of the screenings will be covered by the health care benefits plan or program provided to the firefighter by the public employer. The bill will take effect immediately.
This bill recognizes that New Jersey has established occupational cancer as a presumptive disease for firefighters. Firefighters are diagnosed with cancer at a higher rate than the general population. Prevention and early detection are the best defenses against a cancer diagnosis.