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Is Medical Marijuana Covered by Health Insurance?

Today, more than half of all states in America have legalized medical marijuana for residents. However, medical marijuana is still not covered by medical insurance, so patient must still pony up cash to cover the drug. Because of federal prohibition, there are no medical marijuana products covered by health insurance.

Health Insurance and Federal Marijuana Laws

Under the Controlled Substances Act, federal law considers cannabis to be a Schedule I substance. Because medical treatments must be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, health insurance providers will not pay for medical marijuana until it has been reclassified.

Instead, what some insurance companies do is offer coverage for legal alternatives to medical marijuana. If someone has HIV/AIDS, anorexia nervosa or is a chemotherapy patient, insurance will cover Marinol, a synthetic THC for nausea and appetite loss. Unfortunately, these alternative drugs cause issues with sleep, headaches and depression. Generally, with medical marijuana a patient can avoid these types of side effects.

Medical Marijuana and Workers Comp Cases

Workers Compensation claims might be one of a person’s only ways to receive coverage of medical marijuana. In New Mexico, an injured person must first receive a marijuana prescription for “reasonable and necessary care.” A worker must pay for the medicine out of pocket. Then a health insurance company must reimburse them for the costs of treatment. Other states are reviewing workers compensation laws and may be amending them at some point in the future.

What is Going on in Canada?

Maybe the alternatives to medical marijuana won’t be enough, it can change if the laws do. In short, a person can always move to Canada. In the utopia that lies to the North, many health insurers fund a patient’s medical marijuana prescription. It looks like Americans with chronic health issues may need to flee the country and head for the border!