Background: Conflicting state and federal laws, emerging standardization of business practices and rapidly evolving regulations have largely discouraged insurers from participating in this market. Cannabis is an illegal substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which classifies it as a Schedule I drug and is stated “to have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States”. A provision in the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances. As such, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will not consider hemp-derived cannabinoid (CBD) a controlled substance subject to the CSA.
However, cannabis and CBD (regardless of whether its sourced from cannabis or hemp) is subject to Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The FDA has not approved a cannabis drug. It has, however, approved CBD medicines for the treatment of epilepsy. Federal law currently prohibits CBD from being added to any food or drink product. On July 22, 2019, the FDA issued formal letters determining that certain CBD products were sold in violation of the FD&C Act.
Finding and securing adequate insurance coverage for CRBs can be challenging. According to a 2020 report by New Dawn Risk, there are currently only six insurers offering cannabis coverage. Additionally, because of federal laws surrounding cannabis, insurers and brokers do not formally advertise their services to CRBs. Instead, most CRB owners hear about insurance options through word-of-mouth in the cannabis community. When CRBs do find and obtain coverage, most would need to pay their premiums in cash, which presents another unique obstacle most other businesses do not face. Yet another issue the New Dawn Risk report addresses is inadequate policy limits on coverage. Currently, most insurers are offering $1 million per occurrence/$2 million aggregate policies in commercial and general liability, property damage, and product liability coverage. However, insureds may need limits up to $5 and $10 million, or more.
Individuals using cannabis also face insurance challenges ranging from legality issues to coverage deficiencies. Users may be faulted in workers’ compensation claims or subject to employment-disqualifying drug screening. In addition, insurers offering medical treatment options may have policies preventing the use of cannabis in treating a patient’s condition.
Last Updated 8/18/2021
Currently, the coverage offered by Sun Life is only available for conditions where there’s sufficient clinical evidence to support its use:
If you’d prefer, you can also grow it yourself or designate someone else to grow it for you. In both instances, you or your producer will need to be certified by Health Canada to comply with ACMPR.
Once you have authorization, you can register with a Health Canada-licensed producer of medical cannabis . You can purchase medical cannabis in various forms, such as fresh cannabis, dried cannabis, cannabis oil, extracts and seeds.
What health conditions are eligible for medical cannabis coverage?
The legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada has brought the plant into the limelight. If you take cannabis for medical purposes, you may be wondering if you can claim it as a medical expense on your tax return, or if your workplace benefits plan will help pay for it. But before submitting a claim, here are few things you should understand:
Research into the medical benefits of cannabis is ongoing. Cannabis is not the only or best treatment option for a wide variety of illnesses, but clinical research has shown it can benefit people suffering from certain conditions.
That said, medical cannabis often contains a higher concentration of cannabidiol (CBD), which generally doesn’t produce the euphoric “high” feeling associated with taking cannabis recreationally. This “high” is produced by another chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Patients may be able to benefit from the medicinal qualities of cannabis by using a cannabis strain that has a higher CBD concentration and a lower amount of THC.
You could also be eligible for coverage under your workplace benefits plan. Earlier this year, Sun Life added an option for medical cannabis coverage through its group benefits plans. Employers with group benefits plans insured or administered by Sun Life have the option to add medical cannabis to their plans. If your employer has added this coverage, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical cannabis, if you have one of the health conditions for which Sun Life approves coverage.
LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / January 10, 2019 / The founders of SelfHealthInsurance.com, a health insurance quote website, are pleased to announce that they have just released two new articles to their website that discuss a current and important topic: health insurance options for medical marijuana.
As a company spokesperson noted, the founders understand that as more people have obtained medical marijuana cards, there has been an increase in questions about health insurance options. This inspired them to research, write and post the two new articles that discuss if and when health insurance will pay for this treatment option.
In the first article, titled ”Will Health Insurance Pay for Medical Marijuana?” it notes that since medical marijuana is used to treat medical conditions, many people understandably assume that their health insurance provider will cover the cost.
Fortunately, the article notes, people who have learned that CBD oil may benefit them for medical reasons have a few options.
”While it might make sense for health insurance companies to cover the cost of medical marijuana, that is not the case. To date, this medication is not covered by any health insurance companies,” the article explains, adding that even though there is a growing body of evidence that supports the medical benefits of cannabis, it is still classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance under the federal government.