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TONY STARKCardiologist


Cannabis and Health Insurance

Medical marijuana is legal in more than half of the US and almost 70% of the country having access to medical cannabis, clinical research on healing properties and health benefits of cannabis is helping to boost experimental studies and evidence supporting the use of marijuana as a very effective drug.

However, it is frustrating that many medical cannabis patients with diseases such as cancer, anxiety migraines, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and seizures disorder have to bear the cost of drugs in the form of cannabis not covered by the health insurance. Although the recommendation of cannabis for qualifying medical conditions does not differ than the scripts for anticonvulsants, opioids or antidepressants, the provider of the patient’s health insurance will not cover the cost of the cover latter’s price.

The majority of patients with medical marijuana cannot get any advantages from the Worker Compensation Claims. For most people, health insurance does not cover a cannabis prescription. Fortunately, in some states, many clinics provide discounts on several products sold in their stores. Some medical products may be available for sale, depending on the day and place. Far from being as effective as not having to pay out of pocket, these offers can prevent the patient from getting rid of his bank.

Why you cannot get the payments of Cannabis covered with Health Insurance?

This argument seems to be a pretty simple scenario. You are paying for a health insurance, which will cover the treatments recommended by the doctor. If the doctor recommends you to be treated using cannabis, it seems that the health insurance company will pay you for the recommended drug or you can buy it using Rx discount card.

Well, this is not the case. One of the main reasons for this is that medicare companies are not willing and is also not able to cover anything related to cannabis because of a number of reasons. Of course, there are exceptions as well as complex authenticities that may constitute loopholes, but the law requires private and public health insurance companies to cover FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as well as Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal coverage for citizens with low-income.

There are a number of reasons behind why you cannot get the payments of Cannabis covered with Health Insurance. Let’s have a look at these reasons for not getting cannabis payments covered with the medicare.

• Schedule I medicine

First and foremost reason is the cannabis stays a Schedule I medicine under the Act of Controlled Substances, and the federal government is defined as drugs that are not currently used for medical purposes and have a high potential for abuse. Schedule I is reserved for a dangerous drug that can lead to serious physical or psychological dependence. As marijuana is categorized as a substance of Schedule I, the health insurance sector does not believe cannabis to be eligible for health insurance or Rx discount card.

Medical Costs Keep Going Up!

• Lack of clinical research

Health insurance companies do not have to say about the products or drugs they will cover or not, but in general, what you want to see are drugs that have been thoroughly tested during multiple clinical trials and more significantly, through the double-blind studies. However, despite all the positive research on cannabis, there is still a lack of data in terms of real clinical evidence. For this reason and until comprehensive clinical data is available on marijuana as a medicine, insurers will not touch it.

• Researchable product is not available

The main problem behind the lack of clinical trials and the double-blind studies is that the researchers cannot know the amounts of marijuana needed even to think of a clinical trial. This is directly due to the fact that cannabis is one of the elements of Schedule I: there is and will be no funds available to research an illegal drug, and even if it is available, the search itself would be not legal without proper consent which is problematic and quite expensive to get.

• Not FDA approved

Moreover, private medicare companies and health care, in general, have a legal obligation to cover only FDA approved drugs. As the cannabis is not a drug approved by FDA, it is not required for the insurance companies to cover this drug as part of their insurance plans. As cannabis is not an FDA-approved drug, so providers are not allowed to cover it even if they want to.

That creates another topic of discussion in terms of what their insurance companies have to deal with for drug prices. When it comes to marijuana for medical purposes, all that means is that patients who have SOLs in terms of medicare companies provide cannabis-related coverage. The fact that the organization does not recognize or approve marijuana is almost the only reason why insurance companies do not cover it.

At present, marijuana for medical purposes is not covered by health insurance. As such, despite the fact that several states have agreed to use cannabis in the medical treatments, patients have to pay for this drug and treatment on their own behalf. In addition, medicare companies are looking for clinically-researched drugs to determine what to cover.

Despite various studies and personal stories about the benefits of medical cannabis, the research gap has not been filled yet. While low-income patients suffer more from the lack of coverage, many drugs approved by FDA contain different ingredients obtained from cannabis. Not all drugs are approved for use in the United States, but some may be covered by health insurance companies, taking into account that they have been approved by the FDA.

As we have said, the FDA agrees that marijuana for medical purposes may be legally prescribed by doctors and will not be available to be covered by a medicare company. Until cannabis has been approved to be covered in health insurance, patients will pay for cannabis drugs out of pocket, with no possibility of reduction or reimbursements or any facility on Rx discount cards.

Does Medicare Cover CBD Oil?

CBD oil is becoming increasingly legalized across various states in the U.S. Many states such as Washington, Arizona, Colorado, and California have legalized CBD oil for medical purposes. Because of this, a lot of people are desperate to gain knowledge about its benefits, coverage by Medicare, downsides, insurance coverage, and more. This article reviews CBD oil, whether it is covered by Medicare, insurance, Medicaid, and more.

Does Insurance Cover CBD Oil?


Insurance companies don’t provide coverage for any form of cannabis, including CBD oil. This is because CBD oil is classified as a Schedule I drug, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. A Schedule I drug is the one that has no accepted medical use at the moment and has a high potential for abuse. Such drugs are considered to be in the same category as heroin, LSD, and other dangerous drugs. Since CBD oil is being considered illegal at the federal level, most insurance companies in various states don’t offer insurance for it because they don’t want to risk severe punishment.

Any drug that is covered by insurance is required to pass the approval of Foods and Drugs Administration. As such, the drug is yet to be approved by Foods and Drugs Administration as a medicine and it will probably take years before the body can approve it. The main reason behind this is that several stages and processes have to be undergone by this agency in collecting data about the long-term efficacy and safety of the medical marijuana.

Insurance companies will only cover CBD oil prescriptions after it has gained acceptance from the Federal Government that it is a legalized substance. Since more and more states are acknowledging the effectiveness of medical marijuana and CBD oil for medical and recreational purposes, this outcome is very well expected in the future.

Is CBD Oil Covered by Medicare?


Regardless of the fact that some states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, Medicare just like most private insurance companies does not cover the use of any form of cannabis (including CBD oil) by its members. Since Medicare is governed by the Federal law and medical marijuana has the Schedule I status, the member will have to bear any costs linked with the purchase of CBD oil individually. Medicare Prescription Drug Plan deductibles will stay unaffected.

Is CBD Oil Covered by Medicaid?

Similar to Medicare, no coverage is offered by Medicaid when it comes to the use of CBD oil by its members. Medicaid is also a federal controlled entity, so it will only be done by it after the CBD oil or medical marijuana has been approved as a medicine by FDA and declassified as a Schedule I substance. Until then, patients will have to afford CBD oil out-of-pocket.

There are many forms of CBD available on the market and there are many methods to consume it. You can ingest, inhale, or apply it directly to your skin. Medicare does not cover CBD oil or any form of CBD.

Pharmacy Design

Are you looking at refitting your pharmacy? While curating an existing retail store, new architectural manoeuvres must include the various physical facilities of a medical drugstore, fixtures or shelves, proper décor, and floor plan.

Depending upon the types of pharmacies, the floor plan, design layout, and architectural requirements changes.

What are the different types of Pharmacies?

A. Hospital Pharmacy
B. Community Pharmacy
C. Ambulatory Care Pharmacy
D. Clinical Pharmacy
E. Industrial Pharmacy.
F. Consulting Pharmacy.

Usually, in a pediatric care or pharmacy for kids, the use of rugs or interior floor mats is emphasized upon a lot these days.


With men and women foraying in and around a drug store in their white coats, a pharmacy layout or design can be quite complacent in nature. However, it may not always give the right feel to the target crowd it is looking at attracting. Every pharmacy has a unique concept that can be worked on an elaborated upon. Be it renovating an existing drug store, or channelizing store interaction using carpets or rugs as floor mats, or on windows, etc., pharmacies have a lot of avenues or designing opportunities.

Is designing a pharmacy a demanding job?
In order for a store to attract clients, it must be welcoming, at least, appearance-wise. You may have to ante up a lot of money to creating a decorative drug store but will it serve the purpose at all times? May be not! Investing a lot of money without prior planning, is an utter waste of finances and must be avoided at all costs.

Rather than buying new products or materials, one must not shy away from opting for rugs on sale, furniture on sale, etc. Designing a drug store must be congruent with the personality of individuals frequenting that outlet. The more the design resonates with the personality traits of the visitors or target crowd, the more would it gain popularity in that vicinity.

Features to be considered during a Pharmacy design theme.

  1. A hospital pharmacy is usually categorized into several departments or facilities to create assistance for in-patients as well as out-patients. A hospital drug store may deal with medicine or equipment procurement, manufacturing, testing, packaging and even storage and distribution. Hence, the designing of such a space needs special attention and a well-defined plan of action.
  2. An Ambulatory Care Pharmacy needs special attention in areas like lighting fixtures, power receptacles, communication devices (telephone, computer, speaker, intercom, emergency nurse call station, etc.) over and above the floor décor in terms of an architectural standpoint. The designer must also not forget about the room thermostat option as the work on ambulatory care pharmacy is in progress.

Given the complexity and requirement of different pharmacies, the designs alter. Rugs on sale is quite an innovating concept to renovate a pharmacy these days, for it doesn’t dig a hole in your pocket. So, if you’ve such a requirement, opt for our pharmacy design services and rejuvenate your space into a purposeful junction.

Vaping Prescription Drugs? Yes, that’s a thing now.

There are situations in which we need prescription drugs because of health conditions that affect the quality of our life. Drugs are even more needed when pain is involved, as it can make someone incapable of enjoying a day in normal conditions.

While it is not a secret that the world of pharmaceuticals is constantly evolving and looking for better ways to bring relief for a wide range of health conditions, the development of a different niche appears to be bringing significant improvements in the world of prescription drugs.

We are talking about vaping prescription drugs instead of actually ingesting them, as most of them used to so far. Yes, it appears that a way was found to allow people to find the relief they need faster, with the help of vaping.

As you may know, vaping is mainly used by those that want to quit smoking cigarettes but enjoy the habit of doing it. Inhaling vapors is much better than the smoke produced by cigarettes, as in spite of the fact that it contains nicotine, it is less damaging due to the fact that it doesn’t introduce so many toxic components into the organism. Also, it’s a preferred method used by those that enjoy vaping CBD oil, as it increases the availability and absorption of the substance in the body and provides the relief they need.

So, there are some people that thought about using vaping as a way to make prescription drugs more effective and shorten the period in which they act. It was actually discovered that vaping has a fewer number of risks when it comes to the administration of drugs, in comparison with ingesting them or getting shots.

Besides minimizing the risks, vaping drugs can also offer a faster relief, as the active components of the prescribed drugs reach the bloodstream faster this way. Ingestion is the slowest way to get drugs into your system, as it has to pass through your digestive system first, which can also make a part of it to get lost on the way.

Injecting a drug in the body works faster, but the risks are greater, depending on the drug that gets injected. While more studies are needed in the case of vaping prescription drugs, it appears that this method works better from all points of view. Just how fast you can get relief from pain if you inhale a drug instead of ingesting it?

According to studies in this domain, pain can drop with almost one half of its intensity in the first 20 minutes after one single inhaling of a drug’s vapors. Such a result can last up to 90 minutes, so the method looks more than promising at this point.

How soon could this have such drugs in drugs stores? Unfortunately, the procedure of releasing a new drug on the market, even if it’s just about changing the administration form, like switching from ingesting pills to vaping, is a rather lengthy one. In the US, the FDA takes up to 12 years until approving a particular drug as being suitable for public use. So, we will have to be patient until this method will be widely available.

What is Medicare For All?

A lot of people, recently, have been caught in the debate concerning universal health care and Medicare for all. They mean different things to different people.

Medicare for All: What is it?

This scheme, Medicare for All, was created by Senator Bernie Sanders. It is a healthcare plan meant to cater for everyone. The Medicare For All scheme is meant to be built on the growth and successes of both ACA- Affordable Care Act, and Medicare, which were incorporated by the previous President of the US- Barack Obama. These schemes were meant to allow a lot of Americans have access to a better health care system.

Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All believes that over 29 million Americans have no access to health insurance even under the ACA.

A lot of Americans, running into millions, are on insurance policies, with high deductibles and copayments. They are uninsured.

Sanders’ Medicare for All is intended to solve the problems listed above.

Usually, those with employment have healthcare protection, when compared to business owners, live in parents, and unemployed Americans. The Medicare for All scheme is expected to ensure that those not covered by the previous health plans get covered.

The scheme is meant to shoot up the health care system of the US to the class of other industrialized nations, known to offer their citizens, universal health care.

The universal health care plan is expected to benefit both the healthcare providers and patients. The Medicare For All scheme will benefit every American, not minding their earning, age or socioeconomic status.

Under the scheme, Healthcare professionals would have access to top-notch and innovative training. This will force the administrative overheads and healthcare costs to reduce drastically.

What Does Medicare For All Cover?

This scheme is designed to cover a lot of services and products include in the world of healthcare.

They include the following, though not limited to:

• Diagnostic services,

• Care for hearing, oral, and vision health problems,

• Prescription medication,

• Outpatient and inpatient health care services,

• Mental health and addiction services,

and so on

How Medicare For All Scheme Will Work For You

With this universal healthcare system, you will be able to access any healthcare provider for any healthcare service needed. You don’t have to be bothered about if the healthcare provider works in a specific network or if you are to foot any out-of-pocket expenses.

The scheme is will be devoid of any deductibles or copays. This will allow, according to Sanders, a middle-class family to save over $5,800 yearly when enrolled under the Medicare for All scheme. You don’t have to be bothered with insurance companies, and their claims. People will be able to reduce the stress that comes with healthcare services and save money in the process.

How Medicare for All intends To Benefit The Country

The scheme will revolutionize the way the health care system carries out its services. The plan is meant to reduce the amount Americans spend on healthcare by over $6 trillion in the next decade. American businesses will also benefit, as they are expected to save for every employee, per annum, an amount over $9,400.

This universal healthcare system will allow the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, a fairer price for Americans.

It is expected to also track the usage of healthcare providers, thereby reducing wait times and efficiently serving Americans.

How Would It Work?

Every American, not minding their age or race or gender, will get an insurance card, indicating that they are covered by the Medicare for All scheme. When you want to get medical services or products, you merely show your card.

It is expected to cost over $1.38 trillion per annum.

What is Medicare?

In 1965, the American government decided to come up with a plan that will help seniors of 65 years old and older to enjoy coverage in the healthcare domain. In other words, if you are 65 years old or above and you have a health issue, Medicare will help you with the financial load that comes along, or, at least, with a part of it, depending on the plan you will choose. In 1972, the Medicare plan was modified to a certain degree so that young people who suffered from permanent disabilities to enjoy the support offered by the plan. Of course, these cases are analyzed and only the ones that meet the requirements will be accepted into the program. The Medicare plan has four parts, A, B, C, and D, each of them taking care of a certain sector and being funded in a different manner.

In order to be part of the Medicare plan, you will have to sign up and choose one of the previously mentioned plans, whichever you consider most suitable in your case. Just do have in mind that each part of Medicare has costs as well, besides the benefits it offers. So, you will have to cover these costs, being eligible to take advantage of the benefits of this plan once you will have 65 years old. In other words, it is another aspect you need to consider for your retirement plan. The truth is that it is recommended to contribute to a healthcare-related plan while you are young and capable of working because it may turn out extremely useful if you get ill at an older age.

If you are interested in Medicare, then you need to know that enrollment is possible only when you are close to turning 65 years old. More precisely, you can subscribe to a Medicare plan three months before reaching the age of 65, on your birthday month, and three months after your birthday. These 7 months are known as the Initial Enrollment Period. So, make sure you apply during this period if you want to be considered eligible. It is recommended to subscribe in the three months prior to your birthday because once you turn 65, the services provided by Medicare will begin on the very first day you have 65 years old. If you miss doing this, then the services will become available three months after your subscription, as long as you do it in the first three months after your birthday.

But, if you forget to get enrolled during the Initial Period, don’t fret, as you still have the General Enrollment Period. This takes place between the 1st of January and 31st of March of every year. If you subscribe to Medicare during this period, then your plan will become active starting on the 1st of July only and there are chances for you to have to pay higher premiums. Also, for special situations and particular requirements, there’s the possibility to apply during the Special Enrollment Period. If your case meets the requirements of Medicare, then your plan will become available in one month after sending your completed application to Social Services.

Why choose Medicare? Well, with the help of Medicare copay, for example, you will be able to get the needed medical services, treatments, and everything else you will need if you get sick or dealing with a health problem. Now, you probably wonder how Medicare services are funded. Because when we work we contribute with 1.45% from our revenues to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and our employees pay an additional 1.45% in the same direction, all this money goes into Medicare through Social Security Administration. Thus, you enjoy a whole 2.9% invested in Medicare. Just, do have in mind that if you are working on your own and you are, therefore, self-employed, you will have to cover the entire 2.9% on your own. Still, some of the costs involving the use of Medicare could be billed to you, depending on the plan you choose and medical services you require.

Having said all these, let us take a closer look at each of Medicare’s plans and see what benefits, and costs, they offer. Medicare Part A, which is considered one of the basics, will offer the support you need in case you will require hospitalization. This part of Medicare generates no costs, so you can consider it free, the only requirement being to have contributed to Social Services for at least 10 years. Medicare Part B will take care of visits to the doctor’s office and other expenses, as physical therapy and medical equipment, if the case. It also includes screenings to prevent the occurrence of some diseases, such as diabetes, glaucoma, and certain cancers. For this particular plan, there is a monthly premium that has to be covered. In 2017, the basic premium for Part B was around $120, but it can be more depending on your yearly gross income or if you and your spouse file together for Medicare, a situation in which your incomes will be joint.

Medicare Part A and B are supported by the government through its healthcare providers, but if you opt for Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is provided by private healthcare providers that have contracts with Medicare. According to the law, Part C must provide at least the healthcare services offered by Part A and B, but they do differ according to the case. So, some may offer more than what A and B are offering, while others may offer more of what A provides and less of the B plan and the other way around. So, it is worth checking what Medicare Advantage is actually offering, as not all of them covers prescription drugs, for example. Finally, there is Medicare Part D, which was specially created to cover prescription drugs. You can add this part to your original Medicare plan, to some Medicare plans that involve costs, to some plans with Private-Fee-For-Service, and to medical savings account plans. Just do know that plan D is a separate document that you get from a private insurance provider. If you opt for it, you will have to pay a monthly premium, as a general rule, and may get some annual deductibles, which usually don’t exceed a few hundreds of dollars. Also, this plan will cover only the first $3,310 spent on drugs per year. If that’s enough for you, then you’re okay, but if not, you will have to pay for the remaining costs out of your pocket.

So, as you can see, with Medicare, you will be able to get medical services according to your needs. While opting for Part A seems more than obvious, choosing the rest of the plans remains your choice only, depending on the costs you can withstand out of your budget per month. Whether you will enjoy Medicare copay or have medical services entirely covered by your plan, every little help counts. It always best to have at least a part of your healthcare services covered because, as we all know, old age comes along with a variety of health problems, unfortunately. This is why it is reassuring to have a safety plan in handy, just in case you need it. Just do take the time to take a good look at all your options, so you can choose the one that will suit you best. For this, it would be ideal to start in a timely manner, so by the time you turn 65, your chosen plan or plans will start working for you.

We all know that medical services are expensive, so why worry whether you will afford them or not. Medicare and its Medicare copay system were created precisely out of the desire to help people access quality and affordable medical services. So, because health and finances are two rather sensitive parts of our lives, it is worth making the decisions that will protect both of them in the best way possible. This is why since its appearance, millions of Americans became members of the Medicare plan and enjoyed the best medical services available in the US. Even if you are nowhere near the age of 65, it is still worth understanding how Medicare works and get into more details concerning the plans it has to offer. So, when the right time will come, you will know what to choose. Of course, don’t hesitate to revise what the plans are offering by the time you will be close to 65 years old, as some details concerning the plans may be subjected to changes. It is really not worth managing all the costs of the medical services you need when you can enjoy the Medicare copay system, plus the free medical services this healthcare plan offers.

Another aspect you need to consider is the Medigap or Medicare Supplement, which is an additional insurance policy that will cover the parts Medicare doesn’t. You see, while Medicare offers a lot, there are certain services that may be missing. Thus, as a precaution method, people will opt for an additional insurance policy. This will be provided, of course, by a private insurance provider. This policy will also cover the expenses generated by your Medicare plan, like annual deductibles and co-pays. Still, if you opted for Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage, then having this policy won’t help as it won’t cover it. Also, if you plan to pass to Medicare Advantage and you already have Medigap, then it would be recommended to let Medigap go, as it won’t bring any benefits.

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