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.
• 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.