Though most people know that no health insurance plan will cover medical marijuana, many still have questions on whether such plans might cover CBD oil and CBD products. They don’t induce a high, after all, and since the federal government legalized hemp-derived CBD in the 2018 Farm Bill, it seems counter-intuitive to most that health insurance companies would be averse to a product that is both legal and wildly popular.
Unfortunately, CBD is also quite expensive, so people will likely continue to ask this question until the answer becomes yes.
Why Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover CBD Oil
And without FDA approval, insurance companies won’t approve of CBD, either. When the public relations manager of Humana, one of the country’s five largest insurers, told VICE why the company did not insure medical marijuana, he could just as easily have been talking about CBD. “As of right now, there is no FDA-approved marijuana product, and we therefore do not currently offer a prescription drug benefit for medical marijuana,” he said. “If there were to be an FDA-approved medical marijuana product in the future, it may be covered depending upon the terms of the individual member’s drug coverage.”
Even agencies with a more open stance on CBD, like the FDA, are helping to block insurance companies from covering it — with one notable exception, an anti-seizure medication called Epidiolex. Costing around $32,500 out of pocket for a year’s treatment, it was approved by the FDA in 2018, subsequently downgraded by the DEA to a Schedule 5 substance (the same non-restrictive category as prescription cough syrup), and is now covered without exception by insurers. However, it’s also blocking other CBD-derived medications from getting the same treatment, since its approval by the FDA means that any drug containing CBD would have to go through the same arduous, expensive process. So far, no other medication has been up for the challenge.
So, is CBD oil (of any kind) covered by insurance companies (of any type) in the United States? Across the board, the answer is no, another ramification of the uneven progress of American cannabis reform.
Cannabis can be used for either medical or recreational purposes. The difference is really in the use. When we talk about medical cannabis, it’s in reference to cannabis being used to alleviate symptoms of various health conditions and diseases under the guidance of a physician and with the right authorization. Recreational cannabis, however, is not used to serve any medical purpose.
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.
Is medical cannabis right for you?
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:
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.
To start, visit your doctor and talk about whether medical cannabis is an option for your treatment. If your doctor decides that cannabis may help you, they can provide you with a medical authorization, in compliance with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).
As a result, some doctors are starting to recommend CBD oil as a treatment—often in combination with other conventional medications. And they’re being asked by their patients if it’s covered by health insurance.
Patients seeking CBD products need to make sure they’re purchasing them from a reputable company. It is critical that you do your research and examine the authenticity of the brand.
Will Health Insurance Agencies Pay for CBD Oil?
Due to the high price tag of CBD oil, patients are often asking their doctors if their health insurance plans will cover the cost. In this post, we explore whether or not health insurance programs will ever cover CBD oil as well as look at the options that are currently available.
There are two primary obstacles preventing health insurance companies from offering to cover CBD oil or similar treatment options such as medicinal marijuana.
The first obstacle is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When a new drug is released on the market, it must first be approved by the FDA before doctors can legally prescribe it to their patients.