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is cbd oil covered by insurance

The first, and most obvious, is standard FDA regulation. On May 31, the FDA held a public hearing on issues around CBD’s regulation, such as the medical conditions it has shown effectiveness in treating and its side effects. A working group that was assigned to analyze the problem recently published a statement paper called “FDA is Committed to Sound, Science-based Policy on CBD,” which clearly spells out the agency’s stance

“If a product is being marketed as a drug — meaning, for example, that it’s intended to have a therapeutic effect such as treating a disease — then it’s regulated as a drug, and it generally cannot be sold without FDA approval.”

In its 2001 “Notice of denial of petition to reschedule marijuana,” the DEA emphasized that its main objection to the rescheduling of cannabis and its derivatives was not because of their potential for abuse, but rather for their lack of accepted use in medical treatment:

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.”

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.

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.

Yet as with many cannabis-related matters, old attitudes are easy to shift but difficult to eradicate completely, and the association of CBD with the 20th century’s most demonized plant has created a blurry line that insurance companies are reluctant to cross. It also doesn’t help that marijuana-derived CBD, which many say is more effective than the hemp-derived variety, is still a Schedule I controlled substance according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

One of the biggest benefits for medical cannabis patients and users is the ability to “write off” their medical cannabis medication on their yearly personal taxes as a medical expense . To be able to do so, the cannabis must have been purchased through a Licensed Producer, and have valid receipts of purchase.

More than 17 years after cannabis was first legalized in Canada for medical use, some insurers are just beginning to cover the cost of the medication. Slowly things are changing for the better as companies are being given the option from insurers to include medical cannabis. However, many plans limit coverage to just a handful of medical conditions that qualify and do not cover the cost of medical cannabis for most users.
But don’t fret – if your health insurance plan includes a Healthcare Spending Account (HCSA or HSA), you are likely able to claim medical cannabis under this category. Be sure to chec k the details of your insurance plan to see what is and is not covered. The Canada Revenue Agency lists medical cannabis as an eligible medical expense . Your proof of purchase (receipts) that include your prescription information, can be found online under your personal account with each Licensed Producer (LP) on their respective websites.
If you have any questions about your prescription, your apollo educator is here to assist you free of charge, 7 days a week.

How to claim medical cannabis under your Healthcare Spending Account

If you would like to book a free virtual/telephone appointment, we assist our patients 1-on-1 with any insurance questions as well as assisting in finding you the best LP that suits your needs and budget.
You can fill out a form here and someone from our bookings team will give you a call or you can reach us directly toll-free at 1-877-560-9195.

If you need any paperwork filled out by your doctor, please contact Apollo and we will be happy to assist you*.

Current medical cannabis users are hopeful that private insurers will begin to recognize cannabis as medicine and cover the expenses. There is a large push to see cannabis covered the same way as any other prescribed medication, as well as better access for those who are on ODSP or a fixed income. There are advocacy groups & nonprofits that work with patients to discuss coverage with their employers and private insurers while showing supporting medical evidence of your prescription such as a doctor’s letter alongside the request. Currently, this is generally done on a case-by-case basis on whether or not the coverage will be approved.