Medical marijuana is legal in Florida as a treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. As an accepted and effective treatment for these conditions, many patients ask if medical cannabis is covered with health insurance. Here, we’ll explore the topic of insurance coverage for medical marijuana and what patients who are beginning treatment with medical cannabis can expect.
Health Insurance Coverage for Medical Marijuana
Currently, although cannabis is legal in Florida for patients with medical marijuana cards, it’s not covered under health insurance. So, if you apply and receive a Florida medical marijuana card for a qualifying condition, you’ll have to cover the full cost of the cannabis out of pocket. This also goes for employer-supplied health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Medical Marijuana and FDA-Approval
There’s currently one prescription drug that contains CBD and three prescription drugs containing synthetic forms of cannabis that have been approved by the FDA. Unfortunately, these medications (Epidiolex, Cesamet, Marinol, and Syndros) aren’t as beneficial as medical marijuana for many patients, and other than these prescription medications, medical marijuana isn’t FDA-approved — it likely won’t be until much more research has been done on its medical applications. Until then, it’s unlikely that insurance companies will include it as a benefit for policyholders.
What To Expect as a Patient
As a patient in Florida with a qualifying condition for medical cannabis, you’ll need to cover the cost of every step in the process of obtaining marijuana for treatment. Generally, this includes the cost of the appointment for your medical marijuana recommendation, registration fees, and the actual cannabis for treatment. In some circumstances, patients with an HSA or FSA can use some of the funds in the account for the doctor’s appointment, but not any of the medical marijuana.
The medical marijuana doctors at Tetra Health Care will walk you through the process of obtaining medical marijuana in Florida and answer your financial questions regarding cannabis. Schedule an appointment at our office today.