Does Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana?

People who suffer from cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, AIDS, or any other medical condition that needs heavy treatment often use different types of medicine and therapy to reduce the symptoms. But as crazy as it sounds, medical marijuana can be used to help the body.

It is presented as a drug made from the plant Cannabis Sativa and its uses vary depending on the condition of the person. In the US, it has been legalized in 37 states up to this year (2021), but that doesn’t mean it can be sold or grown for no reason.

Some specific pharmacies and dispensaries are legally allowed to sell these to the people that need them. But medical marijuana is still an illegal substance, so health insurance companies have a different opinion about it. If you want to know if these companies can cover it, keep reading!

What are Schedule I drugs?

Regarding different types of drugs, they are classified into different categories or schedules. Different factors help to list them in the correct schedule; the abuse rate and potential of dependence are some of them.

The classification goes from Schedule V drugs, which have the lowest danger of abuse, to Schedule I drugs, which present the highest abuse rates. Some examples of the latter are heroin, methaqualone, peyote, and marijuana.

The reason behind medical marijuana and insurance companies

Since medical marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the Controlled Substances Act, it means this substance is illegal and health insurances companies will not pay for it.

Whatever your medical condition is, insurers cannot get involved in illegal acts since it would harm their company. In fact, your physicians cannot prescribe medical marijuana because it would put them in danger of losing their Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license.

Another reason for health insurance companies to prohibit medical marijuana payment is because of the Food and Drug Administration. Up to this date, the FDA has not approved the marketing of cannabis. They know of the medical use of it, but also the risks that can bring to your behalf.

If you need more information about the accreditation of medical marijuana, you can click here to visit their website.

Pros and cons of medical marijuana

Even though your physician cannot prescribe you medical marijuana, you can be suggested of its uses. There is a mixed opinion on whether you should use this substance.

The pros are:

  • It has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can help with muscles that suffer from pain or stiffness
  • Helps to regain appetite loss
  • It can treat nausea and vomiting, or any symptoms related to it

The cons are:

  • It can harm your memory. The constant use of marijuana can damage your cognitive system
  • Can create a dangerous addiction on the user
  • Smoking this drug can harm your lungs as well

Other alternatives you can opt for

This does not mean the end for you. There are other products that are similar to medical marijuana that not only are approved by the FDA but also are covered by your health insurance companies.

Your physician can prescribe you either dronabinol or nabilone, also known as Marinol and Cesamet respectively. The former is normally used to control nausea, vomiting, and appetite, while the latter can also ease nausea and vomiting that may occur during cancer treatments.

Having health insurance will make things easier if you want these medicines, so if you do not have one, now is the time to look for an insurance company

There are plenty of reasons why in the next years the medical marijuana will still not be approved, meaning that your insurance will not cover it. Even if it is classified in a lower schedule, the dangers that it brings to the table are high. So you should consider getting the alternatives mentioned above instead.