Despite the fact that almost half the states in the country have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, it is almost impossible to find a health insurance company that will cover the cost of the “medication.”
If it’s truly a medical treatment, why doesn’t health insurance cover it? It’s a question that has many taking a hard look at whether or not marijuana is truly a viable medical resource, and perhaps rightfully so.
Not an Approved Medical Treatment
Health insurance companies will rarely cover the cost of any medical treatment that has not been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and marijuana is as yet an unapproved substance. Additionally, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be approved any time soon. It takes years of multiphase studies that cost millions of dollars to approve a medication for use, and since the drug is classified as a Schedule I substance – highly addictive and with no medical value – by the federal government, researchers must jump through a lot of hoops in order to stage a study and even then must only use the marijuana that is provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), another limiting factor.
Those who use marijuana medicinally are given a card that allows them to buy the substance from approved dispensaries. For those who use the drug regularly, purchasing buds to smoke from plants or marijuana edibles, the cost can be hefty – as much as $1,000 per month, according to the Los Angeles Times. Few health insurance companies want to take on that bill, and the people who currently have insurance but don’t want or need medical marijuana don’t want their premiums to increase in order to pay the cost of covering those who do want the drug.
It’s worth noting, too, that even if the drug were to be approved by the FDA for medical use, it’s doubtful that coverage would be widespread since large companies rarely opt for the most expensive health insurance plan options for their employees, and few single families would be able to afford the cost of a plan that included medical marijuana coverage.
Coverage for Treatment
What health insurance policies do cover, however, is the cost of certain treatments and therapies to overcome marijuana dependence. If your loved one is struggling with marijuana abuse or addiction, your health insurance company may be able to help you cover the cost of the bill for a comprehensive and effective rehabilitation program. Contact us at Alta Mira today to learn more.