Navigating the world of healthcare can be a challenging and confusing process on its own. So, what happens when you combine cannabis and health insurance? Unfortunately, because of medical cannabis’ complicated status—medically legal in over 30 states but criminalized at the federal level—it adds a new layer of complexity.
While many patients rely on cannabis to help them manage symptoms of serious health conditions, health insurance does not cover medical cannabis. And unfortunately for many Americans, Health Savings Accounts can’t be used to purchase medical cannabis.
Cannabis and Health Insurance: The Current State of Affairs
As we mentioned above, no health insurer currently covers expenses related to medical cannabis. All health plans have what’s known as a drug formulary, a list of medications approved for use, and thus for reimbursement. Because cannabis isn’t yet approved for use by the FDA, it’s extremely unlikely that it will be added to any insurer’s formulary.
This is disappointing, especially considering cannabis’s demonstrated potential to dramatically reduce the use of opioids and other objectively harmful (and expensive) drugs. That said, we have hope that as ever-greater numbers of Americans support the use of medical cannabis, this situation won’t prove to be permanent.
In fact, the FDA has approved one medication derived from synthetic cannabis, Dronabinol, designed to help those suffering the nausea and vomiting e associated with cancer medications when other medications don’t work and increase the appetite of people with AIDS and anorexia. And in 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, an anti-seizure medicine derived from CBD.
Once medical cannabis is removed from the list of controlled substances by the government and legalized, health insurers may begin to cover it. However, if Canada’s insurance companies are any indication, coverage will still be light. Canadian insurers limit the amount of cannabis that can be claimed on insurance by such an extent that many medical cannabis users don’t bother with it.
Cannabis and Health Insurance: The Health Savings Account
Health Savings Accounts are supposed to help Americans cover their out-of-pocket health expenses. While you can get your contact solution at your local pharmacy with these dollars, unfortunately, you can’t use them at your favorite dispensary.
Because cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, it is not on the approved list of purchases.
Cannabis and Health Insurance: Special Discounts
So how can you save on this valuable medicine?
Look for special discounts at your Green Goods dispensary.
New Patient Discount
First-time Green Goods patients can enjoy a percentage off their first order, just ask your local Green Goods pharmacist. (Offer is not valid for online orders; must be redeemed in person at the dispensary.)
Military and Veterans Discount
If you’re a veteran or active-duty military, we want to thank you for your service! That’s why we offer all veterans, active military, and their immediate family a discount on their medicine with valid documentation. To take advantage of this offer, please present any one of the qualified documents listed below to a member of our dispensary staff at checkout:
- VA Veterans ID Card
- Veterans Drivers License ID
- DD Form 2765; DD Form 1173; DD Form 1173-1; DD Form 2
Discounts range from 10 to 15% off depending on your local dispensary.
At Green Goods, we offer a discount on medication to all who qualify for a state-recognized medical assistance program, including Medical Assistance, Medicare, Medicaid, and certain private health plans.
To redeem, please bring your valid medical assistance document to the dispensary for staff member verification.
We hope this makes financing your medication easier!