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Does Insurance Cover CBD Oil?
Even though CBD oil is quickly becoming one of the most promising products on the market for a myriad of health benefits, health insurance typically does not cover CBD oil. As many United States citizens turn to the medical use of CBD (Cannabidiol), the question is constantly being raised – does insurance cover CBD? The answer may surprise you.
While individuals may not agree with the unanimous decision of health insurance companies not to cover CBD oil on their insurance plans, they do have their reasons.
Can a Doctor Prescribe CBD Oil?
No, since prescription drugs must be FDA approved. Health insurance plans are bound by prescriptions being FDA approved.
A major reason why health insurance companies are unable or unwilling to permit the coverage of CBD oil and other products on their plans is that it is not approved by food and drug administration.
Even though these treatments are popular for medical use, it still has not been approved by the FDA. For this reason, without the Federal government being onboard, health plans are not covering CBD products.
Does Medicare or Medicaid cover CBD Oil?
No, currently Medicare or Medicaid does not cover CBD oil and related products.
Medical Marijuana vs CBD
Many who ask, “Does insurance cover CBD oil?” find that using CBD oil for treatment is still a very misunderstood subject. There is no doubt CBD does help. It is often confused with medical marijuana though. Marijuana is a controlled substance. CBD oil, however, does not contain the mood-altering substance, THC. But many aren’t aware of this fact and continue to associate it with medical marijuana which makes CBD controversial, thus, something insurance companies shy away from.
The evidence that CBD oil is an effective medicinal treatment for everything from pain management and seizures to mental issues are seriously overlooked even though there are thousands of people who can testify that CBD can help as a remedy. The herb is also highly acclaimed for causing no side effects. Still, CBD and CBD oil remain in the balance.
A number of people feel the real reason insurance does not include CBD, CBD oil, and CBD products are due to big pharmaceutical companies. Whether insurance companies receive under the cover kickbacks and incentives is something the general public may never know for sure since their rights are reserved. With their rights reserved, if health plans cover CBD is left up to the discretion of the individual insurance company as they can decide what to cover and what not to cover. CBD very well might not be profitable enough to them
While insurance companies are not picking up the tab for CBD and CBD oil, a multitude of people choose to use CBD oil and cannabidiol remedies regardless. They find that CBD and other CBD products help enough with their medical treatment, they are willing to pay for the oil on their own.
Cannabidiol is a leading main component in cannabis, or “pot”. But, cannabidiol is not the only ingredient in marijuana though. There are over 85 individual cannabidiol components. Each one of those ingredients has a very important role in the chemistry behind marijuana. While some people are given to think that every individual component in marijuana is mood changing, such is certainly not true.
What is THC?
Marijuana has been used by humans since around 500 BC. The first recorded use is from Asia where it was associated with spiritual and medicinal values. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the most known compounds in Cannabidiol. Because THC is mood-altering and has the ability to get a person “high” (or, the feel of being sedated), it is highly scrutinized. It is also illegal in some states. Some feel THC can cause dependency or carries other negative effects. CBD is not a mind-altering substance, however. It does not cause dependency in any form or fashion which is a fact that has been proven time after time. Incidentally, CBD is legal in all states.
One reason cannabidiol has been associated with THC is that when marijuana was outlawed, the two substances – cannabidiol and THC – were not differentiated. One was assumed to be the same as the other. The war on drugs was launched in the early 1970s to combat the illegal use of drugs. The public view of marijuana was tainted and misunderstood, according to many. It was years later that the medicinal value of marijuana would be recognized.
Medical marijuana is legal in some states. The laws and regulations vary. It is used for nausea and to increase appetites in cancer patients and for a number of other medical conditions too. But, it does contain THC. It affects a person’s mood. CBD does not change the way a person feels with the exception of reducing pain and discomfort and easing or eliminating mental stress and other emotional maladies.
Cannabidiol has been widely researched although many official agencies state that it is still “too early to tell” when it comes to giving results. The evidence speaks for itself though but health insurance plans are not taking that evidence into consideration.
A Deeper Look at the Science Behind CBD
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that are plant-derived. The human body produces cannabinoids naturally. They are called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids can be found in various forms including the anandamide, or bliss molecule, that is appreciated for enacting the CB1 receptor. The CB1 receptor holds huge benefits, like relieving depression, lowering inflammation of the intestines, lowering blood pressure, increasing the formation of myelin, reducing anxiety, and tons of other positive medicinal properties.
CBD is also attributed with helping combat Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, or CECD. CECD is a health issue that arises when an individual has too little endocannabinoids in their system. Endocannabinoids help prevents such conditions as autism, motion sickness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), neuropathy, Huntington’s Disease, migraine headaches, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s, and a slew of other maladies.
The solution comes through introducing cannabinoids into the system, endocannabinoids are naturally enhanced so they can multiply and do their jobs to prevent disease and disruption from occurring due to the deficiency.
Not only does the remedy help the root condition of the illness itself, but using cannabinoids means the patient won’t be using the traditional medications that often carry very severe harmful effects. That scenario makes cannabinoid use even more beneficial. But, on the other hand, not so financially beneficial to big pharma companies and others who are lined up to profit from the use of traditional prescriptions that are typically used.
CBD oil is a product of the earth which is a huge advantage those who use it have over the use of prescriptions. It is being considered by many to be nature’s cure for a vast number of medicinal problems. Not all companies see it be beneficial, however. Whether it’s that there is a lack of financial incentives or if there are legitimate reasons, the fact remains. Cannabinoids are not a part of prescription plans at the present time.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of cannabinoids are not imaginary. There is scientific proof that cannabinoids work wonders. Not only do the phytocannabinoids play a big part in the benefits, but there are also other beneficial components that do as well. In fact, there is a synergic effect that takes place within the body when cannabinoids are introduced. That means the oil creates harmony within the body’s system.
The truth is that regardless of the benefits cannabinoids hold, it may be a good long time before health agencies recognize them, if they ever do.
Are Cannabis Products Covered By Health Insurance?
Good news! Today, over half of the US— that’s 29 US states and 3 territories— have legalized medical cannabis for their residents. The bad news? Medical marijuana patients must still cough up the cash to cover their own medication. That’s right. Because of federal prohibition, there are no cannabis products covered by health insurance.
Health Insurance and Federal Law
Federal law still considers cannabis to be a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Because medical treatment must be approved by the FDA, health insurers won’t foot the bill for a single sticky nug of medical green until marijuana is reclassified.
Instead, some insurance companies offer coverage for legal alternatives to medical marijuana. For AIDS or chemotherapy patients, insurers cover substitutes like the synthetic THC imitation Marinol for nausea and appetite loss. Unfortunately, these alternate drugs cause sleep issues, depression, and headaches. Generally, with medical cannabis, patients can avoid these typical side effects.
No matter what, there aren’t any cannabis products covered by health insurance. Not even nonpsychoactive CBD products. However, on a state-by-state basis, alternatives and cost-saving opportunities can help lessen some of the costs of being a medical marijuana patient. Recently, New York State ordered insurers to cover any medical visit involving a medical marijuana certification. Still, the main reason for the doctor visit cannot be the only the certification itself. Similarly, many states offer sliding scale fees for obtaining a medical card. These helpful programs reduce the hassle of fees incurred simply by becoming a medical marijuana patient.
Worker’s Compensation May Help Cover MMJ
Though only a minority demographic benefits, states’ Worker’s Compensation boards have recently ruled in favor of MMJ patients seeking coverage. In New Jersey, a man injured on the job at a lumber mill sought reimbursement for MMJ prescribed to him while enrolled in the state’s medical program. The judge rewarded not only the money for the bud for treating his chronic pain but also future treatment.
Worker’s Compensation claims may be one of MMJ patients’ only ways to receive coverage. In New Mexico, injured workers must first receive a marijuana prescription for “reasonable and necessary care”. Workers must pay out of pocket for their medicine. Then health insurers must reimburse them for the costs of treatment. Likewise, Maine has issued similar rulings. There, a worker experienced a back injury while he was on the clock at a paper mill. On his side, the state’s Worker’s Compensation Board ruled that his former employer’s insurance must cover his medical cannabis. Other states are undergoing
Final Hit: Are Cannabis Products Covered By Health Insurance?
The majority of medical marijuana patients can’t benefit from the angle of Worker’s Compensation claims. For most, health insurance still won’t cover a cannabis prescription. Luckily in some states, many dispensaries offer discounts on various products sold in their storefronts. Certain medical products may be on sale, depending on the day and location. Far from being as good as no out-of-pocket cost, these deals may certainly keep a medical weed patient from breaking the bank.
But maybe these alternatives to lack of medical marijuana coverage aren’t enough. Well then, there’s always moving to Canada. In that utopia in the north, many health insurers fund patients’ medical cannabis prescriptions. As if Americans needed another reason to flee across the border.