Will Your Benefits Plan Cover a Medical Marijuana Claim?

Will Your Benefits Plan Cover a Medical Marijuana Claim?Medical marijuana is a controversial subject. If you or a family member has been prescribed medical marijuana, you’re probably wondering whether your benefits plan will actually cover it or not.

The legislation and regulations surrounding medical marijuana access and use are in constant flux, which can become confusing. Right now, it’s too soon for the drug to be covered in basic benefits plans; however, it does qualify as a medical expense under CRA guidelines.

That means patients can use their healthcare spending accounts (HCSA) to cover the cost.

If you, a family member, or one of your employees needs medical marijuana and you do not have an HCSA, get in touch with The Benefits Trust to set one up right away.

If an HCSA isn’t appealing to you, we – as a custom benefits plan provider – will be happy to discuss the possibility of adding medical marijuana to your current benefits plan.

Is Sativex® Covered?

Sativex® is a cannabinoid medicine for treating multiple sclerosis. It is also in development for treating cancer pain.

Sativex® is covered, with special authorization, by many plans.

The Current State of Medical Marijuana Benefits Coverage in Canada

Ongoing developments are changing the status of medical marijuana in Canada. Before long, medical marijuana may be covered by even standard benefits plans.

A recent article in The Huffington Post Canada discusses a University of Waterloo student who was recently awarded insurance coverage for medical marijuana, setting a new precedent.

In 2014, Health Canada estimated that about 37,800 patients were registered for medical marijuana … that’s an increase from only 100 patients registered in 2001! It’s clear that soon employers, advisors, and benefits plan providers alike will need to evolve their approaches to covering medical marijuana through benefits packages.

Medical marijuana is a controversial and complicated subject in the Canadian healthcare industry, but this is the beginning of a turning tide.

>> The Benefits Trust can help you build a better benefits plan than you can get anywhere else. Contact us today!

Questions about healthcare spending accounts? Download our FREE eBook: The Smart Employer’s Guide to Healthcare Spending Accounts.

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About Mike Ignatz

Mike Ignatz has managed Business Development at The Benefits Trust since 2005. His drive and focus has helped The Benefits Trust provide better benefits plans to small and mid-sized businesses throughout Canada.

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