Article by Alyssa Furtado, Cannabis Life Network
Cannabis’ legalization is set to disrupt an age-old industry with questions about its use. The facts are thin, the reports are few but we’re here to help you best prepare for the changes ahead. While insurance companies race to enact policies to avoid confusion, are you ready?
The formerly illicit-yet-casual drug is soon to be on the shelf and part of the norm. It enters your daily life much in the same way as alcohol has and you need to be conscious of how it’s soon to be public presence will affect you. Whether you partake or not, it could have a significant impact on your insurance products. Here are some questions you may want to ask your current providers.
For your health & life insurance
Do you have coverage for medicinal marijuana?
Typically, with a bacterial infection, your doctor provides a prescription, you submit it to a pharmacy, and receive the antibiotics using your health benefits from your employer. It’s simple, it’s covered, there are no more questions.
Coverage for cannabis health products on the other hand isn’t as simple. Health insurance companies are wary of the high cost and efficacy relative to a proven and less expensive, pharmaceutical drug. Even though questions persist around cannabis’ medicinal effectiveness, some insurers are stepping up to the plate to offer conditional coverage options.
Sun Life covers marijuana for specific cases like pain from cancer, MS, or arthritis. Manulife offers the same coverage but instituted limits at $1,500 to $2,500 per year. It’s a good idea to inquire with your employer before you ask your doctor to ensure your suffering is managed. If your employer’s co-pay health benefits don’t cover it, you can ask to opt out of the plan but first, understand the repercussions, you don’t want to be without coverage when you need it.
The same rules apply for life insurance. A lot of companies have adjusted their policies to classify cannabis users as “non-smokers” since it’s believed to be less harmful than tobacco and there are more ways to consume than combustive smoking. If you’ve been classified as a smoker on your life insurance policy, and you only smoke cannabis, you should be asking for a reduction on your premiums. If you’re ingesting for pain, your life insurer may care less about the cannabis use and more about the cause of the pain, especially if it’s a new medical condition.