- J.L Campbell
Insurance Doesn’t Cover Medical Marijuana - But it Should
Louisiana’s medical marijuana program is changing the lives of thousands who have registered for their medical card. These patients may purchase and possess cannabis to get relief for a myriad of medical symptoms and conditions. With marijuana being legalized specifically to help with medical issues, it begs the question - does medical insurance cover the cost of cannabis?
Neither Insurance NOR Medicaid Cover Medical Marijuana in Louisiana - But They SHOULD
Unfortunately, medical insurance and Medicaid currently do not cover any cannabis products, but they should. After all, it’s called “medical” marijuana for a reason. Marijuana is medicine. Cannabis helps patients get relief for a wide spectrum of medical conditions. The issue, when it comes to insurance and Medicaid, is that marijuana is still against the law on a Federal level.
Medical or Not - Marijuana Is Still Against Federal Law
The most prominent hurdle between getting medical marijuana covered by your insurance is that cannabis is still illegal federally. Marijuana IS medicine, which is why you can’t just walk into a store and buy it. You have to have a doctor’s approval and can only purchase it legally in a Louisiana dispensary.
Until cannabis is made legal on a federal level, it likely won’t be covered by insurance. There is a positive trend concerning marijuana legislation across the board. As public perception on cannabis continues to shift, marijuana laws are constantly changing.
The MORE Act Signifies Change
There is hope that marijuana will finally become federally legalized, and in the past few years, major Congressional steps have been made. Perhaps most notably was the MORE Act, which stands for Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement.
The MORE Act, introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019, was passed by a majority vote of 24-10 in the House Judiciary Committee. The win could be seen as a major step in the fight to make marijuana not only legal but to reverse the criminal records of those serving unjust sentences and repercussions for small cannabis-related crimes.
When the MORE Act passed the House Judiciary Committee, it made history. It was the first time a congressional committee ever passed a bill to make marijuana federally legal. Unfortunately, the bill was less successful at the Senate level, and it died in committee so it never even made it to a vote.
Still, the MORE Act is a sign that the conversation around marijuana is changing on the political level. At the moment, medical marijuana is legal in 37 states, which is well-past the threshold of majority, so it’s only a matter of time until cannabis is legal on the federal level. Once that happens, insurance companies and Medicaid will have to re-evaluate, and hopefully cannabis patients will finally have their medicine covered.
The Landscape of Drug Coverage
When considering the future of cannabis and insurance, it is important to take into account the relationships that drug corporations and insurance companies have in regards to the market share of pharmaceutical drug costs.
Drug prices are famously high in the United States. This allows insurance companies to work out “deals” with pharmaceutical companies. Since cannabis is still against the law on a federal level, insurance companies don't have the requirement to cover cannabis, and they don’t have much of a monetary incentive to do so either. With cannabis legalization potentially on the horizon, pharmaceutical companies are looking to enter the cannabis industry and dominate the market.
It is likely that insurance companies will cover cannabis in some capacity down the line, however the likelihood of how affordable this will make medical marijuana remains to be seen. We can only hope that the patients don’t get forgotten in the shuffle as pharmaceutical companies pursue higher profit margins.
Another hope is that cannabis cultivators on the local level don’t get shut-out by “Big Pharma” and that the competition between these companies will lead to lower prices. With newer medications, patients often see a name-brand rollout of a high-priced drug, which has a monopoly for years until generics are allowed to hit the market. We don’t have that with cannabis. You can’t get a patent on medical marijuana.
This means that if cannabis can hit the federal level, all manufacturers should start out on an even playing field. Here’s hoping that the winner in this contest is the bank accounts of medical marijuana patients. A program where patients can access cannabis at discounted rates will hopefully emerge before too long. In the meantime, however, Louisiana medical marijuana patients are left covering their own medicine.
Relief - You Deserve it!
If you are ready to experience the natural, healing relief that cannabis provides, all you need is your Louisiana medical marijuana card. If you don’t have your card yet, that’s what we’re here for!
Reserve an evaluation online today, and we’ll make an appointment for you with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors to see if you qualify for your medical card. Not only will you discuss your condition and options during a virtual appointment in the safety of your own home, but if you reserve an appointment online today, you’ll also save $25 off the cost of the appointment!
We’ll even refund the total appointment cost if you and your doctor conclude that medical marijuana isn’t right for you. You have nothing to lose, and a world of potential health benefits to gain!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 253-2943, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!