Cha-Ching! Who’sPaying for Your Medical CBD?
You’re using CBD for legit medical purposes. Maybe you even have a doctor’s note justifying the use or a formal prescription.
But, does this mean you’re off the hook for the expense? Well, there are lots of questions around who foots the bill for medicinal CBD oil products, like:
In this post, we’ll touch on all that plus ideas for how to pay for medicalcannabis when other options aren’t viable.
Medical cannabis is an umbrellaused for cannabis derivatives that are used to treat certain medical conditions, their symptoms, or side effects. Medical marijuana (high THC) andmedical CBD (high CBD) are subsets of medical cannabis.
For discussion here in this post, we’re lumping medical CBD and regular CBD used for medicinal purposes together. We make distinctions as needed.
It really depends on the context.
To some government agencies, employers, schools, and other organizations — the answer’s “Yes.” To others, the answer’s “No.”
But, according to the dictionary, a drug can be any substance used as a medication or that has a physiological effect when introduced into the body.
This is one of the clear-cut cases. Epidiolex is currently the only FDA-approved drug. It’s a prescription reserved for those with intractable seizure disorders.
You don’t need an Rx forfederally-legal CBD (the hemp-derived kind with 0.3% or less THC). For everything else — like high-THC CBD and marijuana-derived CBD — you may need a prescription.
Marijuana-sourced CBD and high-THC CBD are still federally illegal. However, 37 states, three territories, and Washington, DC have medical cannabis programs.(1) Rules vary, but in these locales you should be able to access some forms of medical cannabis. You’ll need to check local laws to see if prescriptions are needed.
In general, as of now, there are no insurance companies that cover the cost of CBD — whether you’re using is therapeutically or otherwise. This is largely dues to the FDA deeming CBD to be a supplement, not a drug.
You can’t use your FSA (flexible spending account) funds onCBD products.
But recent changes (effective as of 2022) could enable you tobuy some CBD oil items with your HSA (health spending account). New IRS rulesstate that CBD and hemp oil products are HSA-eligible expenses if they are for a diagnosed condition and backed by documentation from your doctor.(2)
You still can’t use your HSA for marijuana-based products, though.
The only scenario in which insurance is likely to cover the expense of medical CBD is Epidiolex. According to the manufacturer, most insured patients are eligible for coverage of thisdrug.(3)
The quick and dirty answer is no. Most are cash-only businesses as well, which might make it hard to buy those HSA-eligibleCBD oil and hemp products.
Epidiolex is only available via specialized pharmacies that will verify the prescription and work with your insurance company.(4)
With mounting research proving out CBD’s medicinal potential and growing consumer demands for care options, it’s quite possible this will change in the future. It’s worth keeping an eye on.
Medicare may cover somecannabinoid-based meds.(5) For example,Epidiolex might be eligible because it’s FDA approved.
Every plan is different, so youhave to confirm what’s included in yours. Also, what’s allowed is tied to what’s federally legal and FDA approved — sostay tuned for developments.
It’s a similar sitch for Medicaid. The only CBD product it’s likely to cover is Epidiolex, again because it’s FDA approved. But you should check just to make sure.
You can apply for a medical marijuana card(MMJ card) if you have a qualifying condition and live in a place that has a medical cannabis program. Approval requiresadoctor’s consent.(6)
Having an MMJ card may be beneficial — it depends a great deal on the state you’re in and the kind of product you’re looking to buy.
An MMJ card may save you money on your medical CBD by:(7)
But remember, there are costs associated with the MMJ card, like doctor’s visits and application and renewal fees.
OK, soit’s unlikely that most people are going toget100% coverage for the cost oftheir medical CBD. Depending upon your situation, you may getpartial coverage or discounted rate of some sort via insurance, HSA eligibility, etc.
But what about the portion of your medical CBD that remains your responsibility?
There are wayshelp you slide medical CBD smoothly into your budget. Such as:
Also keep in mindpotentialcost offsets. CBD could:
Ultimately, you’ll need to sort out the financial side of things for your personal scenario.But, we encourage you not to focus solely on the price tag.
Quality of life is beyond-words important. CBD may boost your QOL significantly — which may make it worth every darn cent you have to pay. Just something to think about….
And it’s likely going to be you. For the most part.
Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid will probably cover the cost of FDA-approved CBD-based medications — like Epidiolex. And, as of 2022, you may be able to use your HSA to pay for medicinal CBD and hemp products if you have a diagnosed condition that’s been documented by your doctor.
Aside from these few exceptions, the cost of your medical CBD falls squarely on your shoulders. But, there are ways to defray the expense. You canlook into getting a medical cannabis card, savvy shopping techniques, financial assistance programs, and more. A little research and creativity can go a long way to helping you pay for your medical CBD!
(2022). State Medical Cannabis Laws.National Conference of State Legislatures. https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx
Hartill, R. (2021). HSA-Eligible Expenses in 2021 and 2022 That Qualify for Reimbursement. The Motley Fool. https://www.fool.com/retirement/plans/hsa/eligible-expenses
(2022).Insurance Coverage & Affordability. EPIDIOLEX. https://www.epidiolexhcp.com/getting-epidiolex/access-and-coverage
Abu-Sawwa, R, et al. (2020). Epidiolex (Cannabidiol) Primer: Frequently Asked Questions for Patients and Caregivers. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. https://doi.org/10.5863/1551-6776-25.1.75
Holland, K. (2021). Does Medicare Cover Medical Marijuana? Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/medicare/does-medicare-cover-medical-marijuana
Loconti, C. (2021). How To Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Your State. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/how-to-get-a-medical-marijuana-card-in-your-state
(2020). 7 Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card in a Rec State. Cannabis Central. https://www.veriheal.com/blog/why-would-i-get-a-medical-marijuana-card-if-its-rec-in-my-state
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