Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill any products made from the hemp plant are legal across the United States. Some states have fully legalized the marijuana plant as well, and some just medical marijuana. For many of us, this is an added cost in our budget, so it’s natural to wonder “Is CBD Oil covered by Insurance?”
In this article we will look at both Medical Marijuana and CBD Oil with insurance, what factors influence this and how it may change in the future.
CBD as Medicine?
As we’ve already said, the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp products legal nationwide, but what his hemp?
Hemp is a special strain of the cannabis plant that has a very low quantity of THC in it. Both CBD and THC are naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis, but THC is responsible for the high that is associated with the plant. CBD has many of the same benefits, without the drawbacks.
The lack of the high from CBD Oil has opened the door to research with it as a treatment for a wide variety of conditions. It has been well documented as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory for everyone from athletes to the elderly, but it is also showing promise helping to control mood, calm nerves and anxiety, and even to improve sleep.
With all that being said, there is only one FDA approved CBD drug which is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy in children.
Is CBD Oil Covered by Insurance or Medicare?
CBD has been gaining popularity with average consumers and those who suffer from a wide range of health conditions for the last 10 years or so. Only recently have we noticed a big increase in the number of doctors recommending CBD use.
This has resulted in more and more doctor referrals for CBD Oil and a growing number of people wondering if health insurance covers CBD Oil in any way.
As of right now, CBD Oil is not covered by health insurance plans in the United States. Hemp, CBD and marijuana are all still classified as Schedule 1 controlled substances, they are also still not approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Right now, those wishing to use CBD Oil to treat a medical condition will need to pay the cost out of pocket or seek a similar medication that does have FDA approval.
Is Medical Marijuana Covered by Insurance or Medicare?
So, since medical marijuana is legal in some states and requires that a doctor prescribes cannabis as a treatment that should fall under insurance coverage, correct?
Unfortunately, medical marijuana, just like CBD products, are not covered by health insurance because it is a Schedule 1 substance and is not yet approved by the FDA.
Reasons CBD Oil isn’t covered by Insurance
There are basically two main reasons why insurance companies are able to get away without covering CBD Oil and medical marijuana products. Until these things change, health insurance providers will continue to skirt around the costs.
The first problem is that cannabis is still listed Federally as a Schedule 1 drug. These are substances that either have a high risk of abuse, does not have an accepted medical use, or is not viewed as safely used outside of medical supervision.
This means doctors can’t write prescriptions for these drugs and they aren’t available for clinical use. Getting CBD off this list is the first barrier to getting insurance to cover CBD products.
The other problem is the FDA does not currently approve any CBD drugs other than the one we talked about for children’s epilepsy.
We fully expect the FDA to slowly but surely start approving more treatment options that involve CBD Oils, when this happens the insurance companies will have to start to reconsider their position on this topic.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Health Insurance
For the time being, you will need to pay for CBD Oil and other CBD products out of your own pocket. Even if you go to a doctor that will prescribe it, don’t expect insurance to cover it.
If you do decide to stomach the cost of CBD, we strongly recommend you shop with a trusted CBD brand that is vetted and has 3rd party lab results to guarantee its quality. Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad brands out, so do your research before buying.
With the progress the CBD industry and legislation has made in the last five years, we have no doubt that insurance companies will cover some CBD Oils in the future, but as of 2020 we are not there yet.