Is CBD Oil Covered By Medicare

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Does Health Insurance Cover CBD (Cannabidiol)

It came to people’s attention via a girl, Charlotte Figi who had horrific seizures (multiple per day).

CBD basically stopped the seizures where no medications were working.

Researchers then started to research CBD and found it influenced a system that we have naturally throughout our bodies.

The endocannabinoid system!

It appears to have an important role in balancing other key systems:

  • Nervous system (neurotransmitters, mood, etc)
  • Endocrine system (hormones, appetite, sleep, etc)
  • Immune system (inflammatory response, autoimmune issues, etc)

Okay. so those ARE important.

CBD’s classification by the US government and FDA is an important hint at how health insurance will treat it.

What is it (in the eyes of the government)?

Is CBD a food supplement

The FDA actually has two different categories for CBD.

It recently approved the first CBD drug to treat seizures related to 2 rare diseases. This drug is called Sativex. It’s a purified version of CBD.

Otherwise, CBD sold on the market is treated as a food supplement.

In this way, the FDA does not have much regulation of it.

For that reason, it’s important to only use trusted brands with the following:

  • 3rd party testing
  • Specified CBD amounts in the product
  • Solvent, pesticide, heavy metal, and bacteria/mold free

What about its legality?

Is CBD legal?

CBD is legal in all 50 states and the main brands will ship to all 50 states.

Its federal status is still catching up with the State’s designation of legal.

Leave it to the Feds to take forever on something that so many people are already purchasing legally at the State level.

Since the FDA has already designated it as a food supplement, it should be a matter of time for the Fed’s to catch up.

They are not showing any priority in going after CBD.

Again, there are very large companies that are legally shipping the product to all 50 States.

Canada and the EU are well ahead of us on this point.

How does health insurance treat CBD

Finally, the question you started with.

How does health insurance treat it.

If you are prescribed Sativex or other CBD-based medications that require prescription through your doctor, that will likely be covered.

If you are using CBD as a food supplement, it will likely not be covered.

Health insurance plans do not cover food supplements no matter how helpful.

Maybe they’ll start when they realize the cost savings for the entire health care system.

What about HSA’s?

Can I pay for CBD from my HSA plan

In general, HSA’s will not pay for food supplements.

The outlier may be if a doctor prescribes the supplement to address a health condition (such as B12 deficiency).

To be safe, HSA’s reimburse for substances prescribed by a doctor.

Here’s the actual verbiage from the IRS:

You can’t include in medical expenses the cost of nutritional supplements, vitamins, herbal supplements, ‘natural medicines,’ etc. unless they are recommended by a medical practitioner as treatment for a specific medical condition diagnosed by a physician. Otherwise, these items are taken to maintain your ordinary good health and aren’t for medical care.�

Until the medical field catches up with the CBD research, HSA reimbursement of CBD does not appear to be available.

In light of that, we need to find the most affordable source of safety screened, high purity CBD.

Do we expect health insurance to cover CBD in the future

Our guess is yes.

And not because they’re great guys who want to pay more.

If you can use CBD to adequately address psoriasis at $100/month versus one of the many autoimmune medications at $5000/month, which one do you think the health insurance carriers will go with?

The problem is that they’re beholden to the FDA and medical practice which moves very slow.

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Most people don’t even know what CBD is!

Even more incorrectly associate it with marijuana and THC.

It’s going to require time for the establishment to catch up with the millions of people finding relief from CBD.

We’ll update as we get new information!

None of the statements on this website have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. A doctor’s advise should be sought before using CBD products or any other cannabis extract especially if you have a serious medical condition, use prescription medications, are pregnant, or are nursing a child. Not sold as a weight loss product. Not for sale to those under the age of 21 years. Keep CBD products out of the reach of children. By using this website, you agree to follow the Privacy Policy and all Terms & Conditions printed on this site. Void Where Prohibited by Law.

Call us at 800-320-6269 and we can go through any questions or run your health insurance quote. Thanks!

20 years of experience in the California health insurance market has taught us one thing. Competent and experienced guidance is INVALUABLE

We are licensed Covered Ca agents with in-depth knowledge of their plans, process, and tax credits.

Who’s Paying 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:

  • Does insurance cover CBD?
  • Is CBD oil covered by Medicare?
  • Will Medicaid pay for CBD oil?
  • Do dispensaries take insurance?

In this post, we’ll touch on all that plus ideas for h ow to pay for medical cannabis when other options aren’t viable.

What Is Medical Cannabis ?

Medical cannabis is an umbrella used for cannabis derivatives that are used to treat certain medical conditions, their symptoms, or side effect s . Medical marijuana (high THC) and medical 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.

Is CBD A Drug?

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.

What About Epidiolex?

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.

Can You Get CBD By Prescription?

You don’t need an Rx f or federally-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.

Does Health Insurance Cover Medical CBD?

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.

H ealth Insurance Options For Medical Marijuana & CBD Oil

You can’t use your FSA (flexible spending account) funds on CBD products .

But recent changes (effective as of 2022) could enable you to buy some CBD oil items with your H SA ( health spending account) . New IRS rules state that CBD and hemp oil products are H SA -eligible expenses if they are for a diagnosed condition and backed by documentation from your doctor.( 2 )

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You still can’t use your HSA for marijuana-based products, though.

The Epidiolex Exception

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 this drug .( 3 )

Do Dispensaries Take Insurance ?

The quick and dirty answer is no. Most are cash-only businesses as well, which might make it hard to buy those HSA-eligible CBD oil and hemp products .

Epidiolex is only available via specialized pharmacies that will verify the prescription and work with your insurance company.( 4 )

Gazing Into The Crystal Ball Of Coverage

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.

Does Medicare Cover Medical CBD?

Medicare may cover some cannabinoid -based meds. ( 5 ) For example, Epidiolex might be eligible because it’s FDA approved.

Every plan is different, so you have to confirm what’s included in yours. Also, what’s allowed is tied to what’s federally legal and FDA approved — so stay tuned for developments.

Will Medicaid Pay For CBD Oil ?

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.

How Do Medical Cannabis Cards Factor In?

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 requires a doctor ’s consent . ( 6 )

Does An MMJ Card Help?

Having a n 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)

  • Giv ing you access to less expensive sales outlets
  • Exempting you from some or all excise taxes
  • Allowing you to grow your own
  • Enabling you to purchase more potent varieties (i.e., more bang for your buck)
  • Legitimizing your claim/expense with insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and the IRS

But remember, there are costs associated with the MMJ card, like doctor’s visits and application and renewal fees.

How To Pay For Medical CBD

OK, so it’s unlikely that most people are going to get 100% cover age for the cost of their medical CBD . Depending upon your situation, you may get partial 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?

Tips For Making Your Medical CBD More Affordable

There are ways help you slide medical CBD smoothly into your budget. Such as:

  • Buy high-quality CBD products. Using bioavailable nano-optimized CBD made from organic American hemp and other premium natural ingredients may give you better results with less product.
  • DIY your CBDgoods. It may be cheaper ( per mg of CBD ) to buy a CBD oil tincture and make your own edibles, topicals, softgels than buying pre-made versions of these formulation.
  • Shop online when possible. Doing so lets you compare products so you can find the best CBD for you at the best price.
  • Take advantage of savings programs. Join the rewards program, do subscribe and save, buy in bulk, stock up when sale are run . See if your seller offers discounts for teachers, veterans, low-income families, and so on. Paying with your cash-back credit card or PayPal (which sometimes offers spending incentives) might be an option. Consider paying via an installment plan.
  • Look for outside help. You may be able to find grants or financial assistance from non-profits.(8)

Don’t Forget Cost Offsets!

Also keep in mind potential cost offsets . CBD could :

  1. Be less expensive than alternate therapies .
  2. R educe your reliance on other meds .
  3. Provide enough positive results to restore your ability to work more.
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Focus On What Matters

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….

Someone’s Got To Pay For The Medical CBD….

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 can look into getting a medical cannabis card, savvy shopping techni ques, financial assistance programs, and more. A little research and creativity can go a long way to helping you pay for your medical CBD!

Medicare & Medical Marijuana

Medicare does not cover medical marijuana. It does not matter that it has been legalized in your state or that your doctor wrote you a prescription. Medicare is absolutely not going to pay for medical marijuana.

Why is this? Many states have legalized cannabis (a scientific term used for marijuana). It has been prescribed for patients suffering from many different conditions, including chronic pain, cancer, seizures, anxiety, and depression. Treatments utilizing the active ingredients of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are more and more common.

The fact is that marijuana is still not federally legal. It is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I drugs are “substances with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” as defined by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. These substances are not going to be funded by Medicaid or Medicare, both of which are federal services.

What’s more, Schedule I drugs are banned from receiving federal or state research grants to study their efficacy as medical treatments. Because Medicare only provides verified, researched medical treatments, that means that medical marijuana faces a major hurdle even if it is federally legalized. The process for approval of drugs through the Food and Drug Administration, one of the requirements, takes years and extensive studies.

Even if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Plan C), you are not going to get coverage. The same is true of Medigap insurance. Insurance companies are very reluctant to cover medical marijuana for many reasons, from fear of federal persecution to uncertainty about its efficacy.

Is any of this likely to change soon? While many states may legalize medical marijuana, it is doubtful that the federal government will change the classification any time soon. The politics and bureaucracy surrounding the issue are complex and not currently friendly to legalization or even changing it from a Schedule I drug.

It’s worth noting that does not even address the question. If your doctor has prescribed (if possible) medical marijuana as a treatment, you will have to pay full price from legally licensed dispensaries.

Some of these facilities in some states offer discounts for low-income patients who have a prescription. In some states, low-income prescription patients can get a medicinal marijuana card, which can run as much as $300 to $500. There are options to make it more affordable, depending on where you live, but unfortunately, Medicare is not one of them

There are many difficult or confusing questions when it comes to picking the right Medicare plan. Make sure to contact your BGA Insurance Agent with any questions that you have – it’s free!