A growing number of people are using medical marijuana to treat health conditions. But are insurance companies updating their policies to match? The answer may be more complicated than you think. Below, we dig into three of the most common questions our St. Petersburg patients ask about medical cannabis and health insurance.

1. Does Health Insurance Cover MMJ?

Your health insurance won’t pay for medical marijuana even if it’s legal in your state. That’s because marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. Cannabis is a schedule I controlled substance, and there are many issues that arise from this designation when seeking insurance reimbursement.

Expect to pay out of pocket for medical marijuana. You can help keep your costs low by choosing certain dosages and products. Talk to our physicians and your MMTC to find options that work for your budget.

2. Do I Need to Identify as a Smoker?

Health insurance companies tend to impose higher rates on smokers. So, it’s not surprising that identifying as a smoker or not remains a point of confusion for MMJ patients.

Most health insurance companies currently define a smoker as a tobacco product user. People who use marijuana for medicinal purposes are usually considered for non-smoker rates unless they also use nicotine products or e-cigarettes. Check with your specific insurer for details.

3. Can I Pay for Medical Marijuana with My HSA or FSA?

Paying for medical marijuana with the money in your Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account seems reasonable enough. After all, you’re using it to treat a health condition under the supervision of a physician. Unfortunately, MMJ is not a qualified medical expense because it’s illegal under federal law.

Answering Your MMJ Questions in Florida

Dr. Lora L. Brown is a state-certified physician who understands the laws surrounding medical cannabis. If you have any questions about using medical marijuana — or are interested in receiving a legal recommendation for marijuana therapy — please call 727-209-5470 today. Access Marijuana RX serves patients from across Florida, including St. Petersburg and Tampa.

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