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does blue cross cover cbd oil

Medavie Blue Cross is adding medical cannabis coverage to its benefits provision.

Coverage will be considered for conditions based on Canadian family physician guidelines, including for patients suffering from chronic neuropathic pain, refractory pain in palliative cancer care, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy and spasticity in multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.

To be eligible for reimbursement, plan members will have to be pre-authorized, noted the release.

The extended health-care benefit will be optional, standalone coverage for plan sponsors, providing reimbursement for fresh and dried cannabis, as well as cannabis oil. Plan sponsors will have the option of an annual maximum coverage amount. 

“Cannabis is a complex substance unique in the health benefits landscape,” stated the release. “It is not considered a prescription medication by Health Canada and does not meet typical requirements to be eligible for coverage under a prescription drug plan. Medavie Blue Cross will continue to monitor the latest clinical evidence and emerging trends to assess the new benefit on an ongoing basis.”

Many Licensed Producers (LPs) also offer compassionate pricing to low-income individuals, seniors, and those on ODSP. Medical cannabis users should work with a patient educator who can help them determine if they qualify for compassionate pricing or other benefits. Patient educators are also able to recommend Licensed Providers who offer compassionate pricing, as not all LP’s offer this benefit. Apollo Cannabis Clinics employ patient educators to work with each individual after they receive a medical cannabis recommendation. Patient educators are committed to helping medical cannabis users understand what benefits certain Licensed Producers may offer. They also work to help individuals select LPs who carry the product they require.

Veterans Affairs Canada reimburses eligible medical cannabis users, those with a K# and Awarded Conditions, for up to three grams of dried cannabis or equivalent in oils/edibles per day. If there is a need for additional daily dosage of cannabis, Apollo can help complete all necessary paperwork allowing veterans to receive more than 3grams a day to be covered. Eligible cannabis must come from a medical Licensed Producer with whom a patient is registered through an authorized medical document (prescription). Grey market and recreational cannabis purchases are not reimbursable.

Claiming medical cannabis as a medical expense

Current medical cannabis users are hopeful that private insurers will begin to recognize cannabis as medicine and cover the expenses. There is a large push to see cannabis covered the same way as any other prescribed medication, as well as better access for those who are on ODSP or a fixed income. There are advocacy groups & nonprofits that work with patients to discuss coverage with their employers and private insurers while showing supporting medical evidence of your prescription such as a doctor’s letter alongside the request. Currently, this is generally done on a case-by-case basis on whether or not the coverage will be approved.

If you need any paperwork filled out by your doctor, please contact Apollo and we will be happy to assist you*.

One of the biggest benefits for medical cannabis patients and users is the ability to “write off” their medical cannabis medication on their yearly personal taxes as a medical expense . To be able to do so, the cannabis must have been purchased through a Licensed Producer, and have valid receipts of purchase.