Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have already discovered the benefits of medical cannabis. But many are still unsure of their medical marijuana coverage options.
The good news for patients eager to benefit from the restorative and healing effects of marijuana is that medical marijuana is freely available for those able to obtain a prescription. Even better, the popular insurer Manulife offers medical marijuana coverage, which includes CBD oil, removing another barrier to access for prospective patients.
The medical marijuana insurance provided by Manulife means that patients can access the medication and not have to worry about being unable to afford the costs. Let’s examine Manulife medical marijuana coverage and answer the question “does Manulife cover CBD oil?”.
What Is Medical Marijuana According to Manulife
In order to understand what conditions are eligible for coverage by Manulife, we need to look at how the insurance provider defines medical marijuana.
The definition is simple enough. According to Manulife, medical marijuana is marijuana that’s meant for use as medicine.
The company also states that marijuana strains that are to be used for medicine typically have a higher cannabidiol (CBD) concentration compared to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Availability of Manulife Insurance Coverage for Medical Marijuana
Manulife does offer medical marijuana coverage. That means that if the plan sponsor has included medical marijuana into the plan, then anyone covered by the plan would be able to access medical marijuana insurance.
The plan sponsor need only submit a request for coverage through their Manulife representative.
HCSA and Eligibility for Claims with Manulife
Claims for medical marijuana are eligible to be considered under a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA).
HCSA coverage is not constrained by necessitating a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN).
It’s worth noting that Manulife itself claims that the HCSA is not ideal for marijuana coverage. The company says that the HCSA does not include strong claims controls. What’s more, the account also won’t include the additional support members and active case management that a patient gets when they access marijuana coverage outside of an HCSA.
The active case management and support team is only available through Manulife’s medical marijuana program.
How Manulife’s Medical Marijuana Insurance Program Works
As mentioned above, the plan sponsor, if they choose to include medical marijuana coverage, needs to submit a request through their Manulife representative.
From there, the request will go through a prior authorization process that lets Manulife confirm that the member has tried other appropriate treatment options to no avail.
Health Conditions for Eligibility
The current eligible health conditions are:
- Stiffness and involuntary muscle spasms in people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis
- Nausea and vomiting in people undergoing chemotherapy
- Chronic neuropathic pain.
It’s worth noting that Manulife mentions that the list of conditions that medical marijuana can treat is expanding, meaning that more conditions may soon make the list, so it’s worth checking back.
The Medical Marijuana Insurance Approval Process
Medical marijuana is approved for use by the patient if a doctor authorizes its use following the prior authorization process.
The member and their doctor will also have to submit medical information to Manulife. This will include details regarding the conditions that the patient is experiencing and previous treatments. Once received, Manulife will review the information and come to a decision.
If approved, the patient will receive a call from the Shoppers Drug Mart patient care. The pharmacist will review the member’s needs, exploring the different strains available and different methods of consumption. Members will also benefit from ongoing case management from the Shoppers Drug Mart patient care centre.
Responsible Access and Coverage Limits
Manulife will work with plan sponsors in order to come to a recommended annual dollar maximum for medical marijuana claims. This will influence how the sponsor manages further coverage as well as control program costs.
Partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart
Manulife has partnered with popular pharmacy Shoppers Drug Mart in order to offer guidance and help when it comes to accessing medical marijuana. It is through the pharmacy that patients will access their case management and support team.
The pharmacists will advise on different strains of medical marijuana as well as different ways to take the medication. This will in turn help patients build the treatment plan that best works to address their unique needs.
Manulife members will also receive ongoing case management from the Shoppers Drug Mart patient care centre. This includes access to education, regular check-ins, counselling, and phone and email support.
Medical Cannabis Coverage Guidance from Medical Marijuana Consulting
If you’re interested in accessing medical marijuana and need help navigating the complicated legal terrain, Medical Marijuana Consulting (MMC) is here to help.
MMC is a leading cannabis clinic that helps patients across the country access medical professionals with deep expertise on medical marijuana. Consult with a team of physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners that can provide a prescription, help connect you with coverage for your prescription costs (if eligible), refer you to a licensed producer, and help you apply for the ACMPR license.
At MMC, we are committed to ensuring that every patient that could benefit from medical marijuana is able to access the medication. Join our Ambassador Program and receive $15 for every person you refer to MMC that becomes a patient.
To learn more about Medical Marijuana Consulting and how you can secure a prescription as part of your personalized medical cannabis treatment plan, book a consultation online, contact us at 844-312-5143, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.