NY Insurers Not Planning To Cover Medical Marijuana

NEW YORK: With about four months left before the state’s medical marijuana program is slated to become fully operational, many insurers have no plans to cover the Schedule I drug under their current policies.

Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield, one of Western New York’s largest insurers, only covers drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration under its current policy, a spokesman told POLITICO New York.

An Aetna spokesman echoed the sentiment, adding that the insurance company already covers Marinol, an FDA-approved drug that contains some of the same elementsas marijuana and is used to treat nausea.

Emblem Health, one of the state’s largest insurance providers, also has no plans to cover medical marijuana. Medicaid will not cover it either.

Sun Life Covers Waterloo U Student’s Medpot Costs

CANADA:  The Cons’ medpot privatization plan is unaffordable to an overwhelming majority of chronically-ill Canadians, but University of Waterloo student Jonathan Zaid’s persistence has paid off.

His student insurance plan, provided by Sun Life Canada, is covering his cannabis costs.

“I can’t afford medical marijuana – I am a student! It’s very expensive, about $18 to $25 a day,” says the third-year student and founder of Canadians for Fair Access To Medical Marijuana (CFAMM).

Zaid began a personal assignment to determine how he could be reimbursed for his medical marijuana purchases because without cannabis he couldn’t attend UW.


Insurance For Medical Marijuana Industry?

CALIFORNIA: A local insurance broker sees a business opportunity in protecting the assets of medical marijuana growers and dispensaries in California and elsewhere.

Sacramento-based MMD Insurance Services — the MMD stands for Medical Marijuana Dispensary — claims to be the first general insurance agency to offer comprehensive insurance for the medical marijuana industry in states that allow the business.

With an eye toward business in Colorado and Washington, MMD rolled out new coverage last month that seeks to ensure that growers and dispensaries that sell their product are compensated for losses by natural disaster — or federal raid.

The product does so by taking the exclusion for marijuana and its derivatives out of the insurance contract.