Does insurance cover cbd oil for medical use

Does Insurance Cover CBD Oil?

Most insurance companies won’t cover the cost of CBD.

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With research proving the health benefits of CBD oil, more individuals are opting for it as a supplement, causing a jump in its popularity.

However, the high price of CBD is a huge concern, making many users turn to cheaper options that do not yield effective results.

Between the high prices and inferior products, many wonder if their health insurance policy covers the expense.

This article discusses whether or not your insurance program will cover CBD oil and why.

Table of Contents

The Bottom Line: Will Health Insurance Companies Cover CBD Oil?

Right now, the answer to this question is no.

Currently, most health insurance agencies do not cover CBD oil, even when a physician prescribes it.

Many more physicians are taking notice of CBD’s benefits and its potential for treating various ailments. So far, CBD does not seem to have many side effects. As a result, doctors have started recommending CBD as a treatment along with conventional medications. That’s when patients wonder whether insurance agencies pay the cost.

However, in certain regions, CBD may be covered by private insurance companies in limited cases.

In the US, a prescription drug called Epidiolex is the exception. It’s the one prescription drug containing CBD that is FDA-approved; it’s used in treating a rare form of epilepsy.

In other countries, such as Canada or the UK, another prescription CBD-based medication called Sativex may be covered by insurance.

Why Won’t Health Insurance Agencies Cover CBD?

Even though there’s more evidence backing the medicinal properties of CBD oil, and even if doctors are prescribing it to their patients, health insurance still does not cover the cost. This makes one wonder why most other pharmaceutical drugs — with higher price tags and more severe side effects — are covered, and CBD oil isn’t.

CBD is Not FDA-Approved

Before getting released into the market, any new drug must get the FDA’s approval so that the doctors can legally prescribe it to their patients.

CBD is still considered a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI). Extensive lab tests and research must be submitted and reviewed before the FDA approves a new drug.

Insurance companies won’t insure anything that isn’t FDA-approved. The process required for approval is lengthy and expensive.

CBD is a Cannabis Product

Cannabis (hemp and marijuana) is still met with uncertainty. Hemp is federally legal, but only recently. The Farm Bill passed into law in 2018, making hemp and its derivatives legal — as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC.

Marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, federally and in some states. Because both hemp and marijuana teeter on legality, many companies shy away from such products. It’s not just insurance companies — many shipping companies, even local ones in states where marijuana is legal, won’t deliver it.

Learn More About CBD Laws All Over The World.

What Alternative Options Are Available For Patients?

Currently, patients interested in purchasing CBD oil for its medicinal benefits must meet these needs from their own pockets. No financial assistance is available for those who wish to use CBD products, even with a doctor’s prescription.

Because CBD is unregulated, everyone needs to be extra cautious when purchasing CBD oil. High-quality CBD products can go beyond $100 per bottle. Certain CBD companies are a scam and have been caught with little to zero CBD compounds in their products.

To avoid buying fake CBD products, people must purchase them from reputable sources. It’s essential to find out the company’s authenticity and conduct careful research before investing in CBD.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil

There’s been a lot of research on CBD over the past few decades. A lot of this research has been promising, and there are a lot of acknowledged health benefits of CBD.

The only health conditions insurance will cover CBD as a treatment for are those approved by the FDA for drugs like Epidoliex or Sativex to treat. This primarily involves epilepsy and low appetite as a result of chemotherapy.

Here are a few of the proven benefits research has uncovered for CBD:

Summary: CBD & Insurance Companies

The government doesn’t ban CBD products but insurance companies won’t reimburse the costs incurred for using them for medical purposes.

So even if physicians acknowledge the health benefits of CBD oil and prescribe it to their patients, insurance policies are not willing to cover the cost needed to procure it.

CBD oil is reasonably priced compared to many other pharmaceutical drugs, even after insurance coverage.

Does Health Insurance Cover CBD Oil?

As research continues to provide evidence of CBD oil’s many health benefits, more and more people are turning to this natural wonder for help. CBD oil has been shown to help relieve anxiety, improve symptoms of depression, and alleviate pain.

While many scientific studies have backed up the claims about the benefits of CBD oil, and many people have already started to use it, the relatively high prices of CBD oil remain a concern. Many consumers opt for cheaper products only to find they yield ineffective results, as they contain dosages of the cannabidiol compound that are insufficient to produce the potential health benefits.

Due to the high price tag of CBD oil, patients are often asking their doctors if their health insurance plans will cover the cost. In this post, we explore whether or not health insurance programs will ever cover CBD oil as well as look at the options that are currently available.

Will Health Insurance Agencies Pay for CBD Oil?

It is not only the average consumer who is becoming more aware of the health-related properties of CBD oil. Many physicians have begun to notice as well, seeing their patient’s symptoms improve for various ailments. These products have scientific research behind the claims of their medicinal properties and yield almost no side effects in a majority of patients.

As a result, some doctors are starting to recommend CBD oil as a treatment—often in combination with other conventional medications. And they’re being asked by their patients if it’s covered by health insurance.

At the present time, the answer to this question is unfortunately no. There are no health insurance companies in the United States that will cover CBD oil or even medicinal marijuana, even if it’s prescribed by a doctor. Health insurance will not cover the costs even when a patient hands over a prescription at a dispensary.

Why Won’t Health Insurance Companies Cover the Cost of CBD Oil?

Even though there is plenty of evidence regarding the medicinal uses for CBD oil—and even though doctors are already prescribing these oils to their patients—health insurance plans do not offer to cover the costs. This brings up the question of why, especially when there are a significant number of other pharmaceutical drugs that are covered— sometimes with similarly high or even higher price tags.

There are two primary obstacles preventing health insurance companies from offering to cover CBD oil or similar treatment options such as medicinal marijuana.

The first obstacle is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When a new drug is released on the market, it must first be approved by the FDA before doctors can legally prescribe it to their patients.

The FDA focuses its attention on pharmaceutical products and has little interest in products that are primarily made from natural sources—so CBD products don’t get approved and, in turn, health insurance companies are not obligated to cover them. According to state laws, these agencies are only required to provide coverage for drugs that are FDA approved.

So far the FDA has approved only one drug containing CBD, for a rare form of epilepsy.

The other obstacle to health insurance coverage for CBD oil is because it’s classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This classification typically applies to marijuana, but laws in the U.S. state that any product containing the cannabidiol compounds found in marijuana must also fall under the classification.

Cannabidiol is an active chemical that is found in both hemp and marijuana plants. Even though hemp is legal in most states—and is the plant used to produce CBD oils—the fact that it contains the same cannabidiol compounds as marijuana is why the Schedule 1 classification remains in place.

What Options Are There for Patients?

At the moment, patients interested in obtaining CBD oil for its medicinal properties must pay for it out of their own pockets. There is currently no financial assistance for a patient wanting to obtain CBD oil for any health reason—even with a doctor’s prescription.

For this reason, consumers are advised to be cautious when buying CBD oil. Quality products can reach more than $100 a bottle, and there have been reports that some brands have advertised CBD products that had little to no actual cannabidiol compounds in the solution.

Patients seeking CBD products need to make sure they’re purchasing them from a reputable company. It is critical that you do your research and examine the authenticity of the brand.

CBD Oil and Health Insurance: What the Future May Hold

Even though health insurance companies don’t currently cover the cost of CBD oil, this doesn’t mean there will never be such coverage.

With a rapidly growing body of scientific research showing just how powerful CBD oil is for treating depression, anxiety, pain, inflammation, acne, and many other conditions in the human body, the FDA certainly could consider reviewing these products in the future.

Additionally, there could also be changes to the scheduling classification of the compound—ultimately leading to health insurance companies embracing CBD oil’s potential health benefits for patients.

Conclusion

The medicinal properties of CBD oil have made these products exceptionally popular. Doctors are starting to prescribe these oils to their patients as a safer way to manage certain symptoms and diseases. Even though scientific research is backing up the claims about these oils, health insurance companies aren’t ready to help patients pay for them. But we could see companies come around to providing such coverage to patients in the future.