Ohio Marijuana Card Talks To WDTN About Cannabis & Insurance Coverage
Ohio Marijuana Card in the news
For those unaware, medical marijuana and medical marijuana doctor services are unfortunately not covered by insurance companies in Ohio at current. We at Ohio Marijuana Card sincerely hope that, one day, this will change. But until that time, this means that a patient must pay out of pocket for any medical marijuana they would purchase in dispensaries. And services, like doctor recommendation practices, are not covered by insurance.
There are a multitude of reasons that factor into why insurance doesn't cover reefer, but the biggest hurdle has been, and continues to be, marijuana's status in the eyes of the federal government.
Marijuana's Schedule I status mucks up insurance coverage
According to the federal government, cannabis is considered a Schedule I narcotic with no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. This ruling was set nearly 50 years ago by the Nixon administration. It remains provisional to this day, meaning that it could be changed at any moment if the current administration controlling the federal government so chooses to change its status.
Alas, while many states have approved (or rescheduled) medical marijuana in their states, and numerous scientific studies, facts and other research has long proven quite the opposite about the dangers of cannabis, until marijuana is rescheduled to Schedule II or lower, cannabis is considered a prohibited, illegal drug to the federal government. This makes cannabis technically illegal in the US, despite its medicinal legality in more than half the states, and its full legality in a handful of state.
Confusing ... right?
Because cannabis is still illegal under federal law, any company that receives federal funding, or monitoring, is forced to follow federal law. As a result, insurance companies, or programs like Medicare or Medicaid, would take a great risk losing federal funding if they wantonly violated federal rulings, like the Schedule I status of cannabis. They could even face federal criminal charges as well for violating federal law.
Sadly, this puts an unfortunate burden on the patients more than anything else. We have already written up a resource if you'd like to contact your lawmakers and tell them that you want to see cannabis lowered on the list of federally controlled substances. You can check it out by clicking here.
This ruling has been such a thorn in the side of the cannabis industry for many years now, and we hope that one day it will be changed. Several industry advocates, like former House speaker and Republican, John Boehner, have expressed optimism that cannabis will be rescheduled in "less than 5 years," so keep your fingers crossed!
How Ohio Marijuana Card is helping
Ohio Marijuana Card has worked hard to help ease the financial burden medical marijuana and related services place on some Ohioans. "We want everyone in the state who wants to get medical marijuana, we want them to be able to get it," Randy Shaffer, marketing manager for Ohio Marijuana Card (and writer of this blog, just FYI), told WDTN.
Because we understand how frustrating it is that insurance does not cover cannabis or cannabis services, we offer installment plans and a subscription service. These allow patients to make low monthly payments that suit their needs so they can pay for our doctors easily, and within their budget. In addition to this, Ohio Marijuana Card offers discounts for veterans and seniors.
The marketing staff at Ohio Marijuana Card is also working with nonprofits opening soon in the Buckeye State, both Ohio-based and nationwide, which provide financial services to patients, like subsidies to help with the cost of marijuana appointments and medicine.
"If somebody came to us with childhood epilepsy or with Crohn's disease, we can send them to an organization that helps pay for them," Shaffer said. "There's a couple veterans organizations as well that help pay for veterans."
Be sure to watch this space for news and updates about those projects! We will continue to search for ways to best help our patients get their medical marijuana cards easily ... and affordably.
Ohio Marijuana Card has launched a brand-new informational podcast where we discuss Ohio medical marijuana news and updates. Give the first episode a watch by clicking here, or view the video below:
Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at 1-866-457-5559 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.