Does Medicare Cover Medical Marijuana or CBD Products? No – But There Are Some Options!
As of March 2020, 33 states have legalized comprehensive, publicly available medical marijuana/cannabis programs and 13 have approved use of “low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD)” products for medical reasons in limited situations.
With this widespread adoption of using marijuana for health conditions, including pain management, alleviating anxiety, and improving sleep, it’s become a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals, especially for people with chronic conditions, mental illness, or undergoing chemo.
It’s especially attractive to older Americans who are in constant pain due to arthritis or other conditions, who have trouble sleeping, or are battling mental health issues.
All that said, this leaves the question of how accessible medical marijuana is to Medicare beneficiaries. We’ll dive into the specifics in this piece, including whether or not Medicare provides coverage, the associated costs, and options available.
Does Medicare Cover Medical Marijuana?
As of July 2020, Medicare does not provide coverage for medical marijuana because it is still a federally controlled substance. In order for a medication to be covered by Medicare, it must have FDA approval. But because marijuana is not authorized on a federal level, Medicare will not cover it even if you buy a Part D plan.
So far, the only FDA-approved marijuana-based drug is Epidiolex, which is a medication for children two years old or younger suffering from epilepsy.
Thus, even if your doctor believes marijuana is the best treatment choice for you and writes you a prescription, you will still be required to pay entirely out-of-pocket should you choose to move forward.
Will Medicare Advantage Cover Medical Marijuana?
Similar to Original Medicare, insurance carriers that sell Medicare Advantage plans need to abide by the federal guidelines, so they will not offer coverage for medical marijuana prescriptions. However, some Advantage plans may provide coverage for the use of cannabinoid-based medications such as Epidiolex.
What About Medigap?
Despite the wide array of benefits offered through Medigap plans, they too have to follow federal guidelines and will not provide coverage for medical marijuana.
So, What Are My Options?
Although Medicare does not cover marijuana, Part D may cover cannabis-based medications. Currently, there are four medications available that contain marijuana compounds and have FDA approval:
Marinol and Syndros
A synthetic version of the marijuana compound Dronabinol is contained in the brand-name medications Marinol and Syndros. If you pay out-of-pocket without any drug coverage, you could end up paying around $130 each month for Marinol and a whopping $1,300 for Syndros. Having a drug plan that covers these medications can be a massive benefit.
Cesamet is another medication that contains a synthetic compound similar to those in marijuana. The average out-of-pocket cost for Cesamet is more than $2,000 for a month’s supply.
As mentioned above, Epidiolex has an ingredient derived directly from marijuana. Epidiolex has CBD in it, which can help reduce a plethora of symptoms. However, the average out-of-pocket price of Epidiolex is astronomical, costing more than $32,000 per year.
Does Medicare Cover CBD Oil?
Given the growing popularity of CBD or cannabidiol as a treatment for chronic pain, anxiety, and sleeplessness, it’s a great holistic solution for older adults. Moreover, it doesn’t have the psychotic effects of THC as CBD is typically sourced from industrial hemp plants as opposed to marijuana plants.
Yet, despite the availability of CBD products in health and wellness stores and its proven benefits for managing pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and many other unpleasant symptoms, Medicare will not provide coverage for it.
Unfortunately, just like marijuana, CBD is yet to be considered legal on a federal level. Until the FDA approves CBD oil, Medicare won’t help pay for it.
The upside here though is that CBD products are not nearly as expensive as medical marijuana. Depending on factors including strain, dosage, and dispensary you purchase from, the cost can range from $50–$1,500.
Do Your Research
While Medicare does not currently provide coverage for medical marijuana or CBD products, that’s not to say it never will, especially since more states are legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana use, and there’s a push to make it federally legal as well.
But for right now, my best advice is to listen to your doctor’s recommendations and do your research on benefits and costs associated with medical marijuana and CBD products to ensure you’re making a well-informed purchase.
Are medical marijuana and CBD legal in your state? Do you use such products? Why or why not? Do they help you with your particular health issues? What benefit have you noticed since you started using? How do you pay for this type of medication? Please share what you know in the comments below.
Does Medicare Cover Medical Marijuana or CBD Products? No – But There Are Some Options! As of March 2020, 33 states have legalized comprehensive, publicly available medical marijuana/cannabis
Does Medicare Cover CBD Oil
5 Reasons Why You Should Use CBD For Pain Management
CBD or cannabidiol is quickly gaining popularity as a treatment for chronic pain.
ItвЂ™s no shock that baby boomersВ are starting to use CBD oil for age-related health problems.
With CBD, anyone who has experienced long-term pain agony can add this new medical breakthrough to their list of long-lasting relief aids.
CBD is typically sourced from industrial hemp plants and has been shown to holistically help people manage pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and many other symptoms.
With routine doses of CBD, youвЂ™ll experience many wonderful benefits this oil has to offer.
Read on to find out why you should start using CBD oil and if Medicare will cover it.
Is CBD Oil Covered by Medicare
Is CBD oil covered by Medicare?
ItвЂ™s no surprise that boomers are beginning to use CBD oil for multiple age-related health issues. Many are wondering if their Medicare insurance will help cover the costs of this holistic medicine.
Due to the federal illegality, Medicare doesnвЂ™t cover CBD oil or medical marijuana.
Even though trials all around the United States show that CBD works, the medical community is not unsure of how it works scientifically.
Until the FDA approves CBD oil, Medicare wonвЂ™t help pay for it.
Depending on many factors such as strain, dosage, and dispensary you purchase it from, the cost can range from $50-$1,500. Plus, Medicare doesnвЂ™t cover naturopathic doctors or cannabis doctors, so those costs will be your full responsibility.
Muscle inflammation is incredibly painful and can lead to tissue and nerve damage if not properly dealt with.
While you can counter this pain with medication like prescription pain relievers, these pills can have adverse side effects of their own, especially on the liver.
Taking CBD to ease this inflammation will allow you a natural way to cut through the pain without any additional side effects from synthetic drugs.
2. Help Muscles Relax
Sore muscles from chronic pain can be exhausting to deal with. The relief found in CBD will ease up the soreness in your muscles, allowing you to move comfortably and relax easily.
3. Sleep Easily
With chronic pain, it can seem like nothing you do will help you feel better. No matter what type of pain you are experiencing, your body will always feel and heal better with more sleep.
Using CBD helps you achieve more restful sleep, allowing your body to work its magic and repair any damaged cells.
4. Relief from Anxiety
Anxiety is another symptom that comes along with chronic pain. Many people that take medicine for chronic pain donвЂ™t always find relief from their anxiety.
The medicine may treat their physical pain, but they are left to find another mental and emotional stress solution. As a cure-all of sorts, CBD works to treat your entire body and mind.
When your body is under constant physical stress, it can wreak havoc with your emotions and mental stability.
As you start to treat your chronic pain with CBD, youвЂ™ll start to experience its healing effects on your nervous system, allowing your anxiety to melt away.
5. Treat PTSD and Depression
CBD is an excellent option for naturally treating PTSD and depression. So often, chronic pain can leave its victims living in constant fear and stress.
The physical pain becomes emotional pain, and many people are left crippled with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Instead of letting chronic pain control your life, fight back by doing something for yourself. CBD is the answer for anyone facing PTSD and depression caused by chronic pain.
The CBD works to replace feelings of worthlessness and loneliness, allowing you to feel like your old self again.
If you are tired of experiencing all of the symptoms that chronic pain causes, CBD can be the solution. These five reasons are just the beginning of all the wonderful benefits of CBD.
Is CBD oil covered by Medicare? Find out why this is a popular question from baby boomers and 5 reasons why you should use it!