Will Medicaid Pay For CBD Oil

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There is good news, though. If you suffer from certain severe health conditions, your cannabis-based medication may qualify for Medicaid coverage. CBD is becoming more and more popular across the United States as a natural remedy for the symptoms of many common conditions from headaches and anxiety

Will Medicaid Pay for a Medical Marijuana Card?

Medical cannabis is becoming a vital part of the health care system. In the thirty-five states where medical marijuana is legal, (including Puerto Rico and Washington DC), over 4 million patients currently hold a medical marijuana card.

There’s a lot of demand for medical cannabis and its benefits these days. So, you may be surprised that insurance won’t cover your medical marijuana card. Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and state Medicaid plans have yet to come out with a medical card program.

There is good news, though. If you suffer from certain severe health conditions, your cannabis-based medication may qualify for Medicaid coverage. However, you must first choose to add on an optional prescription drug plan.

What are these cannabis treatments Medicaid will pay for, and why exactly won’t Medicaid and Medicare reimburse you for your medical cannabis card? We’re telling you the answer to these questions and more below.

What’s Considered Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is also known as medical cannabis. Patients who hold a medical marijuana card can legally use cannabinoids like THC and CBD. This only applies when patients use cannabis to treat qualifying health conditions, including:

  • Symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammation and pain
  • Loss of appetite and nausea

Depending on where you live, your state may allow medical marijuana use for additional conditions. Also, some states have extremely short lists of conditions that qualify patients for a medical marijuana card.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal?

In multiple states across the US, medical marijuana is completely legal. Check your state laws to find out if medical cannabis is legal in your state. Be sure to investigate your state’s list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card.

The Benefits of Medical Cannabis

In a 2019 review of systematic reviews, researchers looked into the benefits of using medical marijuana. The most common reason patients used medical cannabis was for pain. This included MS pain, pain after an injury, and cancer pain.

Movement disturbances, such as those common to Parkinson’s, were the second-most common reason people turned to medical marijuana. This includes the movement disturbances that are symptomatic of MS.

Nausea and vomiting were the final most common reasons the researchers found for getting a medical marijuana card.

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Drawbacks to Using Medical Marijuana

Like most medications, cannabis use (medical or otherwise) can come with a few side effects. These side effects are generally mild in nature.

For example, the 2019 review above found that drowsiness and dizziness is a common side effect. 50% of the systematic reviews cited this as a minor side effect.

Why Medicaid Won’t Cover Your Medical Marijuana Card

Because Medicare and Medicaid are federal programs, and cannabis is still illegal under federal law, these programs won’t pay for your medical marijuana card. Under Medicaid, you have to opt-in to prescription drug benefits anyway.

If you do add on prescription drug coverage, there are special circumstances in which cannabis treatments are covered. We’ll talk more about that below, but keep in mind that even adding on prescription drug coverage won’t cover a medical marijuana card.

Medicaid Benefits Explained

States are required by law to provide Medicaid plans to low income individuals. These health care packages have a list of mandatory benefits plans in all states must offer. Among others, Medicaid mandatory benefits include:

  • Inpatient and outpatient services
  • Home health services
  • Physician visits
  • Lab and x-ray services
  • Family planning services

Many states also offer optional benefits you can add to your Medicaid plan. This includes services like physical and occupational therapy, podiatry, optometry, and dental.

Importantly, you can also get Medicaid coverage for prescriptions. This includes any marijuana-related medication that the FDA has approved.

Cannabis Treatments Medicaid Will Cover

By now you might be wondering if there’s anything cannabis-related Medicare does cover. The answer is yes! There are currently two FDA-approved medications that are federally legal.

That means you can get the following two treatments if you add prescription drug coverage to your plan.

Dronabinol

Dronabinol is known by its brand names Marinol and Syndros. This medication helps treat nausea and vomiting. The FDA has approved dronabinol for two patient populations: people with AIDS and people undergoing treatments for cancer.

AIDS and cancer treatments cause weight loss as a side effect. dronabinol is approved to help stimulate appetite and reduce a phenomenon called wasting.

The ironic thing about this medication is that it doesn’t actually contain cannabinoids. Instead, dronabinol is made up of synthetic THC. This is why dronabinol has been legal in the US since the 1970s.

Are you suffering from AIDS wasting or nausea and vomiting from cancer treatments? If so, you’ll likely qualify for Medicaid coverage for your dronabinol prescription.

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Epidiolex

The FDA approved the US’s first-ever non-synthetic cannabis treatment, Epidiolex, in 2018. This prescription helps prevent seizures. It has also been especially effective against childhood epilepsy and treatment-resistant epileptic seizures.

If you have epilepsy and your physician think Epidiolex can help, your prescription will likely qualify for coverage under Medicaid.

How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Medical marijuana cards aren’t covered under Medicaid plans just yet. This is because cannabis is still federally illegal, and the FDA hasn’t approved it for medical use.

If you suffer from AIDS, epilepsy, or are undergoing cancer treatments, Medicaid may cover your Dronabinol or Epidiolex prescription.

Still interested in getting a medical marijuana card even though it isn’t covered under Medicaid? You’ve come to the right place. Book your in-person or virtual appointment with our medical marijuana card doctors now at Green Health Docs.

Does Medicare Cover CBD Oil?

CBD is becoming more and more popular across the United States as a natural remedy for the symptoms of many common conditions from headaches and anxiety to epilepsy and cancer. CBD, or Cannabidiol, is the name of a chemical compound that is in the cannabis (Cannabis sativa) plant, which is more commonly known as marijuana.

Unlike THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical compound in the same cannabis plant, CBD does not get you high when you take it. THC is psychoactive but CBD is not.
Manufacturers produce CBD oil that is either edible or safe for use on the skin or other parts of the body by diluting Cannabidiol with another oil like hemp seed or coconut oil.

Scientific evidence has shown that CBD oil may be effective when used to relieve pain, reduce depression and anxiety, relieve symptoms related to cancer, provide benefits for neurological disorders, boost heart health, and help prevent diabetes, among others.

Today in the United States, CBD that comes from hemp plants is legal in all 50 states. CBD that comes from marijuana plants is not legal in every state. Hemp contains more of the CBD compound than the THC compound, and the reverse is true for marijuana plants. This makes hemp more efficient in providing CBD oil for the U.S. markets.

Even though all 50 states allow the sale of products containing CBD, some states are more accepting than others. Depending on the state where you live, your health care provider may be more willing to suggest using CBD oil for diverse reasons. If your physician thinks that CBD oil is something you should try, you may wonder if your Medicare benefits cover the cost. Here is some information on the topic of Medicare and CBD oil.

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The Benefits of Using CBD Oil
While CBD oil is not right for everyone, many people are finding it effective as a treatment for some common ailments. Some of the reasons people use CBD oil are:

• For relief of muscle pain due to inflammation
• To ease muscle soreness and help muscles relax
• To fall asleep easier and sleep better
• To relieve anxiety
• To treat PTSD
• To help with depression
• To reduce acne
• To assist with substance abuse treatment
• To help prevent diabetes
• To help prevent the development of social recognition deficit in patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s
• General pain management

Today, many people are using CBD oil to successfully treat symptoms caused by certain health conditions. Medical professionals are not all on the same page when it comes to recommending CBD oil to their patients. If your health care provider thinks that it may work for you, it might be worth your time and money to check CBD oil out.

Does Medicare Cover CBD Oil?
Unfortunately, Medicare does not offer coverage for CBD oil at the present time. This is due to the fact that it has not been legalized at the federal level yet. It is possible that when the FDA legalizes CBD oil and other products that contain CBD, Medicare may help pay for these products when they are medically necessary.

However, the drug Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is an FDA-approved treatment for seizures that are associated with the syndromes Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet for patients that are older than two years. Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut are two forms of epilepsy that are extremely rare.

If you have a Part D prescription drug plan together with your Medicare benefits, or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, you may have coverage for Epidiolex. Your coverage depends on whether your insurance policy’s formulary (list of covered drugs) includes Epidiolex. If it is included on the formulary, your final cost depends on your policy’s copayment, coinsurance charges, and your deductible.

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