Will Medicaid Pay For CBD Oil

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Who’s Paying for Your Medical CBD?

You’re using CBD for legit medical purposes. Maybe you even have a doctor’s note justifying the use or a formal prescription.

But, does this mean you’re off the hook for the expense? Well, there are lots of questions around who foots the bill for medicinal CBD oil products, like:

  • Does insurance cover CBD?
  • Is CBD oil covered by Medicare?
  • Will Medicaid pay for CBD oil?
  • Do dispensaries take insurance?

In this post, we’ll touch on all that plus ideas for h ow to pay for medical cannabis when other options aren’t viable.

What Is Medical Cannabis ?

Medical cannabis is an umbrella used for cannabis derivatives that are used to treat certain medical conditions, their symptoms, or side effect s . Medical marijuana (high THC) and medical CBD (high CBD) are subsets of medical cannabis.

For discussion here in this post, we’re lumping medical CBD and regular CBD used for medicinal purposes together. We make distinctions as needed.

Is CBD A Drug?

It really depends on the context.

To some government agencies, employers, schools, and other organizations — the answer’s “Yes.” To others, the answer’s “No.”

But, according to the dictionary, a drug can be any substance used as a medication or that has a physiological effect when introduced into the body.

What About Epidiolex?

This is one of the clear-cut cases. Epidiolex is currently the only FDA-approved drug. It’s a prescription reserved for those with intractable seizure disorders.

Can You Get CBD By Prescription?

You don’t need an Rx f or federally-legal CBD (the hemp-derived kind with 0.3% or less THC) . For everything else — like high-THC CBD and marijuana-derived CBD — you may need a prescription.

Marijuana-sourced CBD and high-THC CBD are still federally illegal. However, 37 states, three territories, and Washington, DC have medical cannabis programs.(1) Rules vary, but in these locales you should be able to access some forms of medical cannabis. You’ll need to check local laws to see if prescriptions are needed.

Does Health Insurance Cover Medical CBD?

In general, as of now, there are no insurance companies that cover the cost of CBD — whether you’re using is therapeutically or otherwise. This is largely dues to the FDA deeming CBD to be a supplement, not a drug.

H ealth Insurance Options For Medical Marijuana & CBD Oil

You can’t use your FSA (flexible spending account) funds on CBD products .

But recent changes (effective as of 2022) could enable you to buy some CBD oil items with your H SA ( health spending account) . New IRS rules state that CBD and hemp oil products are H SA -eligible expenses if they are for a diagnosed condition and backed by documentation from your doctor.( 2 )

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You still can’t use your HSA for marijuana-based products, though.

The Epidiolex Exception

The only scenario in which insurance is likely to cover the expense of medical CBD is Epidiolex. According to the manufacturer, most insured patients are eligible for coverage of this drug .( 3 )

Do Dispensaries Take Insurance ?

The quick and dirty answer is no. Most are cash-only businesses as well, which might make it hard to buy those HSA-eligible CBD oil and hemp products .

Epidiolex is only available via specialized pharmacies that will verify the prescription and work with your insurance company.( 4 )

Gazing Into The Crystal Ball Of Coverage

With mounting research proving out CBD’s medicinal potential and growing consumer demands for care options, it’s quite possible this will change in the future. It’s worth keeping an eye on.

Does Medicare Cover Medical CBD?

Medicare may cover some cannabinoid -based meds. ( 5 ) For example, Epidiolex might be eligible because it’s FDA approved.

Every plan is different, so you have to confirm what’s included in yours. Also, what’s allowed is tied to what’s federally legal and FDA approved — so stay tuned for developments.

Will Medicaid Pay For CBD Oil ?

It’s a similar sitch for Medicaid. The only CBD product it ’ s likely to cover is Epidiolex, again because it’s FDA approved. But you should check just to make sure.

How Do Medical Cannabis Cards Factor In?

You can apply for a medical marijuana card (MMJ card) if you have a qualifying condition and live in a place that has a medical cannabis program . Approval requires a doctor ’s consent . ( 6 )

Does An MMJ Card Help?

Having a n MMJ card may be beneficial — it depends a great deal on the state you’re in and the kind of product you’re looking to buy.

An MMJ card may save you money on your medical CBD by:(7)

  • Giv ing you access to less expensive sales outlets
  • Exempting you from some or all excise taxes
  • Allowing you to grow your own
  • Enabling you to purchase more potent varieties (i.e., more bang for your buck)
  • Legitimizing your claim/expense with insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and the IRS

But remember, there are costs associated with the MMJ card, like doctor’s visits and application and renewal fees.

How To Pay For Medical CBD

OK, so it’s unlikely that most people are going to get 100% cover age for the cost of their medical CBD . Depending upon your situation, you may get partial coverage or discounted rate of some sort via insurance, HSA eligibility, etc.

But what about the portion of your medical CBD that remains your responsibility?

Tips For Making Your Medical CBD More Affordable

There are ways help you slide medical CBD smoothly into your budget. Such as:

  • Buy high-quality CBD products. Using bioavailable nano-optimized CBD made from organic American hemp and other premium natural ingredients may give you better results with less product.
  • DIY your CBDgoods. It may be cheaper ( per mg of CBD ) to buy a CBD oil tincture and make your own edibles, topicals, softgels than buying pre-made versions of these formulation.
  • Shop online when possible. Doing so lets you compare products so you can find the best CBD for you at the best price.
  • Take advantage of savings programs. Join the rewards program, do subscribe and save, buy in bulk, stock up when sale are run . See if your seller offers discounts for teachers, veterans, low-income families, and so on. Paying with your cash-back credit card or PayPal (which sometimes offers spending incentives) might be an option. Consider paying via an installment plan.
  • Look for outside help. You may be able to find grants or financial assistance from non-profits.(8)
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Don’t Forget Cost Offsets!

Also keep in mind potential cost offsets . CBD could :

  1. Be less expensive than alternate therapies .
  2. R educe your reliance on other meds .
  3. Provide enough positive results to restore your ability to work more.

Focus On What Matters

Ultimately, you’ll need to sort out the financial side of things for your personal scenario. But, we encourage you not to focus solely on the price tag.

Quality of life is beyond-words important. CBD may boost your QOL significantly — which may make it worth every darn cent you have to pay . Just something to think about….

Someone’s Got To Pay For The Medical CBD….

And it’s likely going to be you. For the most part.

Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid will probably cover the cost of FDA-approved CBD-based medications — like Epidiolex. And, as of 2022, you may be able to use your HSA to pay for medicinal CBD and hemp products if you have a diagnosed condition that’s been documented by your doctor.

Aside from these few exceptions, the cost of your medical CBD falls squarely on your shoulders. But, there are ways to defray the expense. You can look into getting a medical cannabis card, savvy shopping techni ques, financial assistance programs, and more. A little research and creativity can go a long way to helping you pay for your medical CBD!

Why Medicare Still Doesn’t Cover CBD Oil, And How That May Change

Cannabidiol (CBD) is now decidedly mainstream. In fact, CBD-based products have flooded the shelves of many pharmacies and grocery stores in various states. But what about CBD and Medicare? Medicare doesn’t cover CBD, despite its growing popularity.

Who Uses CBD Oil, and What Can it Treat?

A 2019 Gallup poll found that 14% of Americans report using CBD products such as chocolates, oils, fragrances, bath products, capsules, and lotions.

Despite limited research on the benefits of CBD, CBD proponents and manufacturers claim it can treat everything from cancer to anxiety. 40% of CBD users say they seek relief from pain. Other popular uses include anxiety (20%), insomnia (11%) and arthritis (8%). These conditions are notoriously difficult to treat. Traditional prescription drugs may cause unpleasant side effects, and do not offer relief to all sufferers. So the promise of a natural substance offering relief for these symptoms is very appealing.

CBD does have one clear, proven benefit. It can treat seizures associated with two types of epilepsy—Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for the treatment of these severe, rare forms of epilepsy.

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Why Doesn’t Medicare Cover CBD?

Original Medicare (Parts A and B) only covers treatment received in a medical facility such as a hospital or doctor’s office. Part B covers a very limited number of prescription drugs, and CBD medications are not on that list.

Medicare beneficiaries have the option to purchase a Part D prescription drug plan in order to expand their drug coverage. They may also opt for private insurance through a Medicare Advantage (Medicare part C) plan, many of which cover prescription drugs.

However, even with a prescription drug plan, you cannot get coverage for CBD oil and other over-the-counter products. There are at least two reasons for this:

  • There are no drug products containing CBD, other than Epidiolex, that are approved by the FDA.
  • According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Part D plans only cover drugs that have been approved by the FDA.

If you have a prescription for Epidiolex and your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan covers the drug, then you can use Medicare to access this one medication containing CBD. However, a recommendation from a doctor that you try over-the-counter CBD oil is not sufficient for using Medicare to pay for any other product containing CBD.

Will Medicare Cover CBD Oil in the Future?

With so many potential uses of CBD, research is ongoing. If scientifically-rigorous evidence finds support for other CBD uses, manufacturers could develop CBD-based drugs for many conditions.

If these future drugs receive FDA approval, they could also become medically-recognized prescriptions. That would open the door to Medicare coverage. No such drug approvals are on the immediate horizon, althoughsearch leaves open the possibility that Medicare may eventually cover other prescription forms of CBD.

Medicaid and CBD Products

Will Medicaid pay for CBD oil? What if prescribed by a doctor?

No, Medicaid, nor any other insurance, will pay for CBD (cannabidiol) oil. This holds true even if it is prescribed by a physician.

To explain, despite the growing popularity of using CBD to treat medical conditions, it has not been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for this purpose. That said, there is one exception that exists. In June of 2018, the FDA approved a prescription CBD medication, Epidiolex, which is used to treat two types of epilepsy. Please note that this is the only CBD product for which Medicaid will pay.

Further complicating the use of CBD oil for medicinal purposes, and Medicaid coverage, is that the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Agency) still classifies CBD oil as a Schedule I Drug, the same class of drugs as heroin and ecstasy. As a side note, any FDA-approved CBD product with no greater than 0.1% THC (tetrahydrocannabinols) are considered to be Schedule V Drugs. This class of drugs has a low potential for abuse and contains some cough and anti-diarrhea medications.

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