Insurance can cover a whole range of treatments and medications, but could we soon be seeing cannabis being covered by your insurance provider? Life Assurance Co., one of the biggest insurance companies in Canada have recently announced plans to cover medicinal cannabis with some of their policies. What will this mean for medicinal cannabis users?
Canadian medical insurance has hundreds of policies that can fund any treatment or medicinal purchases, and as medical marijuana becomes increasingly prevalent it could easily be covered like any other medicine. Sun Life Assurance have pioneered a cover plan that was rolled out on the first of march. This is no small move, the insurance giant covers one out of every six Canadians. The coverage they are offering ranges from $1,500 to $6000 a year for medicinal cannabis.
Dave Jones, the senior vice-president of group benefits in Sun Life, spoke to The Globe and Mail. “As this has become something our clients have been asking us about more and more, we have moved from the stage of evaluate and review, to now offering it as a benefit for medicinal purposes.” One caveat of this policy is the fact that medical marijuana lacks a drug identification number which is required under Canadian law for a medicine to be covered. To solve this issue Sun Life cover medical marijuana as medical service or type of equipment, a canny move.
Medical Marijuana is a versatile medicine that can treat a huge range of ailments and conditions. Not only this but it is 100% natural and non-addictive. Conditions from cancer to Tourette’s syndrome can benefit from medicinal marijuana treatment. Canada has become a global model for marijuana decriminalisation and legalisation. Many industries in Canada are taking advantage of this, resulting in a veritable boom in cannabis related industries.
As more and more businesses take advantage of the changing legal status of marijuana, social attitudes will change too. An interesting caveat to consider is that just a few short years ago it was Sun Life policy to deny coverage to customers who turned out to be occasional marijuana users. A change in social perception will lead to more open innovation. Sun Life are no doubt aware that they are pioneers, but what they don’t realise is that they may be the harbingers of a whole new business boom!