Medical Cannabis Insurance Reimbursement Working Group

In the realm of healthcare, where innovation and progress continually shape the landscape, one topic has emerged at the intersection of medicine and insurance—medical cannabis reimbursement. The journey to understand and potentially implement this concept has led to the formation of the "Medical Cannabis Insurance Reimbursement Working Group."

Medical Cannabis Insurance Reimbursement Working Group

let's know about the Medical Cannabis Insurance Reimbursement Working Group

The Genesis of the Working Group

In 2018, Hawaii passed Act 161, Session Laws, which paved the way for a groundbreaking initiative—the reimbursement of medical cannabis expenses through health insurance. To navigate the complexities of this venture, the state established the Medical Cannabis Insurance Reimbursement Working Group, a collection of experts and stakeholders handpicked to address the multifaceted challenges at hand.

The Diverse Composition

The Working Group comprised a diverse array of individuals, each bringing a unique perspective and expertise to the table. At its helm had been the Chairs of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, and the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. Their leadership was instrumental in guiding the group's discussions and recommendations.

Crucially, the group featured representatives from pivotal entities in the healthcare and insurance spheres. The Insurance Commissioner and the Administrator of the Department of Human Services, Med-QUEST Division, played pivotal roles. Additionally, key players in the insurance industry, including the Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), Kaiser Permanente, and AlohaCare, contributed their insights.

Notably, the inclusion of a licensed medical cannabis dispensary and participants in Hawaii's medical cannabis program ensured that the perspectives of those directly affected were heard. This diverse composition allowed for a comprehensive exploration of the issues at hand.

The Deliberations

The Working Group convened four times during 2018, dedicating extensive time and effort to dissect the multifaceted issues outlined in Act 161. Among the key topics discussed were:

Actions Taken in Other States: An exploration of how other states with medical cannabis programs approached the issue of health insurance reimbursements. It was discovered that, despite the prevalence of medical cannabis programs in 31 states, none had implemented health insurance reimbursements. However, five states had ventured into allowing such reimbursements through workers' compensation insurance.

Associated Liability Issues: The federal class of hashish as a Schedule I drug introduced a layer of complexity. Providers faced the risk of losing their licenses if they prescribed medical cannabis. Medicaid programs at the state level were hesitant to reimburse for medical cannabis due to the potential loss of federal funding.

The Potential Impact on Insurance Premiums: The group investigated the potential financial implications of introducing medical cannabis reimbursements through health insurance. Questions arose about the average monthly cost of medical cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions.

Insurance Riders for Alternative Therapies: The Working Group considered the feasibility of adopting models from other states where riders for alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, were in place. These served as potential blueprints for structuring medical cannabis reimbursement.

Other Relevant Issues: Various associated topics had been discussed, together with the certification and registration technique for scientific cannabis patients, licensure of clinical cannabis dispensaries, patient privacy safety beneath federal laws, and protections for employees and healthcare vendors concerned with medical hashish certifications.

Recommendations and the Road Ahead

At its concluding meeting, the Working Group put forth several recommendations:
  1. Exemption of the Med-QUEST program from coverage requirements to safeguard federal Medicaid assistance.
  2. Legislation for medical cannabis reimbursements under workers' compensation insurance, with a cautious approach toward health insurance.
  3. Data collection from workers' compensation insurers regarding pain management for chronic pain, potentially informing reimbursement models.
  4. An ongoing commitment to exploring these issues is marked by the adoption of a legislative concurrent resolution.

The journey of the Medical Cannabis Insurance Reimbursement Working Group may not have culminated in immediate change, but it marks a significant step towards understanding the complexities of integrating medical cannabis into the healthcare and insurance landscape. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, these discussions will undoubtedly shape the future of medical cannabis reimbursement.

In the ever-evolving global of healthcare, the complexities of integrating new remedies and therapies can be daunting. The Medical Cannabis Insurance Reimbursement Working Group has embarked on a journey to discover the potential of medical hashish reimbursement, and their findings ought to pave the way for a transformation in healthcare accessibility.


Please do not enter any spam link in the comment box.

  1. Very Informative information in this article, Thanks alot.


Post a Comment

Please do not enter any spam link in the comment box.

Previous Post Next Post