Legal medical industry in Arizona
Certain branches of the Arizona medical field have the privilege and distinction of being legally authorized to recommend medical marijuana to patients. As a new initiative, questions abound as to eligibility requirements and how to best gauge a patient’s need for the medicine. The Arizona Hemp Center is here to answer your questions, provide the latest and most pertinent information, and also offer memberships to link eligible doctors with trusted dispensary owners across the state.
Given the newness of the Arizona Medical Marijuana program, there are many outstanding questions that eligible patients may have. One of the most prevalent questions remains whether a patient can bill his or her insurance company for the marijuana itself.
Several major insurance providers operating in Arizona including Aetna, Humana, Cigna and Health Net have not commented about whether or not they will cover medical marijuana. The reason, at least according to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Arizona’s Dr. Dan Aspery, is that it’s not FDA approved.
On a federal level, marijuana is ranked as a schedule 1 drug, even though more than dozen states permit the use of medical marijuana. The status of cannabis would have to be changed to a schedule 2 drug in order for insurance companies to be willing to cover it. This issue is not exclusive to Arizona, however. It’s an issue to all states in the US that permit the use of medical marijuana for eligible patients.
For now at least, patients are forced to pay for the full cost of medical marijuana out of their own pockets, and only certain methods of payments are accepted.
While patients are not presently able to bill their insurance companies, the growing statewide sentiment on this issue may help to push through legislation that changes current policies regarding this topic.
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