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article imageMedical marijuana users are faced with high insurance rates

By Owen Weldon     Aug 10, 2015 in Health
Many medical marijuana users in Canada are paying high prices due to their prescriptions. The reason is because their life insurance policies consider them smokers, regardless of how they take it.
A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that patients who are legally prescribed marijuana can take it in any form, and this includes oils, smoking it and using edible products. However, life insurance companies can consider medical marijuana users similar to smokers, and it doesn't matter how they consume the drug.
Syed Raza, the director of marketing at LSM Insurance, said it actually doesn't make sense. Raza said that when people fill out an application, they are expected to put down that they smoke. This leads to paying a higher premium.
Some medical marijuana users were not aware of this, and one user, Ryan Wolff, said he was prescribed the drug to deal with pain from a nerve condition. He does smoke it, as well as ingests it, but he said he was never warned that marijuana use could lump people in with those who smoke cigarettes. He added that it was shocking that you could be considered a smoker if you're not smoking.
Raza said that as of now, Canadian insurance companies have not changed their policies, but their may come a day when they are forced to, either by regulators or by customers.
Asides from medical marijuana users being faced with higher insurance rates, Canadians that are prescribed it are the ones who foot the bills for their prescription. However, that could one day change, as there has been an introduction of new Health Canada rules that allow cannabis oils to be sold.
There is one obstacle that medical marijuana producers will have to clear before insurers routinely fund the drug. As of now, cannabis doesn't have a DIN, short for drug identification number.
A spokeswoman for Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc. said that if cannabis was issued a DIN by Health Canada, then it would be likely covered by the insurance companies.
More about Medical Marijuana, Marijuana, health insurance rates, insurance rates
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