Will Medicaid Pay For CBD Oil

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There is good news, though. If you suffer from certain severe health conditions, your cannabis-based medication may qualify for Medicaid coverage. Are you wondering what the benefits of CBD oil are? Learn more and if its covered by Medicaid here.

Will Medicaid Pay for a Medical Marijuana Card?

Medical cannabis is becoming a vital part of the health care system. In the thirty-five states where medical marijuana is legal, (including Puerto Rico and Washington DC), over 4 million patients currently hold a medical marijuana card.

There’s a lot of demand for medical cannabis and its benefits these days. So, you may be surprised that insurance won’t cover your medical marijuana card. Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and state Medicaid plans have yet to come out with a medical card program.

There is good news, though. If you suffer from certain severe health conditions, your cannabis-based medication may qualify for Medicaid coverage. However, you must first choose to add on an optional prescription drug plan.

What are these cannabis treatments Medicaid will pay for, and why exactly won’t Medicaid and Medicare reimburse you for your medical cannabis card? We’re telling you the answer to these questions and more below.

What’s Considered Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is also known as medical cannabis. Patients who hold a medical marijuana card can legally use cannabinoids like THC and CBD. This only applies when patients use cannabis to treat qualifying health conditions, including:

  • Symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammation and pain
  • Loss of appetite and nausea

Depending on where you live, your state may allow medical marijuana use for additional conditions. Also, some states have extremely short lists of conditions that qualify patients for a medical marijuana card.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal?

In multiple states across the US, medical marijuana is completely legal. Check your state laws to find out if medical cannabis is legal in your state. Be sure to investigate your state’s list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card.

The Benefits of Medical Cannabis

In a 2019 review of systematic reviews, researchers looked into the benefits of using medical marijuana. The most common reason patients used medical cannabis was for pain. This included MS pain, pain after an injury, and cancer pain.

Movement disturbances, such as those common to Parkinson’s, were the second-most common reason people turned to medical marijuana. This includes the movement disturbances that are symptomatic of MS.

Nausea and vomiting were the final most common reasons the researchers found for getting a medical marijuana card.

Drawbacks to Using Medical Marijuana

Like most medications, cannabis use (medical or otherwise) can come with a few side effects. These side effects are generally mild in nature.

For example, the 2019 review above found that drowsiness and dizziness is a common side effect. 50% of the systematic reviews cited this as a minor side effect.

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Why Medicaid Won’t Cover Your Medical Marijuana Card

Because Medicare and Medicaid are federal programs, and cannabis is still illegal under federal law, these programs won’t pay for your medical marijuana card. Under Medicaid, you have to opt-in to prescription drug benefits anyway.

If you do add on prescription drug coverage, there are special circumstances in which cannabis treatments are covered. We’ll talk more about that below, but keep in mind that even adding on prescription drug coverage won’t cover a medical marijuana card.

Medicaid Benefits Explained

States are required by law to provide Medicaid plans to low income individuals. These health care packages have a list of mandatory benefits plans in all states must offer. Among others, Medicaid mandatory benefits include:

  • Inpatient and outpatient services
  • Home health services
  • Physician visits
  • Lab and x-ray services
  • Family planning services

Many states also offer optional benefits you can add to your Medicaid plan. This includes services like physical and occupational therapy, podiatry, optometry, and dental.

Importantly, you can also get Medicaid coverage for prescriptions. This includes any marijuana-related medication that the FDA has approved.

Cannabis Treatments Medicaid Will Cover

By now you might be wondering if there’s anything cannabis-related Medicare does cover. The answer is yes! There are currently two FDA-approved medications that are federally legal.

That means you can get the following two treatments if you add prescription drug coverage to your plan.

Dronabinol

Dronabinol is known by its brand names Marinol and Syndros. This medication helps treat nausea and vomiting. The FDA has approved dronabinol for two patient populations: people with AIDS and people undergoing treatments for cancer.

AIDS and cancer treatments cause weight loss as a side effect. dronabinol is approved to help stimulate appetite and reduce a phenomenon called wasting.

The ironic thing about this medication is that it doesn’t actually contain cannabinoids. Instead, dronabinol is made up of synthetic THC. This is why dronabinol has been legal in the US since the 1970s.

Are you suffering from AIDS wasting or nausea and vomiting from cancer treatments? If so, you’ll likely qualify for Medicaid coverage for your dronabinol prescription.

Epidiolex

The FDA approved the US’s first-ever non-synthetic cannabis treatment, Epidiolex, in 2018. This prescription helps prevent seizures. It has also been especially effective against childhood epilepsy and treatment-resistant epileptic seizures.

If you have epilepsy and your physician think Epidiolex can help, your prescription will likely qualify for coverage under Medicaid.

How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Medical marijuana cards aren’t covered under Medicaid plans just yet. This is because cannabis is still federally illegal, and the FDA hasn’t approved it for medical use.

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If you suffer from AIDS, epilepsy, or are undergoing cancer treatments, Medicaid may cover your Dronabinol or Epidiolex prescription.

Still interested in getting a medical marijuana card even though it isn’t covered under Medicaid? You’ve come to the right place. Book your in-person or virtual appointment with our medical marijuana card doctors now at Green Health Docs.

Will Medicaid Pay for CBD Oil

During recent years, many people turned to CBD oil to treat a host of medical conditions and problems. Moreover, as the federal government recently legalized hemp, patients may be able to access medicines that contain CBD oil through their Medicaid coverage.

Although the list of CBD medications that Medicaid covers is narrow, there are a lot of reasons to expect it to expand in the near future.

In this article, we go over all that you need to know about CBD oil, its uses, and the potential side effects, alongside if and when Medicaid will pay for it.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidoil (CBD) is a natural remedy and an ingredient that is found in the cannabis plant. Many people rely on it to treat common medical issues, such as pain and anxiety.

CBD oil is extracted from hemp and, after that, diluted through the addition of carrier oils (coconut or hemp seed oil, for instance).

It is important to note that, while CBD comes from the marijuana plant, using doesn’t make you “high” or cause psychoactive effects. In fact, it is carefully separated from the intoxicating ingredients of cannabis and isolated during extraction.

Ever since hemp was made legal in 2018, CBD oil started to become prevalent across the U.S. for medical reasons.

Uses for CBD Oil

People utilize CBD oil to deal with certain health conditions and problems. To illustrate, here are some examples of what CBD oil is used for:

  • Pain relief, especially for arthritis and inflammatory diseases
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Managing depression
  • Minimizing the effects of insomnia and improving sleep quality
  • Alleviating problems related to cancer and chemotherapy
  • Enhancing the body’s neuroprotective functions
  • Improving the heart’s health
  • Treating acne and/or skin lesions
  • Boosting bone health
  • Reducing the risk of diabetes
  • Lowering the risk of obesity

There are also other CBD oil benefits. However, if you are considering CBD oil to treat a health issue, learning about its potential side effects is just as important as understanding the medical uses.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

People who use CBD oil may experience one or more of the following side effects:

  • A reduced appetite and changes in body weight
  • Dryness in the mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness and/or lightheadedness
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Low blood pressure

Furthermore, CBD may interact with certain medicines. More specifically, if you’re taking any blood thinners, you should let your doctor know that you are/will start using CBD oil. This is because some of the CBD ingredients could have a negative interaction when taken alongside blood-thinning medicines.

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Needless to say, you should consult with your doctor even if you aren’t taking any medicines in order to ensure that CBD oil is suitable for your individual circumstances.

Will Medicaid Cover CBD Oil?

Unless you have a very specific condition (more on that to follow), Medicaid will not cover CBD oil. Although it’s federally legal, CBD isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medical treatment.

This is not to say that you can’t use it to treat health problems, nor does it mean that your doctor is prohibited from discussing the medical benefits of CBD oil.

Instead, they simply can’t prescribe it, but they may still recommend it and give you advice based on your personal circumstances and health.

Nonetheless, since CBD oil can’t be prescribed, neither Medicaid nor any insurance company will pay for it. The only exception is if it falls under one of the FDA’s exceptions.

Exceptions Where Medicaid Will Cover CBD

Under FDA regulations, Epidiolex is the only CBD oil-containing medicine that is approved for medical usage. In other words, Medicaid will cover Epidiolex if your doctor prescribes it.

The FDA permits using Epidiolex to treat the following conditions amongst patients who are at least 1 year of age or older:

  • Epilepsy
  • Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
  • Dravet syndrome patients
  • Seizures caused by tuberous sclerosis complex

Other than that, the FDA is continuing to examine other CBD-containing medications for patients.

If you don’t have any of the four conditions above, you should still talk to your doctor about whether or not CBD oil is the right treatment for you.

While they can’t give you a prescription, a physician could offer valuable advice about using CBD oil for medical purposes, such as pain relief, managing insomnia, improving your bone’s health, and more.

They may also warn you of potential side effects or interactions between CBD oil and any medications that you’re currently taking.

In short, Medicaid will not cover CBD oil unless it falls under the FDA’s exemptions. However, the FDA may approve more medicines that contain CBD in the near future.

For the time being, you should continue to talk to your doctor, determine if CBD oil can help you deal with your health issues, and keep a close eye out for potentially uncomfortable side effects.

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