Canadian Marijuana insurance rules have changed
In 2016 some insurance companies in Canada changed their marijuana rules regarding smoker status, which is a major change in the insurance world. Going forward, regardless if the marijuana is eaten, smoked or vapourized, the insurance companies that issue Life and Critical Illness policies will treat the client as a non-smoker.
So, what does this mean? It means that anyone with an existing Life or Critical Illness policy, who was approved, but given a smoker status can now fill out a simple change form and have their policy changed to non-smoker. This will effectively chop their monthly premiums in half. There is also likely a large group of people that have not applied for coverage because they thought that either using marijuana would prevent them from being approved or they would pay more because of the smoking status. The marijuana use won’t even be a question on the applications anymore, so it’s a non-factor.
Medical Marijuana Prescription Coverage
With the health/drug landscape changing in Canada there has been an increase in requests to cover medical marijuana. Currently this drug does not have a DIN number and has been deemed ineligible as an expense under traditional health and dental plans, however, medical marijuana expenses can be claimed through a Health Spending Account.
Here are a couple rules/guidelines that must be followed in order for the expense to be claimed:
- Be authorized under the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations to possess or use the drug for medical purposes (ie. The employee must have applied and been approved by the government to purchase this drug)
- Be purchased from a Health Canada authorized licensed producer
- All forms/applications are valid for a period of 12 months, after which the employee will be asked to submit new forms.
- A doctor’s referral and receipt showing the licensed producer’s name is required in order for the expense to be paid.
All expenses through a Health Spending Account are 100% confidential. If you are a sole proprietor or an incorporated business, you can set up a Health Spending Account for you and your employees.
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