Will it Cover Marijuana?

Let’s face it; many of my clients, if not most of them, are Baby Boomers, who grew up experimenting with Marijuana, “Mary Jane” as it was called in the 60s.

Now, of course, I haven’t been asked if the recreational use is covered by a PDP plan, but there have been reports of the medicinal use of this drug being a miracle cure for such ailments as seizures and glaucoma, among others.

So, it doesn’t surprise me when I’m asked, “Will my prescription drug plan cover marijuana if my doctor prescribes it?”

Each state has its own rules regarding medicinal marijuana, but November 8th, 2016 was a historic date for more than just the Presidential Election.

California, Massachusetts, and Nevada all passed measures legalizing recreational use. California’s Prop. 64 measure allows adults 21 and older to now possess up to one ounce of Mary Jane and grow up to six plants in their homes. (The law also includes other tax and licensing provisions that will take effect in January 2018).

In Nevada, adults will be able to legally possess up to one ounce of Mary Jane beginning Jan. 1. A similar ballot measure in Massachusetts allows for possession of pot starting on Dec. 15.  There are also other states which have legalized it for recreational use.

But the question was, will Medicare PDP plans cover it under current law?.  The short answer to this is “No”. Even though your state may have passed a law either legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, federal law still prohibits doctors from prescribing it, so those laws are in effect, invalid.  Under the current system, doctors can write recommendations for medical marijuana, which is actually legally different than a prescription.

You can take a look below to see if your state has a medical or recreational marijuana law.

Medicinal Marijuana

States that allow for medicinal marijuana:

  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  • New Mexico
  • Arizona
  • District of Columbia

But… will Medicare Prescription Drug Plans cover Marijuana?  Before I answer that question, let’s look at the states who allow for recreational use.

States that allow for recreational marijuana use:

  • Washington State
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Nevada
  • Colorado
  • Massachusetts
  • Alaska

Will Medicare Prescription Drug Plans cover marijuana?  Only time will tell, but based on the legislation that is about to come into the office, I highly doubt it.

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