Great-West Life partners with Shoppers Drug Mart for medical cannabis coaching program

The Great-West Life Assurance Co. is expanding its coverage of medical cannabis, which includes a new agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., to deliver its medical cannabis coaching program.

“We’ve expanded our optional medical cannabis coverage to our pay-direct drug plans, which represent the vast majority of all of our drug plans, to help the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians,” said Bobby Currie, pharmacist and manager of drug strategy at Great-West Life, in a press release.

Read: A pot primer for plan sponsors

Great-West Life has offered medical cannabis coverage through health-care spending accounts since 2009. The expansion allows for eligible plan members in Ontario to have their claim submitted by the medical cannabis coaching program using their pay-direct drug cards.

“Participating plan sponsors will now be better able to support their plan members who are prescribed medical cannabis for conditions relating to multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV or AIDS or symptoms related to palliative care. . . .  Their plan members will be directed to Shoppers Drug Mart’s medical cannabis coaching program, delivered through its Ontario-based call centre,” added Currie.

Since medical cannabis isn’t available in retail pharmacies, the program will coordinate delivery to the plan member’s home and offer case management support via check-ins, counselling, education and support by phone and email.

Read: Employer, private payer considerations around medical cannabis coverage