Medavie Blue Cross is adding medical cannabis coverage to its benefits provision.
The extended health-care benefit will be optional, standalone coverage for plan sponsors, providing reimbursement for fresh and dried cannabis, as well as cannabis oil. Plan sponsors will have the option of an annual maximum coverage amount.
Coverage will be considered for conditions based on Canadian family physician guidelines, including for patients suffering from chronic neuropathic pain, refractory pain in palliative cancer care, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy and spasticity in multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.
To be eligible for reimbursement, plan members will have to be pre-authorized, noted the release.
“Cannabis is a complex substance unique in the health benefits landscape,” stated the release. “It is not considered a prescription medication by Health Canada and does not meet typical requirements to be eligible for coverage under a prescription drug plan. Medavie Blue Cross will continue to monitor the latest clinical evidence and emerging trends to assess the new benefit on an ongoing basis.”