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Does Insurance Cover CBD Oil?

Most insurance companies won’t cover the cost of CBD.

Article By
Daily CBD , last updated on September 3, 2021

With research proving the health benefits of CBD oil, more individuals are opting for it as a supplement, causing a jump in its popularity.

However, the high price of CBD is a huge concern, making many users turn to cheaper options that do not yield effective results.

Between the high prices and inferior products, many wonder if their health insurance policy covers the expense. This article discusses whether or not your insurance program will cover CBD oil and why.

  • Table of Contents

The Bottom Line: Will Health Insurance Companies Cover CBD Oil?

Right now, the answer to this question is no.

Currently, most health insurance agencies do not cover CBD oil, even when a physician prescribes it.

Many more physicians are taking notice of CBD’s benefits and its potential for treating various ailments. So far, CBD does not seem to have many side effects. As a result, doctors have started recommending CBD as a treatment along with conventional medications. That’s when patients wonder whether insurance agencies pay the cost.   

However, in certain regions, CBD may be covered by private insurance companies in limited cases.

In the US, a prescription drug called Epidiolex is the exception. It’s the one prescription drug containing CBD that is FDA-approved; it’s used in treating a rare form of epilepsy.

In other countries, such as Canada or the UK, another prescription CBD-based medication called Sativex may be covered by insurance.    

CBD Hemp oil, Doctor holding a bottle of hemp oil, Medical marijuana products including cannabis leaf, cbd and hash oil, alternative medicine

Why Won’t Health Insurance Agencies Cover CBD?

Even though there’s more evidence backing the medicinal properties of CBD oil, and even if doctors are prescribing it to their patients, health insurance still does not cover the cost. This makes one wonder why most other pharmaceutical drugs — with higher price tags and more severe side effects —  are covered, and CBD oil isn’t.

CBD is Not FDA-Approved

Before getting released into the market, any new drug must get the FDA’s approval so that the doctors can legally prescribe it to their patients.

CBD is still considered a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI). Extensive lab tests and research must be submitted and reviewed before the FDA approves a new drug.

Insurance companies won’t insure anything that isn’t FDA-approved. The process required for approval is lengthy and expensive.

CBD is a Cannabis Product

Cannabis (hemp and marijuana) is still met with uncertainty. Hemp is federally legal, but only recently. The Farm Bill passed into law in 2018, making hemp and its derivatives legal — as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC.

Marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug, federally and in some states. Because both hemp and marijuana teeter on legality, many companies shy away from such products. It’s not just insurance companies — many shipping companies, even local ones in states where marijuana is legal, won’t deliver it.    

What Alternative Options Are Available For Patients?

Currently, patients interested in purchasing CBD oil for its medicinal benefits must meet these needs from their own pockets. No financial assistance is available for those who wish to use CBD products, even with a doctor’s prescription.

Because CBD is unregulated, everyone needs to be extra cautious when purchasing CBD oil. High-quality CBD products can go beyond $100 per bottle. Certain CBD companies are a scam and have been caught with little to zero CBD compounds in their products. 

To avoid buying fake CBD products, people must purchase them from reputable sources. It’s essential to find out the company’s authenticity and conduct careful research before investing in CBD. 

Benefits of Using CBD Oil  

There’s been a lot of research on CBD over the past few decades. A lot of this research has been promising, and there are a lot of acknowledged health benefits of CBD.

The only health conditions insurance will cover CBD as a treatment for are those approved by the FDA for drugs like Epidoliex or Sativex to treat. This primarily involves epilepsy and low appetite as a result of chemotherapy.

Here are a few of the proven benefits research has uncovered for CBD:

  1. May relieve anxiety & depression
  2. Alleviates chronic pain & inflammation
  3. Supports deeper, more restorative sleep
  4. Reduces acne formation
  5. Reduces the severity & frequency of epileptic seizures
CBD Hemp oil, Hand holding droplet of Cannabis oil against Marijuana plant. Alternative Medicine

Summary: CBD & Insurance Companies

The government doesn’t ban CBD products but insurance companies won’t reimburse the costs incurred for using them for medical purposes.

So even if physicians acknowledge the health benefits of CBD oil and prescribe it to their patients, insurance policies are not willing to cover the cost needed to procure it.

CBD oil is reasonably priced compared to many other pharmaceutical drugs, even after insurance coverage.

Further Reading

Further Reading