Friday September 1, 2017

Medicinal Marijuana Expense Health Insurance Coverage and Personal Injury Claims

Authored by: David S.R. Parker Posted in: Personal Injury

Prescriptions for medicinal marijuana are becoming more common, particularly for chronic pain patients. There is rising concern among physicians regarding opioid addiction, and some are now prescribing medicinal marijuana as an alternative pain treatment. Though there is no consensus among medical experts on the issue of the efficacy of cannabis as a pain treatment, there is a judicial trend that recognizes that some patients with chronic pain obtain significant benefit from the use of medical cannabis.

The cost of medicinal marijuana can be significant compared to the alternative opioid pain medications.  Health Canada has stipulated a maximum daily dosage of 5 grams/day.  The cost per gram charged by licensed growers varies by manufacturer, strain, and blend – but the average cost is in the range of $8.40.  This represents a cost of about $1,260 per month, compared to the cost of opioids such as hydromorphone, which costs approximately $120-$140 per month.  For a claimant with permanent chronic pain who is prescribed medicinal marijuana for pain treatment, the costs can amount to $15,000 per year or more, and over a lifetime (for instance a 50-year life expectancy) can amount to more than $400,000 (present value).   

Health Care and Auto Insurers (responding to Section B Medical Expense Claims and Personal Injury Claims for Future Medical Care Costs) are reluctant to accept claims related to medicinal marijuana prescriptions and use several different arguments in the attempt to avoid or reduce payment of such claims. 

Recent court cases reflect the positions taken by insurers and the arguments raised to defeat claims for marijuana prescription costs. The following are some of the arguments brought forward, and recommendations that may aid in raising your chance of success in establishing a valid claim under Section B in the health care policy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether a claimant will be successful in advancing a claim for the cost of medical marijuana is a complicated issue and requires the proper medical evidence, consideration of the above issues and factual evidence.

Share This Post:

Ask a question about this post.

Any Questions

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post | Friday February 15, 2019

Digital Assets and Social Media: Are They in Your Estate Plan?

Authored by: Alanna Mayne, TEP Posted in: Wills & Estates

The recent issues surrounding QuadrigaCX and the death of the company’s CEO, Gerald Cotten, is an important reminder that you should ensure your digital assets are included as part of your estate planning.

Read full article
Blog Post | Friday February 1, 2019

The Mamas and the Papas… and Their Parenting Agreement

Authored by: Mary H. Brown Posted in: Family Law

I’m sure I was not the only one who spent a few minutes this weekend listening to the radio documentary “The Mamas and the Papas: How two Ottawa couples became co-parents ” on the CBC’s The Sunday Edition or reading the accompanying article online.

Read full article
Blog Post | Thursday January 31, 2019

The Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Mandatory Victim Surcharges

Authored by: Terrance G. Sheppard Posted in: Criminal Law

The Supreme Court of Canada has declared that a Mandatory Victim Surcharge is unconstitutional in that it imposes cruel and unusual punishment on poor defendants, contrary to the protections provided by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Read full article
Blog Post | Friday January 25, 2019

Restrictive Covenants

Authored by: Lauren M. Randall Posted in: Real Estate

When purchasing a new home, it is important to note that some lots have restrictive covenants that apply to them. Restrictive covenants are rules that govern the use of the lot and other lots in the subdivision.

Read full article