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Category: Cost of Healthcare, Health Insurance

Medical Marijuana Expanding in Louisiana | Will Blue Cross Pay?

Big news this week in Louisiana’s medical marijuana world!

On Tuesday, June 22, Gov. Edwards signed a bill into law that will let patients in our state’s medical cannabis program legally buy smokable marijuana from the state’s licensed marijuana dispensaries.

Previously, the dispensaries could only sell non-smokable forms of marijuana, like gummies and inhalers. The new law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. And last year, the governor signed a bill that allows doctors to recommend marijuana for a wider range of conditions than included in the original 2015 law.

So that brings us to the question of the day: Will Blue Cross pay for your medical marijuana? The short answer is that while medical marijuana is becoming more accepted by the State of Louisiana and around the country, it has a long way to go before it could be covered on your insurance. Check out this video we produced back in 2018. The answer still stands!

Posted on: June 24, 2021

3 comments on “Medical Marijuana Expanding in Louisiana | Will Blue Cross Pay?

  1. Debbie LaRocca

    I was a big believer that marijuana was bad for you. In the past couple of years my brother in law was diagnosed with Dementia and nothing was working. Someone I knew gave him THC on a cookie (one drop) and he went for very abusive to gentle. I do think it works and it should be paid for by our insurance company.

    Thank you

    • Michael Bertaut

      Thanks so much for your input on medical marijuana! It is almost unthinkable that a plant with HUNDREDS of compounds embedded in it could be in our country for nearly a century without any serious research on the value and risks associated with those compounds. Thankfully now some high-end, reputable research is going on right now, being overseen by the FDA, and soon we should see medical marijuana approved with hard science for a variety of ailments. What we will learn from that will be critical things like: How much dosage? What ages/genders/health conditions show useful changes or cures? How long can you stay on them without damage to other organs? What are the risks of the various delivery systems (oil vs gummies vs smoking), what manufacturing processes filter out the necessary compounds and remove the more harmful ones? We honestly should have plenty of answers to these questions by now.
      For example, as large scale study in four states last week demonstrated that regular usage of THC (the compound that gives you that euphoric feeling in weed) led to a tripling of how often female users thought of killing themselves, and a doubling of how often males thought of ending their lives. It would surely be good if we understood what caused THAT before we start paying for our customer’s marijuana.

      Sadly we don’t. For us to risk premium-payers money at this stage would be negligent and I, for one, am glad we’re not going there until the actual science tells us how.
      Thanks for playing!….Cheers!…mrb

  2. Jeff Zeringue

    First, thanks for posting the video. It enlightened me about many of the complexities of the issue of which I was unaware. Secondly, like the commenter above, I have long held that there are more dangers to marijuana than benefits. However, when I watch commercial after commercial of drugs that are designed to improve maladies, yet have side effects that often include death, I wonder whether marijuana use under the guidance of a physician could be any riskier. I do understand the reasoning behind insurance companies’ hesitancy for coverage, but I would encourage the industry to use its influential lobbyists to push for the necessary changes for this medicine to be covered just like the synthetic chemicals we put in our bodies.


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