Here’s How Using Medical Marijuana Could Impact Your Insurance

Collaborator: VNN Content Studio
Published: 11/08/2021, 3:18 PM
Edited: 11/10/2021, 2:45 PM

Presented by Elevate Holistics, a telehealth platform focused on making medical cannabis processes as simple and easy as possible. Through collaboration with your physician and Elevate staff, you have everything you need to Elevate your health naturally. 

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(NATIONAL) When it comes to cannabis, the lines can get a bit blurry. Below, we cover some of the most important questions medical marijuana users have about their health, auto, and life insurance.

Recreational vs. Medicinal

Even though recreational and medicinal marijuana is derived from the same plant, there are a few differences between the two in terms of legality, product options, and the buying experience—a user’s reason for consumption being the most notable.

On a federal level, all marijuana is illegal. However, some states permit marijuana use for medical and recreational use.

People who use marijuana for medicinal reasons depend on the plant’s therapeutic properties to help aid an ailment, whereas recreational users smoke or ingest cannabis for their enjoyment.

Those who purchase medicinal marijuana are required to have a state-issued medical marijuana card through the Medicinal Marijuana Program. This card allows registered users to buy medical cannabis at any licensed dispensary in their area, per their doctor’s recommendations.

As of September 2021, 18 states have legalized the use of recreational cannabis. Any adult who is age 21 or older can purchase recreational cannabis in these states. States that have legalized recreational marijuana allow users to visit dispensaries and purchase limited amounts of cannabis.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on medical marijuana.

How does using marijuana affect your auto, life, and health insurance coverage?

Below, we’ve listed some of the most common questions and their answers regarding medical marijuana use and insurance.

Does health insurance cover medical marijuana?

No, health insurance doesn’t cover medical marijuana. This includes employer health insurance, individual and private plans, and family plans. Some health insurance plans cover other FDA-approved drugs containing synthetic cannabis, including Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone).

One of the main reasons health insurance doesn’t cover medicinal cannabis is because federal law still classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug. Other examples of Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and peyote.

Does using medical marijuana affect health insurance?

Using medical marijuana shouldn’t affect your health insurance. According to, health insurance companies use five factors to determine a person’s rate: age, location, tobacco use, and individual vs. family enrollment.

Does using medical marijuana affect auto insurance?

Using medical marijuana shouldn’t affect your auto insurance. However, if you have a DUI or similar offense on your record, you may be charged a higher premium. In North Carolina, for example, those with a DUI can expect their rate to triple.

Is it illegal to drive while under the influence of medical marijuana?

Yes, it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, period. The penalty varies from state to state. In Washington State, a first-offense marijuana DUI could get you:

● Anywhere between one and 364 days in jail

● Up to $5,000 in fines (plus court fees and expenses)

● License suspension

● A mandatory alcohol and drug abuse course

Understanding the drugged driving laws in your state could help you avoid a DUI charge.

Does using medical marijuana affect life insurance rates?

Using medical marijuana could affect your life insurance rate, depending on your age, gender, and amount of coverage requested. If you’re using medical marijuana to treat or ease a severe medical condition (such as symptom relief related to chemotherapy), it may be difficult to secure a fairly priced policy.

In addition to asking about pre-existing health conditions, a life insurance provider may also ask how frequently you consume cannabis. If you smoke marijuana regularly, you may fall into the “smoker” classification, which typically has higher rates.

However, if you have an existing policy and you decide to give cannabis a try, you’re good to go. According to MarketWatch, once your rates are set, the insurer can’t come back and change them.

Do life insurance companies test for marijuana?

When you apply for life insurance, the company will most likely ask you to take a medical exam. During this exam, you’ll be asked to perform a drug test.

Most insurers test for the following drugs:

● Cocaine

● Marijuana

● Nicotine

● Barbituates

● Methadone

● Opiates

● Amphetamine / methamphetamine

● Phencyclidine (PCP)

Ultimately, if you’re considering using cannabis—whether recreationally or for medical purposes—it’s essential to understand the laws associated with it in your state and to enjoy it safely.

CANNABIS WEEKLY is presented by Elevate Holistics, a full staff of healthcare professionals that take you from CBD to THC, including pharmaceutical interactions, and treatment plans. By using HIPAA-compliant medical marijuana processes and board-certified cannabis physicians, you can get your MMJ card right from the comfort of home. 


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