Marijuana is becoming an increasingly popular option for treating pain, particularly as concerns about the opioid crisis escalate. However, some employers and workers’ compensation insurance providers refused to pay for the cost of medical marijuana as part of a workers’ compensation claim.
The Commonwealth Court ruled that workers’ compensation must cover the cost of medical marijuana when a doctor prescribes it to treat injuries suffered on the job.
Basis for the court’s decision
The Medical Marijuana Law in Pennsylvania does not require insurance companies to pay for medical marijuana. However, the law also says that no one can deny patients their right to use medical marijuana lawfully.
The judges determined that the General Assembly intended residents of the state to be able to utilize marijuana therapy for intractable pain and that the law does not limit claimants from receiving their statutory rights. The judges further reasoned that employers paying for medical marijuana does not break federal law because it reimburses employees for medical costs.
Arguments against requiring coverage for medical marijuana
One of the judges wrote a dissenting opinion stating that the laws of the state that ban requiring insurance companies to pay should be the deciding factor. The judge also noted that the legislature did not require insurers to pay because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved using marijuana to treat any medical condition.
If an insurance company denied your workers’ compensation claim for medical marijuana, contact a workers’ compensation specialist for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can help you. Call 610-601-5399 or reach us online.