New Law Clarifies MMJ Insurance Requirements
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New Law Clarifies MMJ Insurance Requirements
Posted by CN Staff on April 07, 2015 at 13:43:54 PT
By Ryan Van Velzer, Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Phoenix -- Workers' compensation carriers and self-insurers will not be required to pay for a patient's medical marijuana under a new bill Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law Monday.The state's more than 63,000 holders of medical marijuana cards will still be allowed to purchase their own cannabis, but the law removes the requirement that workers' compensation carriers and self-insurers reimburse patients for medical marijuana.
The law is similar to protections already in place for federal and private insurers under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.Marijuana advocates say the bill limits access, which they say is a healthier alternative to opioid-based painkillers such as hydrocodone. Supporters say there are technical issues that would make it difficult to reimburse patients for medicinal marijuana.The Arizona Self-Insurers Association said it initially interpreted the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act to include workers' compensation carriers and self-insurers, but it became concerned after a court of appeals upheld a lawsuit in New Mexico. Last year the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld a decision by a workers' compensation judge that required an automotive repair shop in Santa Fe and its insurance company to reimburse a medical marijuana patient for the costs of marijuana to treat his chronic back pain."We believe this is consistent with the (medical marijuana) act as no other payer in the state, whether it's commercial insurance or Medicaid, no other payer in the state currently has to pay for medical marijuana," said Jeff Gray, a representative for the self-insurers association.Arizona insurance companies are also concerned about how to reimburse patients, Gray said. For example, Gray said it would be difficult for insurers to follow dosage standards because the levels of THC, the active ingredient of cannabis, vary widely."The drug paraphernalia that is used to smoke it in some cases could be used as herbal medical equipment as well, so there are some issues around that," Gray said.Medical marijuana advocates say it's unfair that insurers would cover opioid-based pain relievers but not cannabis."The jig is up. We know that cannabis is safe and effective," said Dave Wisniewski, chairman of SAFER Arizona, a cannabis legalization political action committee. "What you are saying is you'd rather do the alternative, which is to give them harmful pills that are damaging to their health."Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Ryan Van Velzer, Associated Press Published: April 7, 2015Copyright: 2015 The Associated PressCannabisNews  Medical Marijuana  Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on April 08, 2015 at 17:24:35 PT:
the truth will set them free!
"Supporters (of that SICK bill) say there are technical issues that would make it difficult to reimburse patients for medicinal marijuana"Oh, what a load of bull! Who the hell do they think that they're fooling? The REAL reason is that these are Prohibitionist lowlifes who are against Marijuana.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on April 07, 2015 at 16:11:49 PT
No shortage of crappy people.
When Wearing Shorts Was Taboo article exposes the fact that there are severely ignorant creeps in the world who somehow gain the power to force humans around them to live a certain way.Those same types of people are some of the ones responsible for cannabis prohibition and attempting it's extermination.When they can not stop people from wearing shorts, what are they going to do next?Keep repulsive people away from harming society.
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