Allison Harris – April 2021
Over the last several years, cannabis has become more commonly prescribed medically as a means to help combat pain, in particular chronic pain. If you have been prescribed medical cannabis for an injury, then you may be wondering what options there to pay for this potentially expensive medication. Coverage for no-fault medical benefits(Section B) are available to all who are injured as a result of a car accident. Section B benefits are available to everyone injured in a vehicle collision, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. But, does this coverage extend to medical cannabis?
Section B provides coverage for all reasonable medical and rehabilitation expenses incurred as a result of the injury within four years of the accident date up to a total of $50,000 per person. This includes coverage for necessary medical, surgical, dental, chiropractic, hospital, professional nursing and ambulance service, as well as:
• Any other service insured under the Health Service and Insurance Act; and
• Any other services and supplies, which are, in the opinion of the injured person’s doctor and that of the insurer’s medical advisor (physician – not adjuster), essential for the treatment, occupational retraining or rehabilitation of the injured person, to the $50,000 limit. This can include medications, physiotherapy, massage therapy, travel expenses to attend treatment, hospital telephone rental, additions to the home of the parents of a quadriplegic, etc.
In situations where your family doctor or specialist has prescribed medical cannabis as a result of your accident, our Halifax lawyers can often work with the Section B insurer to request insurance funding to pay for your cannabis.
There are 3 things to keep in mind when seeking coverage for medical cannabis:
1. You must have a prescription from a physician/specialist and your prescription must be necessary and essential as a result of your accident injuries. Your doctor or specialist should monitor your treatment and response. There are medical cannabis clinics available that can assist with questions regarding dosing, strains, forms, etc. For example, Harvest Medicine (https://hmed.ca/contact-us/);
2. You should purchase your product from a licensed medical producer (not the local NSLC); and
3. If you have private health coverage, this must be accessed first. Some medical plans will cover some forms of medical cannabis and so you should look into this first.
If you have any questions about whether the cost of your accident related medical cannabis prescription might be covered under Section B, then please call one of Halifax lawyers for a free consultation.