Cannabidiol oil (CBD) comes naturally from extracted hemp plants and then is diluted with a type of oil, such as hemp seed or coconut oil. CBD is one of the 100 plus chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant. CBD has been found to provide an immense amount of natural benefits for the human mind and body. According to a 2019 Gallup Poll, 1 in 7 U.S. adults use CBD products.
CBD has slowly been legalized across the nation, but it’s not legal in all 50 states. Since CBD is legal in many states, many Medicare beneficiaries question if Medicare will pay for CBD treatment if approved by a doctor. Let’s first uncover Medicare’s coverage.
What Medicare covers
Medicare will cover any service deemed “medically necessary” by a physician. Medically necessary is defined as health care services or supplies needed to diagnose or treat an injury, condition, illness, disease, or its symptoms that meet the standards of medicine. There are two parts of Medicare that services fall under, which are Part A and Part B.
Part A provides coverage for you when you are an inpatient inside the hospital, such as a semi-private room, three meals, and medications administered inside the hospital. Part A also covers post-hospital services, such as skilled nursing and hospice.
Medicare Part B covers the Medicare-approved services you receive at an outpatient facility. For example, Part B covers doctor’s visits, ambulance rides, durable medical equipment, and more.
Benefits of CBD
There are many changes that happen to the mind and body when you age. You begin to wake up with back pain, or you can start to experience anxiety and depression. CBD oil provides many benefits, and although CBD is not meant for everyone, many find CBD treatment to be effective.
CBD treatment can help you sleep better, relieve muscle pain, treat PTSD, help prevent diabetes, reduce acne, relieve anxiety, relax muscles, and help assist with substance abuse.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seven million senior citizens experience depression every year. Many physicians recommend CBD treatment to help with severe depression. CBD oil promotes a more positive effect on the brain’s serotonin receptors and can help modify your brain’s chemical receptors in a more natural way.
Many seniors are recommended to check out CBD oil to help treat underlying health conditions, but it is good to note that the FDA does not approve CBD treatment.
Medicare and CBD
Since CBD treatment is not legalized at the federal level, Medicare does not offer coverage for CBD treatment at this time. CBD oil is labeled as a Schedule 1 drug by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) since it contains THC, which is labeled as a narcotic. Other drugs such as marijuana, LSD, and heroin are also considered a Schedule 1 drug and have a high abuse risk rate.
Since CBD oil is not federally legal, Medicare will not cover it since it is against the law. Therefore, if you visit a medical dispensary in another state and purchase CBD oil, you will pay 100% of the cost out-of-pocket.
When will Medicare cover CBD?
If the FDA approved CBD oil, then there is a chance Medicare may cover CBD treatment in the future. CBD oil would have to go through a vast amount of testing to get it FDA approved, and it would not be a quick and easy process.
If CBD never gets approved by the FDA, Medicare nor other private insurance carriers will cover the cost of the drug. However, CBD is still readily available across the nation in medical dispensaries, smoke shops, and even supermarkets. Just keep in mind you will be responsible for the total cost until Medicare covers CBD treatment.
Medicare covers many inpatient and outpatient services. But, Medicare cannot cover CBD treatment until it has the stamp of approval by the FDA. For more information on Medicare’s coverage, visit Medicare.gov.