• Haines Media

Private health insurer offers rebates for medicinal cannabis

Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) has become the first private health insurer to offer their members rebates on medicinal cannabis treatments. HIF will pay rebates for medicinal cannabis across all but one of its Extras policies. Eligible members will receive up to $105 back per script.

HIF is working in partnership with medicinal cannabis manufacturer Little Green Pharma (LGP). LGP is based in Western Australia and produces strictly-tested CBD and THC-dominant medical cannabis oil products, available to patients through doctor prescription.

Cannabis products are not currently listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Therefore, these products are expensive. Some patients in Australia are spending $600 a month for medicinal cannabis. The high price leads people to self-medicate with recreational cannabis (which is generally illegal in Australia), or to purchase online, often importing the product from the US, which is also illegal. The HIF rebate will go some of the way to making medicinal cannabis a more affordable treatment option for HIF members. This development reflects the rapid expansion of medicinal cannabis use in Australia and its potential impact on workplaces.

There are some important points to note regarding medicinal cannabis in the workplace:

· If a worker has a prescription for medicinal cannabis then this needs to be declared like any other prescription medication.

· If medicinal cannabis is being used by a worker, it is still an impairing drug and the worker should not be at work under the influence.

· Even if a legal and valid prescription is held for medicinal cannabis treatments, it is still illegal to drive a vehicle in most states.

If you would like to know more about managing medicinal cannabis at your workplace, contact DASA - info@dasa.net.au