Will Your Benefits Cover Medical Cannabis?
Medical Cannabis is a controversial and complicated subject in the Canadian healthcare industry. Ongoing legislation is constantly changing the medical landscape of prescribed Medical Cannabis. If you or someone in your family has been prescribed Medical Cannabis in Canada you’re probably unsure whether or not the prescription can be covered by your health plan. As of this moment a Medical Cannabis prescription is not covered in a basic benefits health plan, however, due to the August 24, 2015 CRA rulings it qualifies as a medical expense. Meaning patients can use their Healthcare Spending Accounts (HCSA) to cover the cost because it now qualifies as a legitimate medical expense under CRA guidelines.
What Is a Healthcare Spending Account?
A Healthcare Spending Account is a pre-determined amount of money provided to employees at the beginning of each benefit year by their employers for the coverage of their medical and dental expenses. Healthcare Spending Accounts (commonly referred to as HCSA) are an increasingly popular alternative to conventional group health and dental plans. Claims made on a HCSA are submitted by employees and reimbursed similarly to a conventional benefits plan.
If You Do Not Have an HCSA
You can still submit your Medical Cannabis expenses on your Canadian income tax return under the allowable medical expenses section, which could result in an income tax credit. You must have a prescription for medical marijuana from a physician, and purchase cannabis from a licensed producer. Just be sure to have all your receipts included.
Sample of Information Required for HCSA Claim
Enclosed please find my Healthcare Expenses Statement With Healthcare Spending Account. Per my discussion with one of your HCSA representatives over the phone, I am also enclosing:
• The form from your website;
• A copy of my prescription from Dr. ____
• A copy of my patient registration card from my Licensed Producer, ______,
which contains my patient identification number;
• A summary of my orders for reimbursement, including volume and payment amounts
• Original receipts for my orders that are emailed to me upon consummation of any orders.