The Impact of Marijuana Legalization on Health and Life Insurance

Life insurance in Edmonton Alberta

The legalization of recreational marijuana use in Canada is here, and will have an impact on all types of policies offered by Edmonton insurance companies. HDF insurance has previously written about marijuana legalization and car insurance. Now, we’d like to take a look at how marijuana is expected to impact health insurance and life insurance in Edmonton as well.

Medical Marijuana and Health Insurance

Some large companies, including Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw, have been including medical marijuana coverage for specific conditions in employee benefit packages since last year. Other large firms have also indicated that they will begin offering coverage for medical marijuana, especially in situations where it may be an effective alternative to highly addictive opioid medications.

Decisions on whether or not to cover medical marijuana under an Edmonton health insurance policy is up to individual insurance companies. However, Canadian law already allows patients to use employer-financed health care spending accounts on medical marijuana. As public stigma about marijuana use and specifically about marijuana use for medical conditions dissipates, it is likely that more doctors will be prescribing it and more insurance companies will be covering it.

Life Insurance for Marijuana Vs. Cigarette Smokers

Because of the well-documented negative health effects of tobacco smoke, cigarette smokers can pay up to three times as much as non-smokers for their life insurance premiums. However, medical researchers and insurance companies generally do not associate the same risk with marijuana smoking as they do with tobacco smoking. The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association has recommended that Canadians who only smoke up to two marijuana joints a week should not pay more for their life insurance premiums than non-smokers.

Insurance companies that follow this recommendation will then effectively class occasional marijuana users as “non-smokers.” This means that, when you apply for life insurance in Edmonton, you might now be asked about your frequency of marijuana use. If you do use marijuana but only do so occasionally, then you will likely not be seen as a high insurance risk.

How New Research May Change the Insurance Landscape

To date, the ban on marijuana has significantly hindered research into its use. Legalization will open the door to a new era of study. Both government and industry will now be able to finance research on marijuana, which in turn will inform the types of policies offered by insurance companies in Edmonton. The next few years are likely to bring new information and new insurance practices regarding the plant, as well as any extracts and pharmaceutical drugs derived from it.

Find Out More About the Impact of Legalization on Your Insurance Premiums

HDF Insurance is an Edmonton insurance brokerage that is committed to offering the best insurance solutions for your needs. If you have any questions about how medical marijuana or recreational marijuana use might impact your health insurance or life insurance premiums, then one of our experienced brokers can provide you with all of the information you need.

For health and life insurance quotes in Edmonton, don’t hesitate to contact HDF Insurance today.