SSQ Insurance, a Canadian insurance firm, has announced plans to cover medical cannabis expenses from 1 January 2019.
In order to get coverage for medical cannabis, users need to get prior authorisation from SSQ.
The new offering will cover chronic neuropathic pain, pain associated with cancer, spasticity secondary to multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury. Coverage also includes issues with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
However, users will be offered cannabis coverage only after the failure of standard pharmacological treatments.
At the same time, the coverage will be given only if medical cannabis is prescribed by an authorised physician or nurse and bought from a Health Canada-authorised vendor.
The insurer will also monitor legislative and clinical changes in the cannabis space. As a result, it will adjust the aforesaid eligibility conditions if relevant.
SSQ senior vice-president of strategies and product management Éric Trudel said: “This coverage, in compliance with federal law on medical marijuana use, is for those for whom traditional prescription drugs have been deemed ineffective.”
SSQ, established in 1944, focuses on the individual life and health insurance, general insurance and the investment industry. The business oversees $12bn in assets and has a workforce of more than 2,000.