With medical marijuana now legal in Minnesota, you may wonder whether you can receive it as part of your workers’ compensation medical benefits for a workplace injury. This is a tricky question, and the answer might change based on the insurance company involved, the injury you have, and more.
Can You Receive a Medical Marijuana Prescription for Any Workplace Injury?
No, you probably cannot receive a medical marijuana prescription for any kind of work injury. Minnesota law limits who can be prescribed medical marijuana. You must be diagnosed by a doctor with a condition on a specific list from the medical marijuana laws, including:
- Cancer or terminal illness with chronic pain, nausea, or wasting
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
- Crohn’s disease
If you do not have one of these qualifying conditions, then it is very unlikely that you will receive a medical cannabis subscription or have your medication paid for by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
If You Do Have a Qualifying Condition, Will the Insurer Pay for Your Meds?
Even if you do have a qualifying condition that arose from a workplace injury, you might struggle to receive workers’ compensation medical benefits that pay for the costs of medical marijuana. For one, insurance companies are aware that cannabis is still not legal under federal law and will likely be hesitant to pay for patients to use it.
Moreover, insurance companies may argue that medical marijuana is not necessary or a reasonable treatment of your condition. As an extension of that argument, they may say that your injury did not happen at work or is not as bad as you claim. The insurance company will urge you to pursue other kinds of treatment instead or say that you can pay for the medical marijuana out of pocket.
In sum, you probably have a tough fight if you want your workers’ compensation benefits to pay for medical marijuana. A workers’ compensation lawyer may help you out. It is also a good idea to speak to your treating doctor about the necessity for your prescription. Your doctor may be willing to prepare a detailed report explaining your need for the medical marijuana. The same is true for other treatments or medications that the workers’ comp insurance company may not want to cover.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.