As the national legalization of adult-use cannabis approaches in Canada, and both people and institutions begin to understand that cannabis is truly benefiting people with medical conditions, even the strictest of industries are coming around. Sun Life Assurances Co. is a massive institution that deals as much in traditional financial services as it does the insurance world here in the U.S., up in Canada, over in the U.K. and also in Asia. The company dates all the way back to 1865 and is now offering coverage to medical marijuana patients up in Canada.
Up to $6,000 worth of medical marijuana can potentially be covered each year under Sun Life’s new offering. Germany is offering national healthcare to cover their medical marijuana patients, but here in the United States the idea of insurance covering medical marijuana patients is not even being considered.
“Sun Life’s approach reflects current evidence-based clinical knowledge regarding the medical use of cannabis,” Sun Life said in a release on Thursday.
“As this has become something our clients—being the individual companies known as plan sponsors—have been asking us about more and more, we have moved from the stage of evaluate and review, to now offering it as a benefit for medicinal purposes,” Dave Jones, senior vice-president of group benefits at Sun Life, told the Globe and Mail.
The yearly maximums for those who will be covered through Sun Life for medical cannabis range from $1,500 to $6,000 per person per year. Medical cannabis will be an optional coverage through Sun Life, which insures more than 22,000 companies in Canada. Sun Life currently lists the following conditions and symptoms as being eligible for coverage: cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, and for patients in palliative care. There will be a prior approval process for those seeking coverage.
News about a massive insurance company’s willingness to cover the costs of marijuana should be grabbing the attention of business people around the world. Insurance companies are in the business of trying to eliminate as much risk as possible, which must mean that cannabis does not seem that risky to Sun Life.