Marijuana creates some uncertainty in the health insurance space

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Some insurers may opt to raise rates for marijuana users in the future

Medical Marijuana health Insurance IndustrySome companies in the insurance industry are still unsure how to approach the issue of legal marijuana. In Colorado and Washington, where the use of recreational marijuana is legal, the issue has not yet had any impact on health insurance premiums. This may not be the case for long, however, as insurers begin to examine whether or not smoking marijuana can be considered to be within the same category as smoking tobacco, in terms of risk.

Despite benefits of marijuana, inhaling smoke can cause damage to the body

Some insurance companies have no plans to adjust premiums based on a person’s use of marijuana. Many of these companies do adjust rates based on whether or not a person smokes tobacco, however. Marijuana has been proven to have various health benefits, especially for those fighting cancer, but inhaling smoke of any kind can cause damage to the body. Typical cigarettes are filled with chemicals that amplify this damage, while marijuana products do not have any such chemicals, making them somewhat safer than their tobacco counterparts.

State has no plans to remove marijuana as an “illegal substance” from uniform insurance applications

The Colorado Uniform Application for Small Group Health Plans is used by most insurance providers in the state. The application asks questions regarding a person’s drug use and chemical dependency. These questions are meant to accurately gauge the risk of a potential policyholder and determine how much their coverage will cost. The Colorado Division of Insurance currently has no plans to change the application to note that marijuana is no longer considered an illegal substance and this allows insurance companies to charge more for the coverage they provide to marijuana users.

State law allows insurers to base rates on marijuana use

Though many insurers have not yet opted to raise rates for marijuana users, it could only be a matter of time before this becomes commonplace in the health insurance sector. State regulators note that insurers have not yet sought approval for rate increases concerning the matter, but state law does allow insurance companies to base their rates on whether or not someone uses marijuana.

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