The Co-operators Life Insurance Co. is introducing optional medical cannabis coverage for its largest group plan sponsors.

While the coverage can be added as an optional provision under an extended health-care plan, it requires prior authorization and is subject to an annual maximum.

The insurer will consider cannabis an eligible expense under a health-care spending account, as long as the plan member has met all the guidelines set out by Health Canada. It stipulates that, since medical cannabis doesn’t have a drug identification number, it isn’t eligible for coverage under a prescription drug plan.

However, the Co-operators will consider coverage for conditions where cannabis has been proven effective, such as chronic pain, nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy and muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis.

The Co-operators joins a growing list of insurers now providing options for group medical cannabis coverage, including SSQ Life Insurance Co. Inc. and Medavie Blue Cross.

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