On April 12, 2017, the New York State Department of Financial Services announced that it has reminded state-authorized health insurers that they must provide coverage for office visits that fall under the insured’s policy of covered services, including those resulting in patients receiving medical marijuana certifications, as long as those visits aren’t solely for the purpose of getting medical marijuana certifications.
The reminder applies to all accident and health insurers authorized in New York State, including municipal cooperative health benefit plans, student health plans and health maintenance organizations.
According to a letter issued by Lisette Johnson, chief of the Health Bureau, “If office visits are covered under the insurance policy or contract, and the insured receives services during an office visit that are covered under the insurance policy or contract, the issuer may not deny coverage for the office visit solely on the basis that the visit also resulted in the insured receiving a medical marijuana certification. The Insurance Law, however, does not require coverage for office visits solely to obtain a medical marijuana certification.”
DFS was prompted to issue this clarification on medical marijuana certifications after having received inquiries from insurers in New York.