This fall, Manulife Insurance and Shoppers Drug Mart are launching a new health benefits plan in Canada, which will include coverage for medical marijuana.
The new benefits program will be available to both companies and individuals in Canada, who are members of Manulife. The plan will provide full coverage to patients who have been approved for medical cannabis by a doctor. The plan will also pair plan members with trained Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists to select the strain that best suits their needs.
According to Manulife's SVP of group benefits, “Manulife’s medical marijuana program will ensure people have appropriate advice, make informed decisions and receive the support they need to choose the appropriate strain for their condition."
"This program will allow the patient to have a fully coordinated care approach. I think this will provide a great deal of comfort to patients and employers," says the SVP.
The benefits plan is also an opportunity for Shoppers Drug Mart to start making a name for itself as the marijuana retailer of choice for Canadians, ahead of legalization in October.
“Shoppers Drug Mart’s trusted health-care professionals can provide patients with greater attention and support to navigate the complexities of medical cannabis therapies," says Shoppers Drug Mart's VP of employer health solutions.
Shoppers' team of cannabis-trained pharmacists will work closely with plan members to select strains and dosages based on their particular needs and coordinate home deliveries. They'll also help plan members navigate their medical marijuana treatment through regular check-ins, ongoing counselling, as well as support over the phone and by email.
It's unclear how many companies in Canada have expressed interest in Manulife's medical marijuana benefits plan. But, with legalization looming ahead, we wouldn't be surprised if it took off.