Despite a growing push for legalization at both the state and federal levels, the nation remains divided on marijuana use. The mixed opinions are reflected in how insurers classify pot.
As we reported in this space last year, many health insurers continue to deny coverage for use of the drug for medical reasons. The reason: Marijuana is still classified as a “Schedule 1 controlled substance” under Federal drug laws.
The lack of consensus, we now learn, extends also to life insurers. According to a new survey, a sizable minority (29 percent) of the companies with an underwriting policy in place for marijuana users classify those individuals as non-smokers.
Conducted by Munich American Reassurance Company at the Association of Home Office Underwriters (AHOU) 14th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., held April 26-29, the survey polled 148 underwriter attendees, primarily from life insurance companies.
Of the life insurance companies represented, one in five do not have an official underwriting policy for marijuana users. For those respondents whose companies have not yet implemented a policy, 42 percent expect their respective employer to do so within 12-36 months. Also, 29 percent believe that less than 12 months will be needed to develop such a policy, whereas 26 percent peg the time frame at more than 36 months.