If a doctor in New York state gives a patient a checkup that normally would be covered and also gives the patient certification to use medical marijuana, the patient’s health plan has to pay for the checkup.

The health plan cannot deny reimbursement for the checkup, or for other necessary covered services, simply because the patient also received certification to use medical marijuana.

— (Related on ThinkAdvisor: Coming in 2017: More pot-smoking life insurance policyholders)

Lisette Johnson, the chief of the New York department’s health bureau, gave the state’s health insurers that advice today in a new circular letter.

New York state health insurers need not cover marijuana, medical marijuana certification, or office visits made solely for the sake of medical marijuana certification, Johnson writes in the letter.

If, however, “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,” Johnson writes. 

— Read Life insurance: You can lose out just being associated with pot on ThinkAdvisor.