Australian private health insurer inks deal to expand cannabis coverage

Perth, Australia-based Little Green Pharma and national private health insurer Health Insurance Fund of Australia inked a strategic partnership that will expand access to medical cannabis.

The partnership also encompasses research into medical cannabis, the companies announced this week.

Expanded insurance coverage is seen as key to improving affordability and growing the number of accessible patients for businesses in the regulated market.

Australia added 5,972 medical cannabis approvals in October, bringing the total number of approvals this year to over 45,000.

“This is certainly a watershed moment,” industry consultant Rhys Cohen told Marijuana Business Daily.

“An insurance company has finally figured out they can attract more customers by advertising their cannabis coverage.”

The Health Insurance Fund (HIF) will offer rebates for Little Green Pharma’s medical cannabis products up to 105 Australian dollars ($76) per prescription.

The deal “represents the first time a major Australian health fund has publicly declared its support for access to medicinal cannabis treatments,” the insurance company noted in a news release.

The CEO of the HIF said the company is the first Australian health fund to publicly declare its support for medical cannabis treatments and provide members with rebates.

Shares of Little Green Pharma, headquartered in western Australia, are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange as LGP.