Bill Text: NJ A1708 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Requires workers' compensation, PIP, and health insurance coverage for the medical use of cannabis under certain circumstances.**

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-10-26 - Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading [A1708 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A1708-Amended.html

[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 1708

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN J. BURZICHELLI

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

Assemblyman  HERB CONAWAY, JR.

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblywoman  JOANN DOWNEY

District 11 (Monmouth)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires workers' compensation and PIP coverage for medical use of cannabis under certain circumstances.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee on February 13, 2020, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning 1the1 medical 1[marijuana] use of cannabis1 and insurance coverage, amending P.L.2009, c.307, and supplementing various parts of the statutory law.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1[1.  Section 16 of P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-14) is amended to read as follows:

     16.     a.  Nothing in this act shall be construed to require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana, or an employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace.

     b.    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, an employer or workers' compensation insurance carrier or private passenger automobile insurance carrier shall provide coverage for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana pursuant to P.L.     , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf: P.L.2009, c.307, s.16)]1

 

     11.   Section 16 of P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-14) is amended to read as follows:

     16.  a.  Nothing in P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-1 et al.) or P.L.2015, c.158 (C.18A:40-12.22 et al.) shall be construed to require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis, or to restrict or otherwise affect the distribution, sale, prescribing, and dispensing of any product that has been approved for marketing as a prescription drug or device by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

     b.    Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, an employer or workers' compensation insurance carrier or private passenger automobile insurance carrier shall provide coverage for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis pursuant to P.L.     , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) except that an employer or carrier shall not be required to provide coverage for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis upon intervention by the federal government to enforce the "Controlled Substances Act" (21 U.S.C. s.802 et seq.).1

(cf: P.L.2019, c.153, s.22)

 

     2.    (New section)  The Legislature finds and declares that scientific data indicate that medical 1[marijuana] cannabis1 has significant medical value when used in the treatment of certain injuries and diseases, including pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.  1[Marijuana] Cannabis1 also has potential therapeutic value from effects such as anxiety reduction, sedation, and euphoria.  Scientific studies have found that 1[marijuana] cannabis1 is effective in relieving some of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis.  Other studies have suggested that medical 1[marijuana] cannabis1 legalization may lead to decreased prescription opioid abuse.

     Although medical 1[marijuana] cannabis1 has many useful therapeutic benefits, its use is limited because its costs are not covered by insurance.  By requiring coverage for medical 1[marijuana] cannabis1 under workers' compensation and private passenger automobile insurance, access to these benefits will be expanded.  Additionally, medical 1[marijuana] cannabis1 may lower costs for insurers by providing a more economical alternative to more expensive and risky drugs such as opioids.

 

     3.    (New section)  1a.1  Personal injury protection benefits provided pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-4) or section 4 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.39:6A-3.1) shall include coverage for costs associated with the medical use of 1[marijuana] cannabis1 provided that 1[:

     a.     The] the1 insured is a qualifying patient authorized for the medical use of 1[marijuana] cannabis1 pursuant to P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-1 et al) 1[; and] .1

     b.    1[At least one other medication or treatment has been attempted and found to be unsuccessful in treating the patient's debilitating medical condition.]

      A private passenger automobile insurer shall not be required to provide coverage for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis upon intervention by the federal government to enforce the "Controlled Substances Act" (21 U.S.C. s.802 et seq.).

     c.     Notwithstanding any provision of the insurance policy to the contrary, if for any reason payment by the insurer to the medical cannabis dispensary is not feasible, the insurer shall remit directly to the insured the costs for any benefits associated with the medical use of cannabis upon proof of payment by the insured to the medical cannabis dispensary.1

 

     4.    (New section)  1a.1  Workers' compensation benefits paid by any employer or a workers' compensation insurance carrier of an employer for an injury to an employee under R.S.34:15-1 et seq. shall include coverage for costs associated with the medical use of 1[marijuana] cannabis1 provided that 1[:

     a.     The] the1 employee is a qualifying patient authorized for the medical use of 1[marijuana] cannabis1 pursuant to P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-1 et al) 1[; and] .1

     b.    1[At least one other medication or treatment has been attempted and found to be unsuccessful in treating the patient's debilitating medical condition.]

     An employer or workers' compensation insurance carrier shall not be required to provide coverage for costs associated with the medical use of cannabis upon intervention by the federal government to enforce the "Controlled Substances Act" (21 U.S.C. s.802 et seq.).

     c.     Notwithstanding any provision of the employer's plan or insurance policy to the contrary, if for any reason payment by the employer or carrier to the medical cannabis dispensary is not feasible, the employer or carrier shall remit directly to the employee the costs for any benefits associated with the medical use of cannabis upon proof of payment by the employee to the medical cannabis dispensary.1

 

     5.    This act shall take effect on the 90th day next following enactment.

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