A groundbreaking study has revealed a notable reduction in individual health insurance premiums in states that have given the green light to medical cannabis. Underlying data shows that legalised medicinal cannabis has cascading financial benefits for both users and non-users of cannabis.
- States that legalized medical cannabis saw a significant decrease in individual healthcare insurance premiums.
- Legalizing medical cannabis nationwide could yield overall health insurance savings surpassing $16.8 billion in the individual market.
- States with legalized medical cannabis have Medicare and Medicaid costs deflated.
Led by teams from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University and Illinois State University, researchers poured over the ramifications of medical cannabis legalization laws on health insurance premiums in various states. They meticulously examined 11 years’ worth of data spanning from 2010 – 2021, comparing premium costs in both pro and anti-legalisation states.
Their research, unveiled in the International Journal of Drug Policy, shows a significant decline in premiums in states where medical cannabis is lawful compared to where it continues to be outlawed.
Seven years post the introduction of medical cannabis laws, the researchers noticed a ‘statistically significant’ decline of $1662.7 in insurance premiums. This contrasted with a reduction of $1541.8 in the eighth year and $1625.8 in the ninth year for a control group devoid of legal access to medical cannabis.
Debunking Initial Concerns
The exhaustive study refuted beliefs that the legalization of medical cannabis would inflate medical costs and subsequently, health insurance premiums. They assert, “Initial concerns about medical cannabis legalisation leading to increases in medical care costs, which would be reflected in higher insurance premiums, appear to be unfounded.”
Remarkably, the drop in premiums due to the collective nature of insurance benefits both medical cannabis consumers and non-consumers in legalised states. Considering soaring healthcare expenses and health insurance premiums outpacing inflation in the United States, this relief is vital for households’ budgets.
Potential Nationwide Impact
And they didn’t stop there. The authors speculate that if the entire United States legalised medical cannabis, it could translate to enormous healthcare insurance savings reaching over $16.8 billion in the individual market.
Building on Former Research
The study’s results oddly echo those from a 2017 study, which linked medical cannabis access to a decrease in Medicaid costs. Affirming, the University of Georgia estimated that national legalisation would shrink Medicaid costs by over $1 billion. Another 2016 survey associated medical cannabis accessibility with dramatically reduced spending on Medicare Part D approved prescription drugs.
What BRITISH CANNABIS™ has to say
The era of medical cannabis is undoubtedly upon us. Its legalisation is more than just enabling access to alternative healthcare; it also signifies substantial economic benefits, as substantiated by this riveting study. As these empirical findings make waves, they shed more light on the potential for medical cannabis not only as healthcare but also as a catalyst for economic relief.
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