I work in a fairly large company in USA. I have health issues and have been visiting doctors often until a physician gave his diagnostic as chronic pain and recommended medical marijuana as a treatment.

The issues never prevented me from doing my job or any job in the past and I believe will not in future. My employer provides 100% of my health insurance and there is no periodic tests by my employer whatsoever. I am worried about possible increase in the insurance rate and if/when my employer will have to pay extra fees if I apply.

Will that happen? Will it ever appear in the records that I am under some medical treatment? If yes, even if I never used the insurance for paying the treatment fees?

2 Answers 2


I am not a lawyer, but health records in the US are covered by HIPAA privacy laws. Your employer does not have a right to see them.

It's also my understanding that group medical insurance policies offered by an employer are not allowed to increase individual premiums in the way you describe. Every employee has to receive the same rate for the same plan.

  • 2
    The same rate paid by the employee yes. Since the company here is paying 100% of premiums that isn't a concern. I believe OP is asking if an uptick in costs to the ins. company will be a red flag. As in they are billed $$$ from Dr. Fred's Medical MJ Clinic. Will the ins. co. somehow alert the employer about the increased costs, protest them, etc. Feb 25, 2018 at 19:46
  • Again, while not being a lawyer, I don't think that kind of practice is legal. Next enrollment period they could raise everybody's premiums the same amount (within the legal limits), but would be forbidden from identifying any individual's costs. Feb 26, 2018 at 2:47
  • @CTChapman - HIPPA laws prevent what you describe from happening.
    – Donald
    Feb 26, 2018 at 16:27
  • @Ramhound, agreed my initial comment above was meant to differentiate between what I took the thread's OP's question to be and the question I thought this reply was attempting to answer. I'm not a lawyer but yes my understanding of HIPAA laws meshes with yours on this point. Feb 26, 2018 at 16:39

This isn't as cut and dry as if you were getting pain treatment with a manner recognized by Federal law. Your health insurance company may not recognize MMJ and they may not pay any fees associated with that form of treatment. Be prepared for that. You should probably read your insurance paperwork and contact the insurance company directly if you have any questions.

Another thing to consider is health insurance companies usually (from what I have seen with friends and family) do not cover the cost of MMJ either. So even if they do cover the admin costs of joining your state's MMJ program it is highly unlikely they will be providing you with cash to buy it. For people used to 100% health costs being paid, this can be a bit of a rude shock. Maybe you can be reimbursed? But I haven't ever heard of that happening.

Some states allow you to grow your own MMJ but that is not without cost and takes a decent chunk and space of time to do successfully.

Different states have different rules on employers' ability to fire a MMJ patient. Read up on your rights, if any, in your state. There are a lot of misconceptions about the extent of protections given by MMJ legislation. Honestly, in the workplace it usually isn't much. Outside of your own home it usually isn't much.

There are typically a number of resources you can use for research for MMJ in the workplace in your state. An afternoon of internet searching and maybe a few phone calls should give you a pretty clear picture of the rules in your state.

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