Pre-Tax Cannabis Benefits & Reduced Copays: How CannaPlan Optimizes Healthcare With Opioid Alternatives


Rising healthcare costs and employee retention are pressing concerns for all businesses across the sector. CannaPlan, a new employee benefits platform, offers a unique solution: leveraging medical cannabis as a potential alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.

In an exclusive interview with Benzinga Cannabis, CannaPlan CEO Stew Baskin dives into four key areas of interest for managers seeking to navigate healthcare expenses, develop a safer workplace, maximize inclusivity, and increase their bottom line.

Baskin explores how CannaPlan can help companies:

  • Reduce healthcare costs through potentially lower medication expenses and fewer workplace injuries.
  • Simplify medical insurance by offering an alternative approach to pain management and potentially reducing reliance on traditional medications.
  • Navigate copay challenges with a focus on pre-tax employer contributions for medical cannabis, potentially leading to tax savings for employees.
  • Embrace a progressive workplace that attracts and retains talent open to alternative wellness options.

CannaPlan: What It Is And How Does It Work?

CannaPlan is not a dispensary or a source of cannabis but rather a new type of employee benefits platform that focuses on medical cannabis as a potential health benefit for companies to offer their workforce. Baskin explained that CannaPlan provides several key resources, including education and training. It streamlines access to non-inhalable cannabis products in legal dispensaries.

"Our workshops help employers comply with substance-free workplace policies by focusing on the benefits of non-intoxicating cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, and CBG. We want employees to understand that using these options won't impair them at work,” Baskin noted.

“The workshops also cover proper dosing and timing of these medications, suggesting evening use for potentially intoxicating options. In addition to cannabis education, we cover the endocannabinoid system, relaxation techniques, and general wellness practices, empowering employees to make informed choices about their health." 

Reduced Prescription Drug Costs And Worker's Compensation

Many employees who struggle with chronic pain often rely on opioids. CannaPlan highlights research suggesting that cannabis-friendly states experience significant decreases in prescription drug use and worker's compensation claims. Baskin cites a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research that shows a 20% reduction in workman's comp claims following state legalization.

Baskin also pointed to research suggesting a connection between medical cannabis and reduced worker's comp claims. This decrease is attributed to a potential decline in workplace injuries caused by employees impaired by pain medication. Thus, CannaPlan positions medical cannabis as a potential alternative for pain management, aiming to improve employee well-being and potentially boost productivity.

Reduced Healthcare Costs With Pre-Tax Benefits

Prescription drug charges can significantly impact healthcare costs for employers. CannaPlan facilitates employer contributions toward medical cannabis consultations and medications.

Baskin explains that after rescheduling takes place these contributions will be designated as pre-tax health benefits, leading to tax savings for workers. Here, CannaPlan bypasses the traditional copay system.

With traditional pharmaceuticals, insurance companies allocate a pool of funds towards prescriptions. This limits transparency in costs for employers, according to Baskin. "They don't disclose how much they're allocating. They don't disclose how much they charge for the drugs that they're paying out of towards that." 

By contrast, CannaPlan focuses on pre-tax employer contributions for medical cannabis, potentially reducing overall healthcare costs for the company.

He noted that self-funded insurance programs, common among large companies, offer the most significant benefit. Since these companies directly purchase prescriptions, reducing costs through cannabis translates to direct savings on premiums. “This approach isn't for everyone, but for companies with the ability to self-insure, CannaPlan offers a path to substantial cost reduction," Baskin added.

“For high-cost drugs like treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which can reach $100,000 annually, insurance companies might deny coverage or drastically raise premiums for the entire company. CannaPlan sees an opportunity here, as cannabidiol (CBD) can potentially treat MS for a fraction of the cost.”

To learn more about the cannabis business and how to invest in the sector, don't miss the opportunity to join us at the 19th Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago this October 8-9. Engage with top executives, investors, policymakers, and advocates to explore the industry's future. Secure your tickets now before prices increase by following this link.

Employee Retention And Productivity

Beyond cost savings, CannaPlan points to statistical analysis from the University of Illinois, which suggests companies in cannabis-friendly states see increased revenue per employee, higher company valuations, and greater patent production.

CannaPlan targets employee retention by offering medical cannabis as an alternative to prescription drugs. Baskin suggests this approach can lead to a more motivated and focused workforce.

"There's a lot of people out there that have medical cannabis that has just kept it a secret for a long time because they think that employers potentially get them in trouble," Baskin said. 

He highlighted the appeal to younger generations who may be more open to cannabis as a medicinal option, and contribute to employee retention rates.

Photo: AI-Generated Image. 

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Posted In: CannabisNewsEntrepreneurshipHealth CareLegalExclusivesMarketsGeneralCannabis InsuranceCannaPlanemployee benefitsFlorida CannabisFlorida Cannabis MarketHealth Care SectorMarijuana in WorkplaceStewart Baskin
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