BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

 

H.B. 4307

By: Lucio III

Pensions, Investments & Financial Services

Committee Report (Unamended)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

In recent years, the state has implemented a compassionate use program under which Texans may be eligible to legally use low-THC cannabis to treat qualifying medical conditions. However, many health insurance plans, including those for public employees, do not cover this treatment. Without coverage, the cost of low-THC cannabis can reach upwards of $200 a month on average. H.B. 4307 seeks to ensure that more Texans are able to afford to exercise their right to use low-THC cannabis in the course of treatment of their condition, if eligible, by requiring certain insurance plans for public employees to cover this treatment.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.

 

ANALYSIS

 

H.B. 4307 amends the Insurance Code to require the following insurance plans to provide coverage for low-THC cannabis prescribed under the state's compassionate use program:

       a health benefit plan offered under the Texas Employees Group Benefits Act;

       a health benefit plan offered under TRS-Care, other than a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare prescription drug plan; and

       a health coverage plan provided under TRS-ActiveCare.

This requirement applies only to a plan year that commences on or after January 1, 2022.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

September 1, 2021.