Reefer Madness and the Red Menace
of the 21st Century

January 24, 2018

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form and seven states and the District of Columbia have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada have passed measures legalizing recreational marijuana. A number of states have also decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and several additional states have passed narrow laws allowing residents to possess cannabis if they suffer from a list of specific medical illnesses.

As legalized marijuana wafts across the country, the United States also finds itself in the midst of an opioid crisis in which more than 64,000 Americans died as a result of an overdose in 2016 (a 22% increase over overdose deaths in 2015). The dramatic rise in opioid prescribing in the United States since the 1990s is frequently blamed as a driver of this epidemic, and policymakers have focused substantial energy on curbing prescribing rates and interdicting synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, that have flooded our communities.
Employing case studies and over 25 years of underwriting and claims experience, this webinar will explore the impact of the proliferation of medicinal and recreational marijuana and opioids on LTC underwriting and claims practices including:

  • The challenges that medicinal and recreational marijuana present to underwriting LTC and LTC-Life combo products;
  • The use of medicinal marijuana for chronic medical conditions and how the use of marijuana should be considered during the claim process;
  • The regular use of opioids for chronic pain and how the use of chronic opioids should be addressed by LTC underwriters; and
  • The implications of chronic opioid use by LTC claimants and how the use of these medications may impact claim decisions. 


Stephen K. Holland, MD - LTCG

Stephen K. Holland, MD serves as Chief Medical Director for LTCG and brings more than 28 years of long-term care, life and managed care leadership experience. As the clinical leader at LTCG, Dr. Holland has played an integral role in building the underwriting and claim capabilities of the country's largest full service LTC and Life-LTC Insurance Administrator.

Dr. Holland holds a Doctorate of Medicine from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed his postgraduate medical training in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington. He completed a fellowship in health care policy as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Washington, School of Medicine and received his Board Certification in Internal Medicine from the American College of Physicians.