Sam/SamX enhancements for small businesses help identify cannabis entity groups

UnitedHealthcare will continue to provide group coverage for cannabis entities. Cannabis entities are state-licensed entities whose principal business is the cultivation, sale or distribution of cannabis and certain products derived from cannabis, including cannabidiol (CBD). The criteria used to quote cannabis entities for group medical and other health related coverages are the same as for any other duly licensed business.

Identifying cannabis entities early in the quoting process helps support financial services compliance requirements, and our ability to provide our clients a seamless implementation.

Before the UnitedHealthcare implementation team connects a group policy customer to a specific financial services vendor, including Health Savings Account custodian, premium lockbox collection, debit card offerings, etc., it is necessary they identify cannabis entities.

The fully insured Sam/SamX quoting tool has been updated to ask, “Does your business obtain any revenues from a cannabis industry?” By responding to this question, UnitedHealthcare can identify cannabis customers with greater accuracy, to support the unique financial service federal compliance requirements and ensure our clients are aligned accordingly.*

Financial service impact to cannabis entity customers

Optum Bank compliance support

  • UnitedHealthcare affiliate, Optum Bank, is chartered in the state of Utah. Pursuant to Utah banking charter, Optum Bank is prohibited from providing banking services to cannabis clients.   
  • Optum Bank is unable to provide the following:
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) Custodianship – UnitedHealthcare can still sell the Qualified High Deductible Health Plan, but the employer will need to use a different HSA financial services custodian, rather than Optum Bank. 
  • Debit cards for UnitedHealthcare HRA/FSA/HIA clients – UnitedHealthcare can still provide the administrative services for these accounts.

*Brokers who have existing cannabis Level Funded employer(s) – prior to when the Level Funded quoting tool was updated – should inform their UnitedHealthcare representative.

External financial services vendors

  • Since cannabis is a federally regulated substance, US Treasury Department regulations require financial services vendors to maintain a strict federally designed cannabis entity compliance program. It is not illegal for banks to have cannabis customers, but if they do, the federal compliance program must be maintained.
  • UnitedHealthcare will connect all cannabis entity customers to a premium payment lockbox vendor that maintains the required federal compliance program and with which we have a contract, or the customer may choose their preferred bank/financial services vendor.

Please contact your UnitedHealthcare representative for more details.

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