Are You Covered?

Contributors: Sarah Klemm, RDN, CD, LDN
are you covered

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Ask these Questions About Seeing a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Diabetes Care and Prevention

Diabetes is a disease affecting 34.2 million American children and adults. An additional 88 million adults in America have prediabetes and are at risk for Type 2 diabetes.

Left unmanaged, diabetes may lead to heart attack, stroke, amputations, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. Eating healthfully and being physically active can help control diabetes and reduce the likelihood of complications.

For individuals living with diabetes, treatment – including access to nutrition care – is vital to monitor and treat the disease. Understanding the medical nutrition therapy included in your individual health insurance policy can help you secure necessary treatment and monitoring of the disease, as well as maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.

Navigating the benefits included under your commercial health insurance plan may be cumbersome. Review this list of questions to ask your health insurance provider prior to visiting a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Do You Have Coverage?

Medical nutrition therapy may or may not be provided in your plan. Some plans only cover specific conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney failure and obesity. For example, Medicare Part B covers visits with a registered dietitian nutritionist when referred by a physician; however, only diabetes and kidney disease are currently covered.

Other insurance plans may cover preventive services that include nutrition counseling. To find out what your policy covers, you need to ask about the medical nutrition therapy benefits in your plan — sometimes referred to as nutrition counseling.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Does this benefit only cover specific conditions – such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney failure or other diagnoses? If so, what is included?
  • Are any diagnoses specifically excluded from my nutrition benefit?
  • Am I limited to a specific number of visits each year?
  • Do I need a referral? If so, who can make the referral?
  • Is there a copay to see a registered dietitian nutritionist?
  • Are preventive services covered? For example, does my plan cover screening or counseling for obesity?
  • Given my deductible for the year, including copays and coinsurance, what will I need to pay out of pocket to see a registered dietitian nutritionist?

Find a Nutrition Expert in your area to learn more about medical nutrition therapy and personalized services offered by registered dietitian nutritionists.

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