For beneficiaries with certain health conditions, Medicare fully covers medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services. However, this requires a referral from a doctor. We’re here with the information you need to know before you seek a nutritionist appointment with Medicare coverage.
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Does Medicare Cover Nutrition Counseling?
Medicare Part B covers medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services at 100% for individuals with the following qualifications.
Full coverage from Medicare requires a referral from your doctor. This service receives complete coverage because coinsurance and the Medicare Part B deductible do not apply. Those with kidney disease who receive dialysis at a dialysis facility receive Medicare coverage for MNT services as part of their overall care.
People with the above conditions can benefit from assessments of their nutrition and lifestyle, as well as follow-up visits to oversee their progress. For these services, they will need to visit a Registered Dietician. Visits may happen one-on-one or in a group setting. MNT services are also available over telehealth. In the first year, Medicare covers three hours of MNT. During the following years, it will cover two hours each year. Keep in mind that the provider must accept Medicare assignment.
Does Medicare Cover Nutrition Therapy for Obesity?
If you happen to be medically obese (with a BMI of 30 or higher), Medicare Part B will cover obesity screenings and behavioral counseling for you. As far as nutrition counseling, you must have at least one of the above comorbidities (diabetes or kidney disease) to qualify. MNT services can help manage your diabetes and your weight.
Does Medicare Advantage Cover Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) serve as a replacement for Medicare Parts A and B. As Medicare Part B fully covers nutrition therapy for those who qualify, Medicare Advantage plans must provide this same coverage. To get a referral for nutrition therapy, it makes the most financial sense to visit a doctor within your Advantage plan’s network.
Get Help Understanding Nutritionist Coverage Under Medicare
If you’re on Medicare and have diabetes or kidney disease, it’s very helpful to know that you can get full coverage for medical nutrition therapy. Further, we are here to help if you have more questions. Please call the number above to speak to a licensed insurance representative today, or fill out our online rate form if you’re interested in additional coverage for your Medicare.