Close close icon

Does Medicare Cover a Nutritionist


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.

Does Medicare Cover Nutrition Counseling?

Part B of Medicare 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 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), 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 (Part C) serve as a replacement for Parts A and B. As Part B fully covers nutrition therapy for those who qualify, Medicare Advantage 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.

FAQs

How much does Medicare pay for nutrition therapy?
Medicare provides full (100%) coverage for nutrition therapy with a referral from your doctor if you have diabetes, kidney disease, or have undergone a kidney transplant in the past 36 months.
Does Medicare cover a dietician?
Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) can only be provided by Registered Dieticians. Medicare covers MNT visits at 100% for individuals with diabetes or kidney disease, as well as those who have had a kidney transplant within the past 36 months. This coverage requires a referral from the individual’s doctor.
Does Medicare cover a nutritionist for weight loss?
Medicare doesn’t cover a nutritionist for the sole purpose of weight loss. However, if you are diabetic and get a referral from your doctor, you will be able to see a Registered Dietician and receive full coverage from Medicare. Consequently, medical nutrition therapy (MNT) sessions could result in weight loss as a way to help manage your diabetes.
Does Medicare cover a nutritionist for prediabetes?
If you are diabetic and get a referral from your doctor, you can receive medical nutrition therapy (MNT) that Medicare will cover fully. Your doctor must sign off on your diabetes diagnosis.
Does Medicare cover Ensure?
Medicare does not cover Ensure drinks, even when they are the patient’s main source of calories. Part D also doesn’t cover the drinks; you will need to purchase Ensure out-of-pocket, regardless of your coverage.

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 Medicare expert today or fill out our online rate form if you’re interested in additional coverage for your Medicare.

Lindsay Malzone

Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ. She has been working in the Medicare industry since 2017. She is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare. You can also find her over on our Medicare Channel on YouTube as well as contributing to our Medicare Community on Facebook.

8 thoughts on “Does Medicare Cover a Nutritionist

  1. Does Medicare provide assistance with a nutritionist in cases of IBS. I am interested in learning which foods set off attacks.

    1. Hi Nancy! To qualify for MNT, the beneficiary needs to either be a diabetic, have kidney disease or had a kidney transplant within the last 36 months.

    1. Hi Roseann! Medicare will only cover a nutritional consult if the beneficiary is a diabetic, has kidney disease, or had a kidney transplant within the past 36 months.

  2. My wife has celiac disease, and other related digestive issues, will Medicare cover nutritional advice for her conditions

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *