Everyone benefits from good nutrition; it helps you to stay healthy and live longer. However, for people with certain diseases and conditions a close watch on nutritional intake is vital, and under certain circumstances Medicare will cover Medical Nutrition Therapy costs.
What Qualifies You for Medical Nutrition Therapy
You qualify for Medical Nutrition Therapy benefits under the following circumstances:
- If you have diabetes;
- If you have kidney disease but are not presently on dialysis;
- If you have had a kidney transplant.
How to Get Your Nutrition Therapy
In order to receive this special therapy the following conditions must be met:
- Your doctor must prescribe the service and renew the referral for every year that you need it.
- A Medicare-approved nutrition professional or registered dietitian who accepts assignment must provide the service.
What to Expect with Your Nutrition Therapy Benefit
Medicare Nutrition Therapy takes place either in one-on-one counseling or an interactive telecommunications system. Three hours of counseling will be provided the first year, and one hour each subsequent year if you continue to qualify for the service, although if your condition changes you may be able to get additional time. The therapy will include the following:
- After you provide information about your eating habits and level of activity, the nutrition specialist will prepare a nutrition and lifestyle assessment.
- Based on this assessment and medical information supplied by your doctor, the specialist will give you nutrition counseling and help you set goals.
- The specialist will provide you with information to help you better manage your diet and lifestyle in order to improve your health.
Under Medicare Part B this service is free, with no co-payment and no deductible. If you feel that you qualify and would benefit from Medical Nutrition Therapy, ask your doctor about prescribing the service for you.