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Does Medicare Cover Nutrition Counseling?

Medicare does cover nutrition counseling for people with certain medical condition incuding diabetes and kidney disease.

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Did you know that poor nutrition can lead to a number of chronic diseases ? In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says six in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease brought on by lifestyle choices like tobacco use, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use and poor nutrition.

Nutrition counseling, or medical nutrition therapy (MNT) , has been shown to lower your chance of getting sick and improve your quality of life if you have a chronic disease.

Since 2002 , some Medicare beneficiaries have had access to MNT benefits, depending on health status and plan. So let’s talk about options when it comes to staying on top of your nutritional education.

How Do I Qualify for Medicare MNT Coverage?

If you have diabetes or kidney disease, or if you’ve had a kidney transplant in the past 36 months, you may be covered for MNT and related services under Medicare Part B .

Those who qualify pay nothing out of pocket. As a preventative service, the Part B deductible and coinsurance won’t apply to your MNT. Just have your doctor refer you to a registered dietician or other qualified nutrition professional, and Medicare can reimburse you for the services.

During the course of your MNT, you may get services like:

  • Your initial nutrition and lifestyle assessment

  • Individual and/or group therapy sessions

  • Help managing your chronic disease

  • Follow-up visits to check your progress

Medicare can cover three hours of MNT your first year and up to two hours of MNT for each year after. Remember, if you’re in a rural area, you may receive MNT services via telehealth .

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