Medicare will cover Medical Nutrition Therapy services for those with a qualifying disease. There is a limit to the number of visits you get each year for nutrition services.

In this context, we’ll discuss helpful information about Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), dietician services, nutrition counseling, and more.

Does Medicare Cover Medical Nutrition Therapy?

Medicare will cover medical nutrition therapy for those with diabetes or kidney disease, or for those that have had a kidney transplant in the last 36 months.

Medicare may cover:

  • Initial nutrition and lifestyle assessment
  • Individual or group nutritional therapy services
  • Follow up visits to check on your progress
  • Help with managing your diet when it affects your diabetes

Will Medicare Cover a Nutritionist?

Part B will cover a nutritionist or dietitian if your primary doctor decides it’s medically necessary. talk to your doctor about your options.

How Much Does Medicare Nutrition Therapy Cost?

These services are considered preventive services under Part B. The deductible and coinsurance don’t apply so you pay nothing for these services.

If your doctor recommends you get Medical Nutrition Therapy more than Medicare covers, you will be responsible for the cost. Be sure to ask questions about the services your doctor recommends and how your coverage works with those services.

Does Medicare Cover Nutrition Counseling?

Medicare Part B will cover Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) at 100% for those that have kidney disease, have had a kidney transplant in the last 36 months, or those with diabetes.

You’ll need a referral from your doctor. In the first year, Medicare will cover 3-hours of Medical Nutrition Therapy. After that, Medicare covers 2 hours each year.

The nutrition specialist or registered dietician must accept “Medicare assignment.”

Will Medicare Cover Nutrition Therapy for Obesity?

If you have a BMI of 30 or higher, you’re considered medically obese, and Part B will cover obesity screenings as well as behavioral counseling. But to qualify for nutrition counseling you need to have at least one comorbidity such as diabetes or kidney disease to qualify.

Medical Nutrition Therapy services can help you manage diabetes and your weight.

Does Part C Cover Medical Nutrition Therapy?

Medicare Advantage plans must cover at least the same as Medicare, you can expect the part C plan will cover Medical Nutrition Therapy. It will make the most sense to see a nutrition specialist in your plan’s network, you may need a referral.

Part C plans sometimes include Silver Sneakers or other additional benefits. Talk to your insurance company about the coverage you have.

Will Medicare Cover a Dietician?

Medicare will only cover a registered dietitian or nutrition professional that meets specific requirements and can provide medical nutrition therapy services, your primary care physician will refer you.

For those that live in a rural area, a registered dietitian or another nutrition professional in a different location could be able to provide telehealth Medical Nutrition Therapy.

FAQs

Does Medicare cover Ensure?

Ensure drinks aren’t covered by Medicare even if they’re the patient’s main source of caloric intake. These drinks won’t have coverage, you’ll pay for these yourself.

Will Medicare cover a nutritionist for pre-diabetics?

You need a diabetic diagnosis and a referral from your doctor to receive Medical Nutrition Therapy services through Medicare.

Will Medicare cover a nutritionist for weight loss?

Medicare won’t cover a nutritionist if the only reason is for weight loss. but if you’re diabetic and get a referral from your physician, Medicare could cover the cost of a registered dietician.

Is medical nutritional therapy part of dialysis care?

Yes, MNT is part of dialysis care. If you’re getting dialysis in a dialysis facility, Medicare will cover you as part of your overall care.

Get Help Understanding your Medigap Options

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by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.