People With Medicare
What is Medical Nutrition Therapy?
What is it?
Medical nutrition therapy gives you advice on what to eat. Medicare Part B covers this. It also covers certain related services for people on Medicare who have diabetes.
How does this help me?
When you have diabetes, you must eat well to manage your blood sugar properly. A registered dietitian or nutrition professional can give you:
- An initial opinion on what you eat and your lifestyle
- Advice on what foods to eat and how to follow a personal diabetic meal plan
- How to manage certain lifestyle factors that affect your diet, such as exercise and stress
- Follow-up visits to help you manage your diet
Do I qualify?
You qualify if your fasting blood sugar has certain levels. Your doctor must prescribe these services to you.
You must provide a doctor's prescription each year for Medicare to pay for the service.
How often can I get these services?
Medicare covers 3 hours of therapy in the first year you receive the services. You get 2 hours of follow-up services each year after that. You meet face-to-face with a professional provider, such as a registered dietician or a nutrition professional.
If your doctor decides there is a change in your medical condition, you may be able to get more hours.
What will it cost?
You pay nothing for cost of this service if you have Original Medicare and you see a doctor who "accepts assignment." Doctors who accept assignment agree to accept the amount that Medicare will pay for a visit or service (called the Medicare-approved amount) as payment in full.
If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, the plan cannot charge you for this service as long as you see an "in-network" provider, meaning a doctor who has an agreement to treat people who belong to the plan. If you use a provider outside your plan's network, it may cost you money.