Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I am going to contact my insurance company and see what they say. If services aren't covered I'll explore some of the other great options you all mentioned. Thank you again for being so helpful!
You could always check your benefits statement on-line if you do not want to call. I know our HI carrier has a whole listing of what is/is not covered on their website.
I've always wanted to have a meeting with a nutritionist or a dietician but I didn't even think to check to see if the health insurance would pay. Now that obesity is a 'disease' perhaps the companies will do more preventative care.
Thanks, JODISTUR. I write a lot, but mostly just for fun.
7/16/13 10:47 P
As long as the person is a registered dietitian, your insurance should cover it although you may need a referral from your PCP. On the other hand, nutritionist are not necessarily medical professionals and are unregulated and may have no training, for those reasons, most insurance companies do not cover their services.
Fitness Minutes: (420)
3 7/16/13 10:39 P
"My concern is that I'm about to be 54 and if I had this ability why haven't I improved it by now... I see my dr in 2 week, maybe I'll bring it up again..."
There is a huge amount of information out there whether we access it or not, and even once you've accessed it, that doesn't mean you'll implement it. It takes a conscious decision to educate oneself, and another conscious decision to make use of that knowledge. The fact that you haven't done it *yet* doesn't mean you are incapable of it. :)
If you feel that you would benefit with a meeting with a dietitian, though, by all means push for it! The absolute worst thing that will happen is that you'll go in and they won't be as helpful as you'd hoped because you already know a lot, in which case you'll have confirmation that you're well informed. More likely, they'll offer at least some new information and good ideas, and best case scenario they'll offer *tons* of new information with which you can equip yourself to tackle the challenges ahead. Win-win, really.
Fitness Minutes: (420)
3 7/16/13 10:15 P
I was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and feel I need a dietitian to help week to week to help me get started but I have a practical dr that feels internet will be fine to give me all the info I need if I just try to search it and join groups and just take the time to read everything. My concern is that I'm about to be 54 and if I had this ability why haven't I improved it by now... I see my dr in 2 week, maybe I'll bring it up again...
It varies greatly from insurance company to insurance company and from state to state. You will need to make the call. Most insurance companies will not pay for coverage unless there is a medical diagnosis and a referral from your doctor with the correct medical codes for billing.
You may also want to check with your place of employment---many are starting wellness programs and incentives like... offering classes, dietitian counseling, health coaching--all to bring down medical costs.
And also...call your local hospital and check about group classes. This is often the least expensive route for reliable and accurate information from a dietitian.
I'm sure some insurance plans will cover more than others, but my guess is that it generally isn't covered unless you have a condition that makes it particularly necessary. I agree with RUSSELL_39 that they *should* cover it for pretty much anyone who needs the education it could provide, as a preventative measure if nothing else, but I somehow doubt it.
Paying out of pocket isn't a bad idea, if you really want the guidance and have the funds, but you can also do a *lot* of learning on your own, thanks to the internet. SP is a great place to start, and as you get more practice at deciphering the logistics of medical studies and the like (and weeding out the scams), it gets easier to determine which information is actually significant and applies to you, personally.
For most people without specific medical conditions and with health goals that are within the "normal" range (as opposed to performance athletes, figure models and the like), the key is to start with moderation and as much clean eating as possible. Eat whole, minimally processed foods, cook for yourself whenever you can, and play with your macronutrient ratios a bit to find what works best for you.
Anything that tells you to eat nothing but or completely eliminate any one food or type of food is generally not going to be healthy or sustainable in the long term. "No carbs" is neither healthy nor sustainable, but too many carbs or carbs of the wrong sort aren't any better. Same goes for meat: it can be good for you, in reasonable amounts, but if it's all you eat then you're asking for malnutition. The only foods you really ought to eliminate entirely are those that are entirely nutritionally bereft, like soda, and even those are almost always okay in small amounts.
My guess is that your dietitian will tell you pretty much the same thing that SP tells you: get a good ratio of all macronutrients from primarily clean sources (with a strong focus on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and maybe some whole grains) and don't eat more than you burn. I'm sure that they will have some more specific advice and can give you ideas of things to try or things to swap, but you *might* find out that you need less professional guidance than you think you do.
I'm definitely not trying to dissuade you from going to a dietitian. They can be very helpful and informative. But don't discount the free resources you have at hand, either. :)
Hope you figure things out. I have switched the types of carbs I eat, which has had more effect than cutting the quantity.
A simple switch from bananas to raspberries can make a difference. I do lower carb, with an emphasis on low glycemic carbs. I used to binge every night, and eating this way, allows me to never be hungry, so I eat the right amount of calories. That is how all those skinny *&^$%$&'s do it. They are skinny, because they aren't hungry. I till eat a lot of veggies, some fruit, and beans. My trackers are open to view, if you want to see what it would look like.
If not, a dietitian can address the issues you have with sugar, and together you will form a plan that works. If you do not think you can follow part of the plan, say so. My dietitian wanted me to eat bread, and I said no, so she had to find ways to get more fiber into my diet. Green beans and raspberries are high in fiber. Mary (dietitian) taught me that. They are like a diet tutor, and make sure to get everything answered. Ask a LOT of them. The dietitian has knowledge in their head, but it is up to you to collect it from them
To be honest, I had my dietitian when I started low carb. Today, she wouldn't be as angry with me. Over time, I have moved closer to the diet she was suggesting..lol. I still avoid bread, pasta, rice, and high glycemic veggies/carbs. I just eat a lot more low glycemic carbs, and now some fruits, as well as beans, and cheeses. Things I balked at when she was my dietitian. Still, it was the start of my weight loss, and I do not think I would be alive today, if it wasn't for her.
In the end, it was the quality of the carbs, not the quantity. No one can fight cravings caused by processed, sugary, starchy carbs.
Check with your insurance - they would be able to tell you better than the RD if it is covered.
I know my insurance did not cover my visit to a nutritionist, but there was another one that covered 3 or 4 visits a year. After that, you were on your own - still better than nothing, though.
7/16/13 3:22 P
Thanks so much for the reply. I am going to just give one a call and see how much they charge. I have invested what I consider to be a significant amount of time studying nutrition but all I seem to find is conflicting information (don't eat carbs, eat carbs, meat is bad for you, meat is great for you...lol). And my sugar cravings are out of control and are totally the reason for my up and down weight. I have to white nuckle through losing weight by omitting sugar but as soon as I get comfortable and cheat even once it opens the floodgates for out of control binging. I've gained 6 lbs over the last couple months as a result. I feel horrible, tired, frustrated, etc. I was hoping I could have a face-to-face with someone who could shed some insight and give me some direction. Thanks for taking time to respond. I appreciate it.
I have no idea. However, have you considered calling a dietitian, and asking for an hourly rate. I saw one for 6 months, and it was just 12 visits of 1 hour. Luckily the clinic paid for her, and it was free. If it can save you thousands of dollars in medical bills, maybe you could afford 1-2 visits, or even quarterly, if they were $100-200 a visit. Once a dietitian gets you to understand the basics, and the reasoning behind food choices, and sets up a plan with you, they are just checking in to make sure you stick to the plan, and answer any new questions you may have. Might make some small adjustments.
Check and see. It could be $60 for 1/2 an hour for all you know. An insurance company SHOULD want a dietitian to head off obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, but they make no sense, so I would check on the cost of a dietitian, and if it is too expensive, then check with your insurance. It might be worth $100 an hour, just to not talk to your insurance company...lol.
If neither is an option due to expense, or budget, try the library. You can find nutrition books there, right past the diet books. Learn the basics, and help yourself. Much harder, but cheaper.
7/16/13 2:05 P
Does anyone know if a RD is covered by most insurance plans? I was trying to find one in my area to (hopefully) help formulate an eating plan for me that will help me stop this insanely irritating yo-yo weight problem I have. I seem to have a major issue with sugar and want to speak with someone who knows what they are talking about. Just curious before I sit on hold for 3 hours with my insurance company if most RD's are covered absent a major health issue (like diabetes). Thanks for any help.