One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is not “how do I eat more vegetables”, but “how can I get dietitian services covered”. Many people put off seeing a dietitian because of financial costs, but often individuals don’t know that they can get part or all of this investment into their health reimbursed. Here are a few ways how:
1. Employer Insurance Coverage
Many full-time employees receive an extended health care insurance package that is often partially paid for by their employer and partially deducted from their paycheque. These plans come with various forms of coverage and terms for reimbursement, but many do cover registered dietitian services. However, this coverage may be described differently. Here’s how to decode some of the most common insurance booklet encryptions:
• $$$ Combined Health Practitioners Listed •
The maximum amount you will be reimbursed for a combination of all health practitioners that you use from the list is the $$$ amount
For EACH of the health practitioners on the list you will be reimbursed up to $$$
Your must get a referral or prescription from your doctor for this service to receive reimbursement of expenses• Pre-approval •
If you do not have extended health coverage from work or have a doctor that is part of a family health team, I would encourage you to check if your local Community Health Centre has a dietitian on staff. In this setting, dietitians often run informative group sessions such as cooking classes in addition to individual counselling. Focusing on disease management and prevention, they strive to build healthier communities by providing nutrition education throughout the lifespan in a variety of formats. Some Community Health Centres with dietitians in the Toronto area include Unison Health & Community Services, Stonegate Community Health Centre, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, The Four Villages Community Health Centre, and Flemington Health Centre. You can find one in your area with a simple internet search or through the Ontario’s Community Health Centres Website, as you must be part of the centre’s catchment area to access their services.
The great part about seeing a dietitian is that you are sure to reap the benefits of their expertise long after your appointment is over. This is more than can be said for most things in life, especially the latest food or diet fad. Since food decisions are made several times every day, figuring out how to eat to meet your needs is a valuable investment in your health for year to come.
Remember to eat health & live happy,
Anna Gofeld, RD