Several PPO/HMO, medical groups, and Medicare are accepted. Please
call to find out if your visits are covered by your insurance company.
You must obtain a physician's referral for reimbursement for your
medical nutrition therapy sessions.
Additional Savings for Nutrition Services
through Tax-Favored Health Savings Vehicles
Individuals who are beneficiaries of health savings vehicles (HSAs)
of which they, their family members or employers have set aside
pretax dollars (i.e. flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement
arrangements and the newly created health savings accounts) may
also benefit because these vehicles use the IRS definitions of allowable
medical expense deductions. This means consumers achieve savings
on medically valid nutrition services by using their pretax health
reimbursement account dollars. In particular, the same expenses
that are allowable for tax deductions for weight-loss programs also
apply to HSAs, according to IRS publications2. Like 401(K) plans
but for healthcare, HSAs allow individuals to accumulate dollars
to spend on future health-care costs. Congress passed into law the
creation of HSAs in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement
and Modernization Act of 2003, effective January 1, 2004. The statute
requires that HSAs be linked with at least a $1,000 deductible health
plan for individuals and at least a $2,000 deductible health plan
for families, which are referred to as a high-deductible health
plan. An added feature of HSAs is that money is not lost if it is
unused at the end of the year – the money can be rolled over
and used for health care costs in future years.
Nutrition Services Can Be Tax Deductible
The Internal Revenue Service ruled in April 2002 that “uncompensated
amounts paid by individuals for participation in a weight-loss program
as treatment for a specific disease or diseases (including obesity)
diagnosed by a physician are expenses for medical care that are
deductible, subject to certain limitations. The cost of purchasing
diet food items is not deductible.” This ruling allows taxpayers
who pay for services related to their disease or weight condition
to deduct those expenses.
Deductible medical expenses can include items such as bariatric
surgery, approved weight-loss drugs and nutrition counseling
services. Now that the IRS has defined obesity itself as
a disease, taxpayers are able to deduct medical expenses related
to obesity treatment ordered by a physician.
To take a deduction, a taxpayer must have participated in a weight-loss
program for medically valid reasons. Simply joining a gym or a weight
control program to "improve the taxpayer's appearance, general
health and sense of well-being" without the guidance of a physician
is not sufficient.
The tax code indicates that total medical expenses must exceed 7.5
percent of an individual’s adjusted gross income and can only
be taken by taxpayers who itemize their deductions. This means that
a person with an AGI of $50,000 would be able to deduct medical
expenses that exceed $3,750. Many individuals do not, however, have
enough medical expenses to qualify for a deduction. According to
an IRS study, only 5 percent of taxpayers deducted any medical expenses
in 2000. Taxpayers are advised to consult with professionals before
taking any deductions in this area.