Nutrition Policy Update: News You Can Use

Today we’re sharing a few health and nutrition policy updates and initiatives that we hope you find beneficial! Read on to learn more about the My Healthy Weight initiative, expanding health benefits for those with diabetes in Maryland, and getting involved with your state’s legislative day.

My Healthy Weight Initiative

First, we are pleased to see a number of organizations and insurance companies team up to form the My Healthy Weight initiative, offering obesity prevention and care for individuals of all ages. According to the collaborative, the initiative will provide millions of individuals nationally with coverage to support healthy weight changes. The program participants are joining together as of January 2019 via a series of meetings focused on filling this care gap and on developing strategies to address the obesity epidemic. Founders include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Blue Shield of California and Texas Health Aetna.

According to program guidelines:

  • Individuals with a BMI of 30 or higher will have access to at least 12 visits a year with a healthcare professional to support healthy weight.

  • Individuals with a BMI of 25 or higher and specific cardiovascular health risks and children with at-risk BMIs will be offered visits with healthcare professionals.

  • Eligible individuals will also have access to community-based programs that have a proven ability to support healthy weight in adults or children.

This initiative has potential to provide you, as a dietitian, with the opportunity to counsel more individuals in need of your nutrition counseling services. Implementation of the program is up to each insurance company, therefore, BCBS NC’s coverage may differ from that of Aetna, for example. If you’re in-network with an insurance company that’s participating in this initiative, let your Healthy Bytes billing ally know so they can keep you apprised as the program gets underway!

Maryland Health Insurance Law Update

For our Maryland friends, please note that a new health insurance law in your state expands reimbursement for treating pre-diabetes and obesity. It also increases coverage for equipment, supplies and self-management training related to pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes. Should you have questions about this new law, please reach out to your Healthy Bytes billing ally.

Get Involved in Shaping Health and Nutrition Policy

Do you want to get involved with shaping nutrition policy? Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ advocacy page to learn more about current legislation on the table; visit the Action Alerts page to electronically sign petitions that will notify your representatives of your position on an issue. Contact your state Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics organization to learn more about advocacy opportunities. Lastly, participating in your state academy’s legislative day is a great way to make your voice heard!

 

How are you involved in nutrition policy?