Contracting: Start the Process Now to be In-Network By Open Enrollment

Maybe you’re a dietetic intern or are wrapping up your rotations, or maybe you’ve been running a private practice for years and taking payment out-of-pocket. Regardless of where you are in your career, as an RDN or RD-to-be you’re probably familiar with the option to accept health insurance on behalf of your clients. You’ve likely heard about the benefits: insurance companies are covering nutritional counseling at higher rates than ever before, physicians are more likely to refer patients to you if you’re already in the same networks as them, and you’re able to work with a number of new clients who may not otherwise have access to your services.

The process to becoming in-network with various insurance companies so as to accept health insurance on behalf of your clients is time-consuming. There is a lot of paperwork, processing, and…waiting.

So when is it time to take the plunge and start the credentialing and contracting process? As long as you have passed the RDN exam, then the answer is: now.

Since contracting takes approximately six months, your Healthy Bytes billing allies suggest getting the process started now, in early Summer, so that you're an in-network provider by the time open enrollment occurs, which is generally in November. Changes made during the open enrollment period will take effect starting the following calendar year. During open enrollment, your potential clients have health insurance top of mind as they consider whether to make any changes to their existing selections – i.e. upgrade a plan, downgrade a plan, add family members to a plan, changing coverage due to having a new employer, etc.

When you’re in-network, you’re listed in the insurance provider directory, making you and your services more visible to those who are doing their research on various health plans and the related participating providers. 

Even though open enrollment may not involve switching insurance companies, it is still a time when people are thinking about their health insurance, their providers, and the nutrition counseling appointments that they intend to make - with you!

Contact Healthy Bytes today to get the process underway!