HNC Supports Enhanced Patient Access to Medically Necessary Nutrition
April 19, 2022
The Healthcare Nutrition Council (HNC) supports passage of the Medical Nutrition Equity Act of 2021 (MNEA) (S. 2013/H.R. 3783). MNEA would expand coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, other specified federal health care programs such as the Child Health Insurance Program and TRICARE, and private health insurance to include vitamins, individual amino acids, and medically necessary nutrition for the management of certain digestive and metabolic disorders and conditions. MNEA would also ensure that existing coverage for these products is maintained.
Health insurance coverage for medically necessary nutrition varies across the United States. Even when an insurance company does cover medically necessary nutrition, it often comes with the stipulation that the formula be administered through a feeding tube. MNEA will close gaps in health insurance coverage of medically necessary nutrition not covered by state laws. MNEA also recognizes research demonstrating specialized foods are medically necessary for safe and effective management of certain digestive diseases and inherited metabolic disorders that impact the digestion, absorption, and/or metabolism of nutrients. This recognition, along with expanded access to medically necessary foods, will help reduce infant, child, and adult risks of developing adverse health consequences such as hospitalization, inadequate growth, nutrient deficiencies, permanent cognitive impairment, and even death.
HNC continues to work with Congress and other interested organizations to encourage passage of MNEA and improve access to these lifesaving products.