We often hear that Canadians are confused about food and nutrition. We know that dietitians are the best choice to help Canadians look beyond the fads and gimmicks. So how can we help?
Every dietitian has a role to play to improve benefits coverage. By working together to increase the number of employee benefit plans that include dietitians services, we can increase access to dietitians and at the same time, help Canadians better understand the role and value of the profession.
Why employee benefits coverage is important to dietitians
Most Canadians would benefit from nutrition guidance and dietitians are the best choice to provide it. When employers recognize this and provide access to dietitian services through benefit plans, more Canadians will experience the positive impact a dietitian can have on their health and will become more familiar with our diverse profession.
Currently, many Canadians have employee health benefit plans, but some plans do not cover the services of dietitians – even though Canadian health concerns are on the rise and employees want
better guidance to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families.
Dietitians are in a unique position to provide the nutrition counsel and advice that Canadians are asking for. We are rigorously trained, both on the job and in universities, and are part of a regulated profession. We look beyond fads and gimmicks and provide ethical, evidence-based care. Dietitians are the best choice for employers looking to support employee wellness and prevent escalating costs related to employee health.
Are you an employer? Here are some resources.
Are you an employee? Here are some resources.
No matter what your role or where you work, as a dietitian, you can help. When we all pull together as a profession, we’re stronger, louder, and we increase the likelihood of success. So, let’s spread the word about how we can help improve access to our services and about the importance of covering dietitian services in employee benefits plans.
Here’s what ALL dietitians can do to be part of the solution:
- Become an advocate: share, like, post and tweet about dietitians helping Canadians with nutrition and food choices – and the importance of having coverage for dietitian services in employee benefits plans. Visit our advocacy toolkit for ideas and examples.
- Check your benefits plan. If dietitian services are not covered, speak to your employer. Encourage friends, family and colleagues to do the same.
- Your employer can visit the Employee Health Benefits page for more information or you can share this factsheet with decision makers.
- DC members can join or form a DC Local Action Group in your region and develop an advocacy action plan related to this issue.
- Explain to your dietitian colleagues why it is important for all dietitians to get involved – and not just those working in private practice. By supporting access to dietitians, everyone benefits – Canadians, employers and our profession.
Milestones in our Employee Benefit Plan recognition journey
October 2019: DC and the Employee Health Benefits Advocacy advisory committee, launched a digital communication campaign with the intent to bring awareness to all dietitians of this issue. The campaign included messages aimed at dietitians to learn more and take action to ask for coverage of dietitians’ service on employee benefits plans. You can see the campaign materials here (and share with your networks).
June 2019: Dietitians can now direct bill on behalf of clients who are covered by Great West Life, Industrial Alliance and other insurers, through the free TELUS Health eClaims service. The Consulting Dietitians Network and the EHBA advisory committee were instrumental in this significant achievement. Register here for the free eClaims service.
March 2019: A comprehensive report outlining future actions by DC staff and members was completed in March 2019. This report will be shared with members of the EHBA advisory committee, the Consulting Dietitians Networking and the Local Action groups across the country working on this issue. This report is intended to guide DC member groups as they form actions plans and look for opportunities to lead advocacy on this topic. Here is the summary of the report.
Fall 2018: DC staff, the Consulting Dietitians Network, and in collaboration with many Local Action Groups across the country formed an Employee Health Benefits Advocacy (EHBA) advisory committee in 2018. This advisory committee provided input and advice to an external consultant hired to develop a sustainable plan to influence change in this area.