Frequently Asked Questions

Culina Health Team and Services

What is Culina Health?

Culina Health is a group of experienced registered dietitians on a mission to make quality nutrition care accessible to everyone regardless of socioeconomic background, race, age, or gender. Our diverse group of dietitians speak 14 languages and provide empathetic and culturally-competent care nationwide via telehealth. Most of our patients receive insurance coverage, and we also offer affordable self-pay options. Get started. 

 What services does Culina Health offer? 

We offer one-on-one and group virtual nutrition counseling services to patients for a variety of health concerns, from navigating nutrition misinformation and improving relationship with food, to nutrition care for chronic diseases, comorbidities, and complex health conditions. We specialize in sustainable weight loss nutrition, gastrointestinal and digestive health, heart and cardiovascular health, diabetes and prediabetes, hormone health, general healthy eating and wellness, among other areas of expertise.

What populations does Culina Health work with?

We work with all populations! Our patients span all ages, races, ethnicities, and gender and sexual identities. The majority of our patients are adults, and we also have dietitians who specialize in working with children and teens. We believe that everyone should have access to clinically excellent, culturally affirming nutrition care. Learn more about our care method.

What is a registered dietitian nutritionist? Are they the same as nutritionists?

Registered dietitians (RDs) or registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are nationally-recognized food and nutrition healthcare professionals who are uniquely qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT). RDs complete extensive nutrition education and 1,000+ hours of clinical training. They must pass national board exams for licensure, and stay up-to-date on current evidence-based guidelines with mandatory continuing education credits.

RDs receive an NPI number (National Provider Identifier Number), which authorizes them to bill insurance for nutrition care. RDs work in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, including hospitals, alongside physicians and other healthcare providers. There is no comparable national standard of education, training, or licensure for nutritionists, who do not offer insurance coverage for their services. Read this blog post for more details.

Are my visits covered by insurance?

Most likely! If you have a commercial insurance plan from a major provider, chances are you have some coverage for registered dietitian visits. 93% of our patients receive insurance coverage. Visit our insurance page to learn more. Get started here. 

How do I make an appointment with a registered dietitian? How many appointments will I need? 

You can schedule your first session on our website. We will ask you some questions to learn more about your needs, and then match you with a registered dietitian who specializes in your health condition(s), meets your preferences, and practices in your state. 

At your first session, you and your dietitian will decide how frequently you will meet, and whether you might benefit from any other support. The number of sessions needed to achieve and maintain lasting change varies greatly from person to person. Your dietitian will likely be able to best advise on a recommended duration of care after 1-2 appointments. Read more about how to prepare for your first session. 

Insurance Coverage

How do I check if I am covered?

93% of our patients receive insurance coverage for their visits. If you have health insurance, your sessions will most likely be covered under your plan. See our insurance page for how to verify your coverage with your insurance company.

What is coinsurance?

Some insurance plans have coinsurance, a form of cost-sharing that allows you to split the cost of care between you and your insurance company. Most insurance plans with coinsurance require you to pay a percentage of the cost of care after you’ve met your deductible.

For example, let's say your health insurance plan's allowed amount for an office visit is $100, and your coinsurance is 20%. If you've already met your deductible, then you will owe 20% of $100, or $20, with your insurance company paying the rest. If you have not yet met your deductible, then you will pay the full allowed amount.

What is my allowed amount?

Your "allowed amount" is the maximum your insurance plan will pay for a covered healthcare service. The "allowed amount" is also called an "eligible expense," "payment allowance," or "negotiated rate." You may have to pay the difference if your provider charges more than the plan's allowed amount. We will not know your allowed amount until after your claim is processed.

What is a copay?

An insurance copay is a contribution made by the patient/policyholder toward the cost of medical treatment or other healthcare services. Many plans cover nutrition counseling as a preventative benefit; if this is the case with your policy, there may be no copay required. Different insurance plans have different copay amounts, and sometimes copay amounts vary depending on the type of healthcare treatment or service. 

When do I pay my copay?

If your plan does require a copay, we will bill you after your insurance plan applies it to your claim. This timeframe can range from 1-6 weeks after your session. 

What do I do if my insurance changes?

If your insurance changes, please update our team with a copy of your most current insurance card. You can update your information directly in the patient portal. We will bill the insurance on file until you provide us with your most updated information.

What is a deductible? Why does it need to be met before sessions are paid by insurance?

A deductible is a form of cost sharing where your insurance company does not start paying for in-network care until you have paid for the deductible amount yourself in full. Let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible; you will pay for your nutrition counseling sessions in full until you have accumulated $1,000 worth of medical charges.

Usually, deductibles reset every year. So if you meet your $1,000 by June, your insurance company will take over payment until the deductible restarts at $1,000 the following January. Once you meet your plan’s deductible, most insurance providers typically only require a copayment or coinsurance for additional covered services up to an out-of-pocket maximum.

What if my insurance doesn’t cover my dietitian visits?

If you are paying out of pocket, we will notify you if you’re eligible for reimbursement directly from your insurance company and provide you with all the documentation and details you need to submit a claim. We also offer affordable membership options

Do you accept Medicare?

We do have a limited amount of Medicare coverage, which we are working hard to expand. Contact us at to discuss your Medicare coverage or explore our affordable self-pay membership plans.


What’s the difference between going through my insurance and setting up a membership?

We offer the Culina Health membership as an option for patients who are not covered by insurance or who do not wish to use their insurance policies, such as those who have high deductibles that have not been met. Membership sessions are entirely paid for by your monthly dues, and there will be no claims to submit to insurance.

When is the initiation fee due?

The new member initiation fee is due at sign-up.

When will my monthly membership fees be billed?

Payment will be billed on the same date each month, starting on the date you sign up. For memberships purchased on the last day of the month, memberships will renew on the last day of each month that is shorter than the month of sign-up.

What happens if I don’t use all my sessions in a month?

Unused membership sessions do not carry over month to month, and Culina Health will not refund any unused monthly sessions. Memberships can, however, be canceled or paused at any time prior to the next billing cycle. You may use all allotted sessions within the month of cancellation.

What is the cancellation and reschedule policy?

Canceled and rescheduled session requests must be made more than 24 hours before the scheduled session date and time. For cancellation and rescheduling requests made within 24 hours of the scheduled date and time, patients will be charged a $25 fee. This fee will be waived once per month. 

What happens if I cancel within my first two months?

If membership is canceled prior to the completion of your introductory month plus one full month of follow-up sessions, you will be charged at a standalone rate of $225 for your initial session and $100 for any follow-up sessions. Your membership payment will be applied towards this fee.

Will my insurance reimburse membership fees?

Fees associated with your Culina Health membership cannot be submitted for reimbursement.

What if I sign up for a membership and later choose to use insurance coverage for my sessions?

While we cannot retroactively apply your insurance benefits to sessions completed during your membership, we will assist you in switching your payment method over to insurance coverage once we receive your information. 

Registered Dietitian Sessions

What is a registered dietitian? 

Registered dietitians (RDs) or registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are nationally-recognized food and nutrition healthcare professionals who are uniquely qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT). RDs complete extensive nutrition education and 1,000+ hours of clinical training. They must pass national board exams for licensure, and stay up-to-date on current evidence-based guidelines with mandatory continuing education credits.

How do I get matched to a registered dietitian? 

Our care team considers a variety of factors when pairing patients with dietitians, including your location, health goals, and preferred medical nutrition therapy approach in addition to any referring physicians or chronic conditions that might have brought you to us. Many of our dietitians have areas of specialization that particularly qualify them to assist patients with certain health concerns. 

How much does it cost?

93% of our patients receive insurance coverage for their visits. If you have health insurance, your sessions will most likely be covered under your plan. See our insurance page for how to verify your coverage with your insurance company.

If you’re not covered by insurance, we're still committed to helping you fit registered dietitian sessions into your budget. Check out our affordable memberships or reach out to our support team at or 917-647-1665. 

Will I have to follow a specific diet?

Short answer: no. Because our care is personalized, we don't subscribe to any single diet or eating trend; instead, we work with you in 1:1 sessions to develop sustainable plans tailored to your individual background, preferences, and needs. (And if the plan isn’t working for any reason — we change it!)

Once you schedule your first session, you’ll gain access to the Culina Health app. This will be your home for meal tracking, recipes, and other healthy eating tips week to week (plus you can chat with your registered dietitian in real time).

What happens during a typical session? 

The process is slightly different for everyone, but generally your sessions will include discussions of your eating habits and goals, troubleshooting for any struggles you may be having, and planning for the week ahead. 

All of our registered dietitians are trained to deliver culturally competent, identity-centered care. Your conversations will be judgment-free, and your dietitian will take care to respect your individual background. 

What if I have to change my appointment time?

You can cancel and reschedule your appointment up to 24 hours before with no penalty!

What if I don’t click with my registered dietitian?

We want you to have the best support possible. If it’s not the right fit, we'll help you rematch.


What can a registered dietitian licensed in my state help me with? 

Culina Health registered dietitians specialize in all areas of wellness including general healthy eating, eating disorders, and chronic disease prevention and treatment. Our patients frequently come to us for support with sustainable weight loss, GI and digestive health issues, heart disease and cardiovascular health, diabetes prevention and management, and conditions caused by hormonal dysregulation. 

How do I find a registered dietitian licensed in my state who can work with me?

We’re so glad you asked. Book your first session to share a little bit more about your health needs and counseling preferences, and we will match you with a registered dietitian licensed to practice in your state. You can also browse all of our registered dietitians.

Why does a registered dietitian need to be licensed in my state for virtual appointments? 

Since registered dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy to patients, they must abide by the licensure laws of the state in which they are practicing. If a registered dietitian is located in a different state than their patient, the patient’s state is considered the practice location (even if sessions are held online). We will help you find a registered dietitian nutritionist licensed to provide virtual care near you.  

I’m a registered dietitian and I’m interested in joining Culina Health. How do I get started?

We would love to get to know you better. Please visit our careers page for more information on practicing as a registered dietitian with Culina Health. 

 Which locations can Culina Health see patients in?

The majority of Culina Health patients are located in New York, New Jersey, Texas, CaliforniaMassachusetts, and the Washington DC metro area, but Culina Health registered dietitians are proud to offer multilingual nutrition support to patients nationwide. Get started or contact support at or 917-647-1665 to find an RD who is licensed in your area.

Patient Referrals

Do you take insurance?

Yes! We're in network with most major health insurance plans including Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Healthcare. Review our comprehensive list of accepted insurance plans.

How long does it take for patients to get into care?

Most patients schedule a session within 7-10 days of our first point of contact. Patients can see a dietitian as early as 1-2 days from the time of booking. Telehealth appointments are available on weekdays, evenings, and weekends to accommodate a variety of schedules.

Do you coordinate care?

Yes! We share clinical care notes regularly, so our medical partners always know what's happening with their patient's nutrition counseling. Our registered dietitians are also available for real-time coordinated care and consultation as needed.

How often do your dietitians meet with a patient?

After their initial introductory session, most patients will schedule sessions weekly or bi-weekly. Our dietitians are also able to administer quick check-ins between sessions using the messaging feature on our HIPAA compliant app. 

What is the best way to refer a patient?

Fill out our referral form here or share our sign-up link with your patient. Your patient will have the opportunity to identify you as the referring physician when they sign up.

What health concerns and conditions do you treat?

We specialize in Sustainable Weight Loss Nutrition, Gastrointestinal and Digestive Health, Heart and Cardiovascular Health, Diabetes and Prediabetes, Hormone Health, General Healthy Eating and Wellness, among other areas of expertise. Because all our registered dietitians have experience working in hospital settings, we are uniquely prepared to support patients with chronic diseases and presenting with comorbidities and complex health conditions.