Did you know? Peer services are now included in the Medicaid State Plan.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


We are excited to share that as of July 1, peer support services are now included in both the mental health and substance use sections of the Medicaid State Plan. Washington State started offering certified peer counseling trainings in 2005, and was one of the first 11 states to deliver peer services using Medicaid funding.

Appropriately licensed behavioral health agencies can now provide peer support services for both mental health and substance use disorders and request Medicaid reimbursement. This new addition in services will build an even greater workforce of certified peers that will benefit hundreds of individuals in recovery.

What do certified peer counselors (CPC) do?

CPCs help people develop their own recovery goals. They provide scheduled activities that promote recovery and self-advocacy, and help to maintain community living skills. Each person has an individual service plan that meets specific goals and is tailored to individual needs.

How does it work?

Behavioral health agencies that want to be reimbursed for CPCs need to contact their Apple Health managed care organization (MCO) or behavioral health organization (BHO), as peer support services will need to be added to their existing contracts. At this time, the Department of Health (DOH) does not require a license for peer supports, but all behavioral health agencies must ensure that all employees meet requirements such as background checks, annual trainings, signed confidentially commitment statements, and tuberculosis screenings.

The Health Care Authority (HCA) offers information on CPC reimbursement, regulations, and  how to become a peer counselor. You can also contact peersupportprogram@hca.wa.gov for more information.