What You Need to Know about Seeing Insurance Clients in Your Private Therapy Practice
Updated: Jan 14
You're thinking about taking insurance and not sure where to start. You've heard a lot about it - both positive and negative - and are considering taking the leap into having an insurance-based counseling practice.
In this post, I offer my professional guidance based on my experience accepting insurance and private pay clients in my own therapy practice right now and as a consultant. Here's what you need to know:
1. You need to be fully licensed and have a tax ID number, a type 1 NPI number, and malpractice insurance at a minimum to start taking clients.
2. You need to register and have an updated profile with CAQH. This is the clearinghouse that connects with all of the insurance companies when they're reviewing your application to accept you on their panel. You will NOT be accepted to any insurance panel or EAP without this completed.
3. You are responsible for keeping up with your CAQH profile, not the insurance companies, so set a reminder in your calendar to re-attest your profile every 120 days (sooner if you update things).
4. Once your CAQH profile is set up, reach out to insurance companies you want to be paneled with for credentialing. I talk about this in my All the Basics course, so check that out if you need help with anything in this post and beyond.
5. Remember that it will take a while (up to 6 months for some insurance companies) to get approved on their panel. Find out if your application is retroactive or if it starts the day they approve you.
6. Make sure that you talk about your responsibility vs. the client's in regards to insurance in your intake paperwork so you're both on the same page.
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