Mental Health Billing: COBRA

If you are a mental health / behavioral health professional, working in private or group practice, you will have your work cut out for you. We want to help you with some quick tips and answers.

What is a COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) plan?

A COBRA plan gives people, who may have just lost their job, time to find a new job, new insurance, and remain covered. COBRA is typically for when a patient is terminated from their job or they have to leave their job, and it is insurance that will cover in their grace period.

COBRA is applicable for six months, paid out-of-pocket and acts as a buffer for insurance coverage.

How does it affect you as a counselor?

If someone comes in with a COBRA plan, and they had a previous plan that you had billed, then you would continue to bill them as normal. It may take a little while for the coverage to kick in, and the patient may be inactive when you call the insurance company, but then they will backdate that COBRA. The claims may be denied for a bit until the COBRA coverage kicks in, but then COBRA will back date the claim.

Quick Tip

What happens if a patient stops paying the COBRA?

The claim will not get paid. COBRA gets renewed on a monthly basis, so you may want to call and check to see if they are verified under COBRA.

For more information:

Call us anytime toll-free at 1-855-664-5154 for a no-pressure conversation about how Thriveworks can help you build your practice through excellent mental health billing services. If you would prefer, you can watch the video here:


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Dr. Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."