FARGO, N.D. (KXNET) — A new partnership is helping more people gain affordable coverage and access to preventive services.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and the North Dakota Health and Human Services have announced a Behavioral Health option for Medicaid Expansion members.

Peer support is now a covered service under the Medicaid expansion program.

Beginning January 1 certified peer support specialists will be able to apply their own experience to help those on their way toward addiction recovery.

According to Blue Cross Blue Shield, peer support specialists are an important component when helping those recovering from addiction. The organization says the new partnership is a way of creating a healthier tomorrow.

“The peer support is an evidence-based model and has been proven clinically effective,” said Chelsey Matter, executive director of government programs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. “It doesn’t replace that clinician or treatment provider. But it is rooted in scientific evidence that it is a really effective way to help those through their treatment journey.”

If you are interested in learning more about how to become a peer support specialist click here.