The health coaching industry is exploding! There are so many options. If you're in the market to find a health coach to keep you accountable to yourself on your wellness journey, here are some tips to help you navigate finding a good fit health coach.
Where does one start?
First, do you have health goals in mind or questions you need answering so that you can move forward confidently in your daily living? Are you seeking education on healthier living solutions? Want to increase your own understanding of wellness with the end goal of feeling better and improving the way you see yourself?
To start: Ask your warm market. You can reach out to your friends on social media or post a question in a forum in your city or even find an online or in-person group that's geared towards the goals you have in mind. You can do a web search with your zip code to see who is available in your area. You can also reach out to your local hospital, your practitioner, private practices, or chamber of commerce to find health coaches.
Typically, health coaches are not covered by medical insurance. However, it is reasonable to consider that health coaches can help lower overall healthcare costs.
Here are just a few studies:
(1) Effect of health coaching on blood pressure control and behavioral modification among patients with hypertension (IJNS, 2023)
(2) Evidence-Based Program: Health Coaches for Hypertension Control (NCOA, 2020)
(3) Health Coaching to Improve Hypertension Treatment in a Low-Income, Minority Population (Annals of Family Medicine, 2012)
Updated 2023: When Board Certified Health Coaches work directly under a physician, a patient can opt to have their insurance billed and reimbursed. More details about this benefit may be released in 2024 or after the NBHWC gathers substantial data. Currently, the CPT codes are not reimbursable if a Board Certified Health Coach 'bills' insurance. This blog post will be updated again when new information is available. Even when Board Certified Health Coaches can bill insurance, they may elect not to. Consider all of these options when hiring a health coach.
Sometimes health coaches work with private practice doctors. The health coach serves as the liaison between the patient and their doctor. Through their commitment to your health and the partnership with the doctor, they can help increase patient satisfaction and reduce physician stress and burnout by freeing up time. Many times patients can't get in to see their practitioner but they have a question regarding the goals they established as part of their care. The health coach that works with the physician can support you in the meantime offering education, answering questions, and sharing resources that align with the established goals. Also, just having another person to talk to is really helpful!
Most other times, health coaches are on their own serving the wellness needs for their private clients. All health coaches offer individualized food and lifestyle changes. Every health coach has a scope of education and expertise and so they can differ in their programs and support.
Occasionally, companies will hire a health coach for their employees as a benefit to working there. This would be considered corporate wellness. The coaches may offer group presentations, classes or workshops, or private sessions with the employees. The health coaches are paid by the company and the employees receive the health support at no cost.
What is a health coach? Listen here (1m 24s).
[In health coaching, we] "create individualized solutions that support genuine, lasting lifestyle changes. It’s more than just knowing the science behind nutrition and exercise, it’s understanding how to motivate coaching clients to live happier, healthier lives." - Dr. Sears Wellness Institute
Once you find a health coach that works with your specific needs, they will be supportive, open minded, they will listen, and they will not tell you what to do nor will they 'should' on you. Bottom line, open communication between you and the coach at all times is important. Be honest. Ask about their wellness guidelines they have in place to see how / if they will align with your values and needs.
As a Board Certified Health Coach, my niche market are busy individuals seeking a renewed sense of focus and those with a desire to implement healthy strategies. My clients tend to be in their 40s-50s but I have coached younger and older. I respectfully inform my clients when providing resources, education, and guidelines. You can become an informed consumer and an empowered person in your family/community through your personal decisions.
Why don't you see if we are a good fit by connecting with me on a Discovery Session. If I can't help or your goals/requests are out of my scope, I will refer you out. I'm looking forward to connecting with you!
Choose, eat, and live well! =)
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease, condition, or ailment. This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Speak with your healthcare provider to see how/if it pertains to your individual needs.
The purpose of this blog is to offer support for your health goals. As of July 2022, Jessica David is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Jessica has ten years of coaching experience and you can consider her an encourager, someone in your corner, a friend, and a professional.
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