Using a coach means no paperwork has to be filed through an employer. When using insurance, clients typically have to go through an Employee Assistance Program or a school for students. If the patient has government/public insurance then you can be sure there will be records regarding services rendered. Many people prefer that their employer, school, or government not know that they are receiving mental healthcare. Using a private coach means private records that no one other than the coach and client have access to.
CLIENT CENTERED VS. SYSTEM DIRECTED
Insurance companies want to save money. They are not going to pay more money than they have to; consequentially they have guidelines about what they will cover. Insurance companies can direct the number of sessions, and even the content and nature of services. For example, an insurance company may say they will only pay for 7 sessions of individual therapy for clinical depression; and stipulate that the treatment modality must be research-based (such as Behavioral Therapy). Private coaching is based on the client’s needs, desires, and uniqueness. Regardless of the client’s issues, treatment will go forth as far as the client is willing and able to take it, and it will be tailored to the client’s unique personality, goals, and needs. The individual who prefers a natural, holistic approach can find compatibility with the right coach.
HEALTH & HAPPINESS VS. DISEASE
Often insurance companies will only pay for treatment if the client has a diagnosable mental illness such as Major Depressive Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many people aren’t clinically ill, but want a coach for a variety of good reasons. People want self-improvement, help working through a situation, desire accountability, want to be happier, improve relationships, manage stress, learn relaxation/meditation, or to just talk to an objective professional privately. Even those with clinical disorders may prefer to focus on good health and happiness rather than disease. Many people quite understandably don’t want to be labeled by their “disorder”. Coaches focus on helping clients achieve goals rather than treating mental illnesses.
INVESTMENT LEADS TO BETTER OUTCOMES
Studies show that people who pay for services out of pocket are more invested, put forth greater efforts, and see better results. Research also suggests providers are more invested to the source of income. When insurance companies pay, they are often seen as the client, rather than the individuals seeking treatment. [Harvard Business Review, TheraNest]
As mentioned, when insurance pays, they can place restrictions on treatment. Patients can be required to go to an office with a specific type of entrance, and meet face to face with a licensed clinician. Coaching sessions are based on the client’s needs, preferences and personality. Sessions can be held almost anywhere, and designed to accommodate the client’s lifestyle. Clients can be parked in their car, on the phone, tablet, Skype, webcam, Facetime, chatting, texting or Instant Messaging. Imagine having a productive session while you eat lunch in your car, before work, or while outside enjoying fresh air. When professionals don’t have to rent or go to an office, overhead costs are reduced and time restraints are removed. Sessions can be conducted in one of the ways mentioned at almost any time, including in the middle of the night for those with nocturnal schedules. Much safer than going to an office at 3 am (if one could even find such an option).
The most obvious reason not to use insurance is because the person doesn’t have it. Research shows many people who need mental healthcare don’t receive it. One study found 47% of respondents with a disorder thought they needed mental health care but did not have insurance.
Some healthcare professionals simply do not accept patients without insurance. Those whom treat both the insured and uninsured often charge everyone the same inflated prices to match the insurance company’s rates. As indicated previously, even for those patients whom do have insurance, companies may not approve (pay for) the desired services, particularly when it comes to mental health. Those in need must find valid alternatives such as qualified coaches who accept self-pay at reasonable rates. All people are entitled to good health and the pursuit of happiness. At times we will all need help in life, and everyone should be able to get the assistance they need.