Life coaching has gained immense popularity in recent years as individuals seek guidance and support to enhance their personal and professional lives. However, along with its growth, questions have arisen about the legitimacy of life coaching as a profession. Furthermore, there is curiosity about whether life coaching services can be covered by insurance, much like other forms of therapy and counselling. In this extensive blog article, we will delve into these two interconnected questions, providing a comprehensive overview backed by industry citations and real-world examples.

Life Coaching - is it real ?
Life Coaching – is it real ?


The world of life coaching is both dynamic and diverse, with countless individuals turning to coaches for help in areas such as career development, personal growth, relationship enhancement, and more. Despite the undeniable positive experiences reported by many, there is a persistent debate regarding the legitimacy of life coaching. Concurrently, people are interested in whether these services can be financially supported through insurance coverage.

To address these questions, we will begin by exploring the legitimacy of life coaching and then delve into the possibilities of insurance coverage for life coaching services.

Part 1: Are Life Coaches Legit?

The Rise of Life Coaching

Life coaching has seen a remarkable ascent in popularity over the last few decades. This growth can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the increased emphasis on self-improvement, the desire for work-life balance, and the proliferation of social media platforms that allow individuals to market themselves as life coaching experts.

According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), a leading professional organization for coaches, there were approximately 71,000 coaches worldwide in 2019, up from 47,500 in 2015. This rapid growth has led to concerns about the qualifications and credibility of many life coaches.

*Image source: [ICF Global Coaching Study 2020]


Assessing Legitimacy

To evaluate the legitimacy of life coaching, we need to consider several critical aspects:

1. Education and Certification

One of the primary concerns is the lack of standardized education and certification requirements for life coaches. Unlike professions such as psychology or counseling, where practitioners typically hold advanced degrees and are subject to licensing regulations, life coaching does not have uniform educational criteria.

However, many reputable organizations, including the ICF, offer certification programs for life coaches. These programs often require rigorous training, mentorship, and the successful completion of examinations. Clients seeking a legitimate life coach should look for certifications from well-established coaching organizations.

2. Ethical Standards

Another essential aspect of legitimacy is adherence to ethical standards. Legitimate life coaches adhere to a code of ethics that governs their professional conduct, including maintaining confidentiality, avoiding conflicts of interest, and providing honest and unbiased guidance.

The ICF, for example, has a comprehensive Code of Ethics that its members must follow. These ethical guidelines help protect clients and ensure that they receive trustworthy and ethical coaching services.

3. Results and Client Testimonials

Legitimate life coaches often have a track record of helping clients achieve their goals and improve their lives. While success is subjective and can vary depending on the client’s goals, reputable life coaches can provide evidence of their effectiveness through client testimonials and case studies.

Clients should ask for references and inquire about past successes when considering a life coach. A coach with a history of positive outcomes is more likely to be legitimate and effective.

4. Specialization and Expertise

Legitimate life coaches often specialize in specific areas, such as career coaching, relationship coaching, or wellness coaching. Specialization demonstrates a deep understanding of particular challenges and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement in that area.

Clients should seek coaches whose expertise aligns with their goals. A coach who specializes in the relevant field is more likely to provide valuable insights and guidance.

Part 2: Can Life Coaching Be Covered by Insurance?

Now that we have explored the legitimacy of life coaching, let’s turn our attention to the possibility of insurance coverage for life coaching services. This is a topic that has gained increasing attention as people seek ways to make self-improvement and personal development more accessible and affordable.

Is Life Coaching Covered by Insurance ?
Is Life Coaching Covered by Insurance ?

The Landscape of Mental Health Coverage

To understand the potential for insurance coverage for life coaching, it’s essential to examine the broader context of mental health coverage. Traditionally, insurance plans have covered services provided by licensed mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and licensed counselors.

These professionals are often required to have specific credentials and licenses to practice, and their services are typically covered by health insurance plans. This coverage includes therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, and counseling.

Challenges with Insurance Coverage for Life Coaching

While some individuals have successfully obtained insurance reimbursement for life coaching services, there are several challenges and barriers to widespread coverage:

1. Lack of Regulation

As mentioned earlier, the field of life coaching lacks standardized regulation and educational requirements. Insurance providers typically prefer to work with licensed and regulated professionals to ensure a certain level of quality and accountability.

2. Medical Necessity

Insurance providers often require that services be considered medically necessary to be eligible for coverage. Life coaching services, which are primarily focused on personal development and goal achievement, may not always meet this criterion.

3. Specific Insurance Plans

The possibility of life coaching coverage varies by insurance company and plan. Some insurance providers may offer more flexibility in covering alternative therapies, while others may be more restrictive.

4. Documentation and Diagnosis

To receive insurance reimbursement for mental health services, a diagnosis must often be provided. Life coaching typically does not involve diagnosing mental health disorders, making it challenging to meet the criteria for insurance coverage.

Successful Cases of Insurance Coverage

Despite these challenges, there have been instances where individuals have successfully obtained insurance reimbursement for life coaching services. In such cases, several factors played a role:

– The client had a documented medical or psychological condition that required supportive services.
– The life coach had specific credentials or certifications recognized by the insurance provider.
– The life coach worked in collaboration with a licensed mental health professional to provide a comprehensive treatment plan.


In conclusion, the legitimacy of life coaching as a profession can be established through factors such as education, certification, adherence to ethical standards, and a track record of success. Legitimate life coaches provide valuable guidance and support to individuals seeking to improve various aspects of their lives.

Regarding insurance coverage for life coaching services, it remains a complex and evolving issue. While some individuals have been successful in obtaining reimbursement for life coaching, there are significant challenges, including the lack of regulation, the need for medical necessity, and the specific requirements of insurance plans.

As the field of life coaching continues to develop and gain recognition, it is possible that insurance coverage options may expand. However, individuals interested in exploring this possibility should thoroughly research their insurance plan, consult with professionals, and be prepared to navigate the complexities of the insurance system.

Ultimately, the decision to work with a life coach and the pursuit of insurance coverage should be based on individual goals, needs, and circumstances. Life coaching has proven to be a valuable resource for personal development and growth, and for many, it has been a transformative experience, irrespective of insurance coverage.