Free health coaching included in JHU's medical plans

Take advantage of this option to manage your weight, quit tobacco, reduce stress, increase activity, eat healthier, or make other important health changes

Crushed cigarette


Most adults know what they should do to take care of their health. There's a huge gap between knowing and doing, however, especially at the end of the day when exhaustion sets in. The best-laid plans for healthy eating, exercise, and stress management can easily become macaroni and cheese with a glass of wine while sitting on the couch watching TV or scanning social media.

There is a way to stop feeling like a failure at all the health goals you set. You can move away from the disappointment and discouragement of not being able to make changes stick for you and your family. You can choose the choices you'd like to make using strategies that will work for you based on previous success and the specifics of your current responsibilities and daily schedule.

And if you're medically insured through Johns Hopkins, you don't have to do it alone.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, EHP, and Kaiser Permanente offer health coaching as part of subscriber benefits. The coaching is free, voluntary, and confidential. Subscribers' eligibility for benefits is not affected if they choose not to participate or withdraw from the program after starting coaching.

Typically, there are two tracks of health coaching: lifestyle and disease management. Subscribers can self-refer or agree to participate if diagnosed with a chronic condition and contacted by the medical plan.

Here's how it works.

Pair up with a health coach

Health coaches partner with clients to manage weight, quit tobacco, reduce stress, increase activity, eat healthier, and make other important health changes.

Health and wellness coaching puts the client at the center of the relationship and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental influences that affect a person's health. It creates conditions for maximum client empowerment and motivation toward making personally important and meaningful lifestyle changes.

Coaching should be nonjudgmental, focus on what's right, and foster possibilities. Clients are the ones who decide where to start and what success looks like. The coach partners with them to discover the kind of guidance they need to find their motivation to be their healthiest self.

"Our coaches help subscribers transition from feeling unhealthy and not their best to an optimal level of living and thriving," says Deborah Linehan, supervisor of EHP's Health Coach Program.

Benefit from health coaching

Research literature on health and wellness coaching is beginning to show that coaching interventions, specifically multiple in-person or telephone coaching sessions for three months or longer, improve health outcomes for several chronic diseases—including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity—and for cancer survivors. The outcomes delivered by coaches include the following:

  • Increased self-awareness and self-knowledge
  • Increased personal responsibility
  • Acquisition of new knowledge and skills
  • Attainment of personal and professional goals
  • Sustainable behavior change
  • Increased life satisfaction
  • Developed sense of purpose and meaning

Expect personal development

Professional coaches are trained to guide clients in mindful thinking, feeling, and doing work that builds confidence; address mental and physical health together; reframe obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow; and inspire and challenge clients to go beyond what they could have done alone.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield health coaching

Subscribers may opt in to Lifestyle Management Coaching. Coaches are registered nurses and trained professionals who provide one-on-one support to help clients reach their wellness goals. The easiest way to opt in to one of the tracks is by calling 800-783-4582 and pressing option 6.

EHP Health Coaching Program

Health coaches collaborate with subscribers to create individualized action plans for improving health. Members may self-refer into the program or be referred by their health care provider or case manager. To get started, call 800-957-9760 or email

Kaiser Permanente Wellness Coaching Program

If you need help finding places to exercise, healthy recipes, or support groups, a Kaiser Permanente wellness coach can help you find the right resources. Your coach is part of your health team, so he or she can help you coordinate and communicate your care with your physician and the rest of your team at Kaiser Permanente facilities. Coaching is available in English and Spanish, and no referral is needed. To get started, call 866-862-4295.

Does health coaching work?

Jeanne Hoover, training program coordinator with the STD/HIV Prevention Training Center at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, is one participant who says she's glad she took the step. "I didn't know that I needed to control the quantities of food I ate as I aged. Changing my portion sizes, as well as exercising, helped me lose 10 pounds," says Hoover, who talked on the phone with an EHP health coach one time per month and used an app to document food intake and exercise. "If you want to lose weight, I recommend working with a health coach."

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