Online doctor services have been growing in accessibility in recent years, thanks to improved technology, heightened security, more acceptance by health insurance, and overall public comfort with using a smart phone, app and other tech to communicate with health care providers.
The benefits of communicating with an online doctor — whether a long-time family practitioner, a specialist near you, or through one of the many online doctor portals — are many:
- Quick service — often immediate appointments available
- Access to a wide variety of specialists throughout the country (you’re not limited to those in your community)
- Easy to get second opinions
In this article, you’ll find a detailed review of the top providers in the telehealth industry today.
Online doctor services FAQ
These are some common questions about telehealth and telemedicine:
What are telehealth and telemedicine apps?
Telehealth and telemedicine apps allow you to receive care from your doctor or other health care provider without ever leaving home. Through most telemedicine apps, you can schedule appointments, message your doctors, view test results, and access health records.
Telehealth appointments are typically conducted using video calling software on your phone or computer. Some may also offer online chat services.
Who should use telemedicine apps?
Anyone can and should use telemedicine apps for non-emergency, preventative, and mental health services. Dr. Jordan D. Frey, a licensed plastic surgeon based in Buffalo, N.Y., says telemedicine apps are excellent tools for patients and doctors to increase communication and access to care.
“They are especially useful for check-up visits or sick visits where a full physical exam is not an essential part of the visit, especially for kids,” Frey says.
He says telemedicine apps are also useful for getting answers to questions from a provider in a way that is efficient for both parties.
Dr. Jennifer Roelands, an integrative medicine trained OB/GYN, runs a telehealth practice called Well Woman MD based in Los Angeles. She sees all of her patients virtually.
“My patients, when asked if they would prefer to see me in person, have all said no,” Roelands says. “They like the convenience of being able to be at home or work and not drive in LA traffic to an office.”
She says if you are patient and comfortable with technology, a telemedicine app is a smart choice for easy messaging, appointment scheduling, and “walk-in” care.
In Roelands' experience, individuals who have limited mobility or financial barriers prefer telemedicine options.
Who should not use telemedicine apps?
Frey says telemedicine apps should not be used for a person experiencing an emergency and for visits where a physical exam is critical to diagnosis.
Roelands adds that if you have not seen a doctor in years, you should be seen in person. Other considerations could be those with visual impairments or language barriers, since not all telemedicine platforms have options for addressing these individuals.
How do you choose an online doctor service/telemedicine app?
First, see if your health care provider offers its own telemedicine platform. If they don’t, Frey says the best way to choose a third-party online doctor service is to look at reviews.
“You want one that is quick, responsive, and effective,” she says. “You also want to ensure it is serviced by licensed physicians and providers.”
There are several important factors we use to choose the best online doctor apps to recommend:
|Rating and reviews||How does this online doctor app rate with Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, and individual client reviews?|
|Ease of use||Is the online doctor app’s technology up-to-date with a great app, multiple modes of communication, and otherwise great user experience?|
|Price||Which apps are a) most price competitive, b) transparent in pricing, c) offer financial aid?|
|Honesty and transparency||How is customer service? Are there hidden fees? Is it easy to change doctors? Is canceling straight-forward? Is it easy and fast to connect with a helpful customer service representative through multiple channels — chat, email, phone?|
|Security||We rated each online doctor platform for its compliance with Internet security practices, which work to prevent malicious third-parties from accessing your medical, personal, and financial data.|
|Privacy||Is the site HIPAA compliant? Does it take steps to ensure that your personal and health information will never be shared illegally. Do users have the option to engage anonymously?|
# 1 best online doctor app: Teladoc
Our No. 1 choice for the best online doctor app is Teladoc, for a few main reasons: It’s fast, easy to use, and unlike many of its competitors, covered by many large insurance companies.
To create a Teladoc account, all you need to do is download the app or visit the website and fill out a form asking you about your medical history and the reason you’d like to make an appointment. In minutes, you’ll be able to make an appointment with doctors and specialists. You can schedule your appointment for up to two days in advance or, if you’re in a rush to be seen, you can enter a queue where you’ll be paired with the next available physician.
Take it from me as a real user that this is a life saver. Last June, I woke up one morning with my left eye swollen nearly completely shut due to a surprise infection. I needed antibiotics fast, but my day was full of meetings, and all of the local clinics were booked up by at least two days. A friend recommended I try Teladoc, and on my lunch break, I was able to not only create an account and join the queue, but be seen in between my meetings. Following the call, the doctor sent a prescription for my antibiotics over to the pharmacy, and I was able to pick them up right after work.
As a bonus, you can also book mental health appointments through Teladoc’s online therapy site BetterHelp, making Teladoc an ideal platform for someone who is looking for both of those services.
Teladoc also offers Primary360, a service that connects patients with a designated primary care provider for virtual visits via phone or video. Your PCP will help you stay on top of your health and refer you to specialists as needed.
Many insurance plans will cover care provided by Teladoc, which means you can pay as little as $0 out of pocket for your appointment. Without insurance, the average “everyday care” appointment costs just $75.
Teladoc is not rated with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Our Teladoc review
Teladoc is a telemedicine and virtual healthcare provider that was founded in 2002. In 2015, Teladoc acquired online therapy giant BetterHelp, and in 2020, Teladoc acquired Livongo, a company that provides continuous monitoring for diabetes and other chronic health conditions.
Considered by many to be the industry leader in telemedicine, Teladoc offers a variety of virtual services for full person care, available by both desktop computer and smart phone.
Today, Teladoc offers comprehensive virtual care through board-certified doctors and therapists, completely online, in all 50 U.S. states. The company is considered by many to be the leader in the U.S. telemedicine industry. CVS MinuteClinic uses Teladoc to handle its virtual services.
While Teladoc is not meant to be used in emergency situations, you can talk to a doctor online through the Teladoc app via a phone or video session. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Online doctors through Teladoc can cover a wide range of health needs:
- Everyday Care, which covers anything you may otherwise go to Urgent Care for (such as stomachaches and the flu, or for dermatological care such as acne or eczema)
- Children & Family Care, which covers pediatric care (such as pink eye, or rashes, as well as expert advice and diagnoses)
- Mental Health Care, which covers issues such as anxiety or stress
- Wellness and Prevention, which can cover basic preventative measures and wellness checks for nutrition, back pain and sexual health
Teladoc is HIPAA compliant, and all data transmitted through the company’s platform is fully encrypted. The website is also built on an SSL certificate.
Teladoc reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
Teladoc is not rated by the BBB but has a customer rating of 1.18 out of 5 stars based on 156 customer reviews. Most of the negative reviews on the BBB website are from customers who had technical difficulty using the app or who were frustrated that they did not receive a prescription after their appointment. Teladoc has 4.3/5 stars on Trustpilot.
How much does Teladoc cost?
Teladoc can cost you as little as $0 if your insurance covers your visit. However, you can still use Teladoc if you don’t have insurance; a basic visit for Everyday Care would be no more than $75 without insurance coverage. Mental health services have different costs. For example:
- Therapist visits cost $99, and remain that way for single and recurring visits with the same therapist
- Psychiatrist visits cost $299 for the initial visit, and $199 for recurring visits
#2 best online doctor app: Sesame Care
Sesame Care is an online health care marketplace that connects patients directly with doctors across 80+ specialties, with virtual and in-person care options. You can also get low-cost prescriptions and prescription refills.
When you visit the Sesame Care website, you can filter providers by speciality or medical condition and choose one based on availability, appointment cost and patient reviews. Once they select an appointment time, new patients will have to fill out a medical history form before connecting with their chosen provider.
Providers on Sesame Care can prescribe anything medically appropriate, and patients have the option to get their medications delivered (takes 2-3 business days) or sent to a local pharmacy for pickup.
Sesame Care services are considered out of network for insurance companies, though your insurance may reimburse you for your care, depending on your plan. Sesame Care claims its patients save up to 60% off traditional medical costs.
Sesame Care is HIPAA compliant and fully encrypted through the Stripe payment platform.
Our Sesame Care review
We like Sesame Care because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all platform and puts patients in the driver’s seat of their own care.
Because Sesame Care is a health care marketplace, there isn’t a flat rate for appointments — you select the exact provider you want to see based on their speciality, patient ratings, and cost of service.
Because of this model, however, it’s important to note that Sesame does not individually vet the providers on its site, beyond ensuring each one shares their licensure, years of practice, education, training, and specializations. They recommend patients use due diligence in selecting a provider based on client reviews and credentials.
Sesame Care patients have the option to schedule a telehealth visit or to schedule an in-person visit with a local provider.
Sesame Care reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
Sesame Care has a B+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and 2.33 out of 5 stars based on 12 customer reviews. It has 4.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with numerous reviewers citing excellent quality of care and affordability.
How much does an online doctor visit with Sesame Care cost?
Each provider on Sesame Care sets their own price for an online doctor visit, so costs vary by provider and specialty.
However, Sesame Care offers a monthly membership called Sesame Plus for $10.99 a month or $99 billed annually. The annual membership includes one free lab or blood test per year. Having a membership saves you $20-30 off medical services, including:
- In-person primary care visits
- Prescription refills
More online doctor app reviews
|Doctor on Demand||Forward Healthcare|
With one exception (Virtuwell), every one of the providers follows HIPAA compliance.
Amwell (formerly named American Well) is another online doctor service provider, founded in Boston back in 2009. Amell provides services not just to individuals, but to employers, health systems, and health insurance plans.
Amwell is HIPAA compliant, and the platform is fully encrypted. The Amwell app is available on both Apple and Android devices.
Amwell offers a variety of services, including the usual urgent-care medical treatment, with therapy and psychiatry appointments, nutritional assistance, and women's health (including breastfeeding!). Amwell also provides access to online doctors that specialize in any number of areas, such as physical therapy or dermatology.
Amwell claims that through the health insurance they accept, they cover more than 80 million people.
Amwell reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
Amwell has a B rating with the BBB and a score of 1 out of 5 stars based on three customer reviews. On Trustpilot, Amwell has a rating of 2.7 out of 5 stars based on more than 2,000 customer reviews. Most negative reviews note extremely long wait times or other technical difficulties using the app.
How much does an online doctor visit with Amwell cost?
Costs, without insurance, are roughly average when compared to their competitors: an everyday, urgent-care visit costs $79. However, Amwell offers two prices for therapy, one at $109 for a meeting with a therapist that holds a master’s degree, and $129 for a therapist that holds a PhD. For a psychiatrist, the initial visit would cost $279, with follow up visits at just $109. Again, that’s without insurance, so your costs may vary.
CallonDoc is a telemedicine platform you can use to get prescription medications, request lab testing or STD tests, and more. CallonDoc allows you to communicate with a licensed medical doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant via email, phone, or text. Depending on your preferences and the severity of your condition, you may also video chat with a medical expert.
To use CallonDoc, you’ll need to create an account and access the service through a web browser. The company does not currently have an app.
CallonDoc is HIPAA compliant. The site is built on an SSL certificate, which is industry standard. Any data and information shared through the platform is fully encrypted for your protection.
CallonDoc reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
CallonDoc has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and 4.57/5-star customer rating on the BBB website, as well as a 4.8/5-star customer rating on Trustpilot. Reviewers call out how affordable, fast, convenient, and hassle-free the service is.
How much does CallonDoc cost?
CallonDoc costs $39.99 per consultation for most conditions, including pediatric urgent care, anxiety, and depression. (Consultations for ADHD, diabetes, certain STDs, and other conditions cost $49.99.) To discuss any medical issue over the phone or get a second opinion on something, you can also schedule a phone consultation for $49.99.
CallonDoc doesn’t accept insurance, however any meds they prescribe you may be covered by your insurance.
Doctor on Demand review
Doctor on Demand is a newer player on the telehealth field, having been founded in just 2012. Doctor on Demand offers a one-stop option for care, covering urgent care visits, behavior, and preventative health, as well as treating chronic conditions.
Doctor on Demand is able to prescribe medications, though they do not write prescriptions for narcotics, schedule drugs, or pain relief. However, they are able to send prescriptions for allergies, antibiotics, and other common ailments.
Doctor on Demand is HIPAA compliant and has numerous policies in place to protect your medical information, including encryption. The Doctor on Demand app is available for both Apple and Android.
Doctor on Demand reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
Doctor on Demand has B rating from the BBB and a score of 1.23 out of 5 stars based on 66 customer reviews. On Trustpilot, Doctor On Demand has a score of 1.5 out of 5 stars based on 29 reviews.
How much does Doctor on Demand cost?
As far as cost goes, the price may vary depending on your insurance, but you will see how much it will cost before the visit starts. Doctor on Demand does have flat-fee pricing for those not covered by insurance:
- $75 for a 15-minute consultation with an online medical doctor ($79 starting 10/1/22)
- $129 for 25 minutes with a psychologist, or $179 for 50 minutes
- $299 for the initial 45-minute psychiatrist consultation, and an additional $129 for a 15-minute follow-up.
However, while on these calls, you will be given the opportunity to extend the call, for an additional cost.
Doctor on Demand is covered by most of the biggest insurance names out there, and offers employee discounts for people employed by many big-name businesses (such as Walmart). They do offer coverage for people who are uninsured as well, though prices are a bit higher. They are also included in Medicare Part B, as well as insurance provided by many businesses for their employees.
Forward Healthcare review
Forward Healthcare is focused on high-tech, online preventative care, though the monthly fee structure allows for real-time online concierge doctors visits, as well as in-person doctors visits with a physician near you. You can download the Forward app for either Android or Apple devices.
Forward focuses on technology to help diagnose and prevent health care issues:
- Real-time bloodwork analysis
- Skin cancer scans
- Genetic analysis
- Biometric monitoring
Forward also uses this technology to create a multitude of charts, which allow both patients and doctors to monitor health concerns such as:
- Coronary health
- Testing and lab results
Another important difference is that Forward allows for both online, app-based visits as well as in-person visits, both unlimited and included with the monthly fee. Forward’s doctors can prescribe some medications, and even have a limited pharmacy on-site, allowing them to send prescriptions directly to you. First fills of prescriptions for blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, antibiotics and other similar medications are included in membership. All seasonal and travel vaccines and medications are included in your membership.
Other recurring medications unable to be filled on-site can be sent to your pharmacy, or directly to you. Prescriptions are coordinated through insurance, though visits are not.
Forward is HIPAA compliant, and leverages encryption and de-identification techniques to store your data in order to ensure it remains private.
Forward Healthcare reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
Forward Healthcare currently has an F rating with the BBB, based purely on the number of complaints that the business has received from customers and the fact that the business has not resolved those complaints. Forward Healthcare is not accredited with the BBB, and their BBB profile only has three customer reviews, with an average rating of 1.33 out of 5 stars. Forward Healthcare has a score of 1.9 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on 221 customer reviews.
How much does an online doctor visit with Forward cost?
Forward works on a monthly subscription basis of $149. However, Forward does not offer mental health treatment, counseling, or psychiatric assistance.
GoodRx Care review
GoodRX is a company that started life as a way for getting prescription medication online for cheaper. In 2019, the company purchased the telemedicine company HeyDoctor and integrated that company’s services into its own in order to begin offering telemedicine visits.
You can use GoodRX to make appointments related to a number of specific types of medical care, including:
- Sexual health: UTIs, birth control, Plan B, Pregnancy Testing, STDs, and more
- Medication refills: short-term medications, acid reflux, migraine meds, cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and more
- General health and preventative care: Including wellness checks, flu treatment, smoking cessation, and more
To use GoodRX Care, all you need to do is go to their website and create an account. From there, you’ll select a service from their list, answer a few questions about your medical history and the reason for your visit, and you’ll be connected with a provider through their platform. After your visit, if you require a prescription, it will either be sent to a local pharmacy for same-day pickup or you can opt to receive it by mail.
While GoodRX Care is HIPAA compliant, it’s worth noting that parent company GoodRX was involved in a scandal in 2020. Back then, people realized that GoodRX was sharing information with companies like Facebook, Google, and other advertising/marketing companies. While not a breach of HIPAA, it was also not a popular move, and GoodRX announced that they will be taking steps to change their policies.
GoodRx Care reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
GoodRX has an A+ rating with the BBB and maintains a score of 4.62 out of 5 stars based on about 600 customer reviews. The company also has a score of 3.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on 793 customer reviews. Positive reviews mention fast response time and the convenience of using the platform, while negative reviews note technical difficulties or confusion over what was possible over a virtual visit.
How much does an online doctor visit with GoodRx Care cost?
Most appointments through GoodRX Care are only $19 each if you have a Gold membership. The gold membership itself costs $9.99 per month but also comes with additional perks like additional savings on prescriptions, etc.
Appointments without a Gold membership cost $49 each.
K Health review
K Health is a telemedicine app that allows you to text with board-certified primary care doctors — but no phone calls or video meetings. K Health’s team of medical professionals is available to chat between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST, seven days a week.
Some of the issues K Health’s doctors can prescribe medication for include:
- Cold and flu
- Sinus infections
- Bladder infections
- Dental infections
- Back and neck pain
- Abdominal pain
- Anxiety and depression
K Health is both HIPAA and GDPR compliant. The platform uses various forms of encryption and de-identification technology to keep your personal medical data private.
K Health reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
K Health has an A+ rating with the BBB and a score of 1.51 out of 5 stars based on 45 customer reviews. On Trustpilot, K Health has a score of 1.8 out of 5 stars based on about 460 customer reviews. K Health has a 4.6/5-star rating in Apple’s app store and a 4.5/5-star rating in Google Play’s app store. Positive reviews highlight that K Health’s services are good for treating basic issues. Negative reviews note that the app sometimes crashes and randomly deletes messages.
How much does an online doctor visit with K Health cost?
K Health does not work with insurance. One-time visits cost $35. This includes three days of access to, and follow up from a doctor. If you get a prescription, insurance may be able to cover costs.
K Health also offers a monthly membership for everyday care, which costs $29 per month. This includes unlimited chats with doctors, who can diagnose conditions, prescribe drugs, and order lab tests.
K Health also offers a monthly mental health membership for $49 per month. Conditions like generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and depression are covered under this membership. The $49 membership includes check-ins every two weeks with one of K Health’s doctors and unlimited access to someone on K Health’s medical team for any primary care issues.
K Health also offers K Therapy for $109 per month, which is a service that includes unlimited messaging with a licensed therapist and resources designed by psychologists to use on your own.
Lemonaid is a telemedicine platform that offers virtual doctors’ visits and online pharmacy services. Essentially, it’s a one-stop shop for visiting a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner and getting medication.
To use Lemonaid, download their app on iOS or Android.
Lemonaid can prescribe medications for a wide range of conditions, including:
- Acid reflux
- High blood pressure
- Hair loss
- High cholesterol
Lemonaid is HIPAA compliant and encrypts all data that it collects for your privacy.
Lemonaid reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
Lemonaid has an A+ rating from the BBB and a 3.83 out of 5-star customer rating on the BBB site, with one reviewer saying the platform is “such a help for busy moms.” Other reviews note that Lemonaid is easy to use, providing prompt medical attention from honest and friendly doctors. Some reviews do note that the app is glitchy and that doctors and nurse practitioners sometimes don’t answer follow-up messages. Lemonaid has a score of 2.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on 6 customer reviews.
How much does an online doctor visit with Lemonaid cost?
Lemonaid doesn’t accept insurance for consultations. Most consultations cost $25. For any health issues not listed on lemonaidhealth.com, you must pay $49 for a primary care video consultation.
If you decide to use Lemonaid’s mail-order pharmacy, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for your drugs. If you get your prescription sent to a pharmacy, though, insurance may be able to cover costs. Lemonaid offers acid reflux medication for $10 a month, high cholesterol medication starting at $15 a month, and migraine medication starting at $20 a month.
Some of Lemonaid’s services have a flat monthly fee. Depression and anxiety services, for instance, are $95 per month. This fee includes monthly video consultations with a member of Lemonaid’s medical team and medication shipped to you, if prescribed. If you’re prescribed medication for anxiety or depression through Lemonaid, you will need to do a follow-up video consultation at the end of the first month in order to get a refill. If treatment is working for you, Lemonaid’s medical team can prescribe you a 30-, 60-, or 90-day supply. Your membership also includes unlimited messaging with Lemonaid’s medical team.
On November 1, 2021, Lemonaid Health was acquired by the ancestry and genetic research company 23andMe.
LiveHealth is an online doctor service provider, founded in 2017. They offer medical and allergy support starting at $59 per visit, as well as therapy ($80), psychological ($95) and psychiatric services ($175 first visit, $75 follow-ups).
LiveHealth’s online doctors are able to prescribe non-narcotic medicine, along with a few notable exceptions: Gabapentin (unless prescribed by a LiveHealth’s psychiatrist), muscle relaxers, lifestyle drugs (think Viagra), weight-loss drugs or medicine including ephedrine or pseudoephedrine (such as Sudafed).
Like its competitors, LiveHealth offers the ability to see a doctor through its app or online through a video visit. As far as medical visits go, LiveHealth’s online doctors are able to treat a variety of urgent-care conditions, such as the flu, headaches, or allergies. They do also have allergy specialists as well, who can treat a wide range of allergy-based symptoms.
LiveHealth is HIPAA compliant, and the platform is fully encrypted to protect your privacy. The LiveHealth app is available on both Android and Apple devices.
LiveHealth reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
Neither LiveHealth or its parent company Health Management Corporation has a profile on the BBB website, LiveHealth has a score of 1.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on more than 320 reviews. Most negative reviews reference prescriptions not being sent to the pharmacy, as well as wrong prescriptions being prescribed. Yikes.
How much does an online doctor visit with LiveHealth cost?
Furthermore, LiveHealth also offers therapy visits starting at just $80, or $95 for a visit with a psychiatrist, which is much less expensive than some of LiveHealth’s competitors. However, there can be a bit of a wait period for these services, ranging from a few days for a psychologist to up to two weeks for a psychiatrist.
LiveHealth is covered by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross and Empire Blue Cross Blue and Shield.
MDLIVE, an online health provider that works directly with patients, health insurance and health systems to cover a variety of issues, including behavioral health and dermatology, as well as standard medical treatment.
MDLIVE online doctors diagnose and treat a wide variety of issues, and prescribe non-narcotic medicine. In some cases, an online doctor with MDLIVE may offer emergency refill prescriptions for 2-3 days if the patient can show they already have a prescription that needs covering.
MDLIVE works much the same way most online providers do: Patients log into the platform to either enter a queue or schedule an appointment. Then, you’ll speak with your doctor by phone, secure video chat, or the app to talk with a doctor online in their state. The MDLIVE app can be downloaded for both Apple and Android devices.
An important thing to note about MDLIVE, however, is that the costs are a bit higher than some other providers reviewed here, though they are upfront about their estimated costs for different services.
MDLIVE is HIPAA compliant, and leverages multiple layers of encryption to ensure that your personal and medical information is protected.
MDLIVE reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
MDLIVE is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. It has a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on more than 11,700 reviews. Positive reviews note how quick and easy it was to get an appointment, while negative reviews tend to be from people who would have preferred an in-person visit compared to telemedicine.
How much does MDLIVE cost?
MDLIVE accepts most health insurances, and they have a detailed price breakdown of what the average visits may cost for each of their services on their website. Prices for those paying out-of-pocket:
- $82 for a common issue that might otherwise require an urgent care visit
- $108 for a counseling session
- $284 for a session with a psychiatrist
- $95 for a dermatology appointment.
All of these costs do depend on your insurance (meaning, they could be less!), and follow-up visits may vary in cost.
MDVIP is a VIP experience, with concierge medicine and concierge doctors. It allows for increased, personalized medical treatment, via phone, email, or messaging, and gives your doctors additional tools to treat you to the highest possible degree.
MDVIP assigns you one doctor that oversees your care, just as a primary physician would. Together, you and your doctor put together a plan in what’s called the MDVIP Wellness Program.
The MDVIP Wellness Program claims to offer a broader, concierge range of care than a typical physician check up. This includes:
- Bone health
- Hearing assessment
- Sleep management
- Emotional well-being
- Exercise plan
- Meal plans, food shopping list and recipes
- Assurances for travel
- Arrange visits to local physicians in your area
- Discounts for Medjet air medical transport
MDVIP is fully HIPAA compliant. The website is built on an SSL certificate and all medical information stored in the platform is encrypted.
MDVIP reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
MDVIP has an A+ rating with the BBB and a score of 1.56 out of 5 stars based on 36 customer reviews. Most of the negative reviews on the business are related to billing issues. MDVIP does not currently have a profile on Trustpilot.
How much does an online doctor visit with MDVIP cost?
The annual fee can range between $1,800 and $2,200, with quarterly, semi-annual and annual payment plans qualified for FSA and HSA.
PlushCare was founded in 2013 and services its customers mostly through its app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices and allows for regular text conversation with your online doctors. A huge bonus to PlushCare is that all of its doctors are from the top 50 medical schools in the United States, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible care.
A PlushCare online doctor can treat a variety of ailments, including:
- Urgent care issues
- Everyday concerns
- Mental health
- Ongoing chronic issues
PlushCare’s online doctors can prescribe medication, though they are unable to provide narcotics or schedule drugs. Still, they have the ability to prescribe similar medicine not falling into these categories (for example, the online doctors cannot prescribe Xanax, but cannot prescribe other anti-anxiety medication).
PlushCare is HIPAA compliant, and notes that electronic records are held in a private electronic health records system. Company policies and multiple layers of encryption are in place to protect your privacy.
How much does PlushCare cost?
A main difference between PlushCare and other online doctor platforms is the membership fee structure, as well as insurance coverage.
PlushCare is covered by many big-name health insurance companies, including Cigna, Aetna, Humana, and United Healthcare.
A PlushCare membership costs $14.99 per month or $99 per year regardless of whether or not you are insured. Those without insurance will pay $129 for their first visit and $69 for follow-ups. Those who are insured will pay the co-pay negotiated by their insurance company.
Plushcare reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
PlushCare has a B rating from the BBB with an average score of 1.28 out of 5 stars based on about 60 customer reviews. The company has a score of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on more than 1,200 customer reviews. Most Trustpilot reviews note how pleasant and convenient the app was to use when they were sick.
SteadyMD is an online concierge healthcare provider that prioritizes you and your time. SteadyMD claims to cut down on time and hassle by offering appointments with brief (SteadyMD claims 15 minutes) or no wait, near-immediate response over the app, and most importantly, consistency, because SteadyMD connects you with a doctor who, in their words, “gets you” based on their intake quiz. This personal physician is assigned to you throughout your SteadyMD membership. If that doctor is unavailable, another doctor could see you and have the same access to your medical history as your usual doctor.
SteadyMD focuses on the connection and relationship between a patient and their doctor. SteadyMD connects you with a doctor that’s right for you after collecting medical information, personal needs, and other important aspects of your life. After an introductory hour-long video chat where you and the doctor get to know each other even better, you’re able to text, call or even video chat with your doctor any time, as much as you want.
SteadyMD doctors offer concierge medicine 24/7 round the clock, in all 50 states, for any number of medical issues, such as:
- chronic conditions
- urgent care needs
- women’s and men’s health issues
- preventative care (such as help to quit smoking)
- mood disorder screenings
They also are able to prescribe medication, though not opioids, narcotics, and other controlled substances.
SteadyMD offers constant communication with the same physician, versus competitors where you see whichever doctor may have availability when you need them. SteadyMD also makes use of tools you may already be using, such as MyFitnessPal, Nike Run Club, Garmin Connect, or Strava Running and Cycling, to get a fuller understanding of your weight, blood pressure, and vital signs. Furthermore, SteadyMD doctors can oversee medical care with specialists they can refer you to, or after the event of a medical emergency.
SteadyMD is HIPAA compliant. The website is built on an SSL certificate, and the platform itself leverages encryption to protect your information, as is the industry standard.
SteadyMD reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
SteadyMD has a D+ rating with the BBB, and 1 customer review. On Trustpilot, SteadyMD has a score of 3.2 out of 5 stars based on 1 customer review. That review claims poor communication as the primary reason for the negative experience.
How much does an online doctor visit with SteadyMD cost?
SteadyMD offers monthly plans, for individuals ($99) and families ($178). Both plans include unlimited in-app messaging, and same-day phone call or video appointments with your personal physician. SteadyMD also offers functional medicine, which is a “deep dive” into the patient’s medical history from birth to present day, using gut microbiome, hormone, micronutrient, and other testing to study everything from sleep, exercise, diet and stress. This level of understanding can be especially helpful in the case of chronic conditions such as hyperthyroidism, stress management, blood pressure or Hashimoto’s. SteadyMD’s functional medicine is also subscription based, at $199 a month.
SteadyMD does not work with health insurers.
Virtuwell is an online health services provider, founded in 2010. While other providers are staffed by board-certified online doctors, Virtuwell is staffed by board-certified nurse practitioners. The main difference between a medical doctor and a nurse practitioner is length of experience: MDs study for around 11 years, while a Master’s in Science of Nursing takes about 6 years. Nurse Practitioners also have separate licensing and certification requirements. Virtuwell’s nurse practitioners are licensed to:
- Diagnose and treat common illnesses
- Prescribe medications
- Obtain medical histories
- Perform assessments
- Screen and refer patients to specialists and other healthcare providers
- Counsel and teach about health and nutrition
However, it is not stated on the Virtuwell website (or in any reviews) whether they are HIPAA compliant or not.
Virtuwell reviews from BBB and Trustpilot
Virtuwell does not currently have a profile with either the BBB or Trustpilot, making it difficult to compile reviews about the company and its services.
How much does Virtuwell cost?
Virtuwell is able to charge through a long list of insurance providers (which you can find on their FAQ page), or you can pay by credit card. The base cost is $59 per visit, making it the least expensive option available compared with its competitors. However, it is worth noting that Virtuwell’s online nurse practitioners are not able to cover mental health concerns, such as depression or anxiety, nor are they staffed by psychologists or psychiatrists.
Another important note here is that Virtuwell only offers its services in 13 states currently, so you should double-check their FAQ to see if your state is covered.
Absolutely! You can see medical doctors, therapists, psychiatrists and specialists online easily, through one of many different providers. Most are able to go through health insurance as well.
While there is some variance based on the platform and the type of service you're seeking, all online doctor visits function more or less the same way. You make an account online or through the service's app, you enter your medical history (or go through an intake quiz), and then you either meet with a doctor or set up an appointment for a later date. Most platforms allow for phone calls, in-app messaging, or video-chats.
Without insurance, basic medical coverage usually runs at around $100 or below, while therapy or a visit with a psychiatrist can be anywhere from $150 – $300.
Yes! While of course there's no way to guarantee that every single doctor will be a perfect fit for every single person, online doctors are not in any way ‘less-than' traditional doctors.
Given the variety of services offered, and that everyone has different priorities when it comes to healthcare, there really is no ‘best,' though there is likely a ‘best for you.' It depends on what you're looking for, whether it be quick and as-needed, or in-depth on-going care.