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It can be difficult to make time to see a doctor, and the current COVID-19 pandemic has created additional concerns. Between busy schedules, trying to avoid exposure to the coronavirus, and limited appointment availability, staying healthy can lead to extra stress.

Telemedicine allows you to discuss non-emergency medical issues with a doctor by phone or online at a time that’s convenient for you.

Telemedicine offers access to licensed medical professionals to people who may not have access otherwise and often provides lower costs for services.

It also can be a cost-effective way for people who do not have insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover certain costs to get care.

Though telemedicine can be beneficial for a number of reasons, it should not replace in-person doctor visits.

It’s important to keep in mind that telemedicine healthcare professionals do not have the ability to take your blood or urine samples, heart rate, blood pressure, or take other important medical tests.

We chose the following telemedicine options based on:

  • ratings
  • types of services offered
  • pricing
  • accessibility

Here are 12 of the best telemedicine companies.

Best overall telemedicine company

1. Sesame Care

Sesame Care offers a number of treatments for medical issues like:

  • skin care
  • dental
  • mental health
  • wellness and disease prevention
  • chronic condition care
  • diabetes care
  • men’s health
  • sleep

You can book a same-day appointment for an initial health visit. Prices vary by location, and reviewers say prices are overall affordable.

Most affordable telemedicine company

2. PlushCare

PlushCare books same-day video appointments online or via its app. The company says it offers treatments “from head to toe.” PlushCare can also refill many common prescriptions, although that list doesn’t include controlled substances.

PlushCare is in-network with many insurers. It requires a monthly membership fee of $14.99 or $99 for the year, after which the first visit is either $119 or your insurance copay.

Best telemedicine company for common ailments

3. 4 Your Health

4 Your Health provides diagnoses for some of the most common ailments. Some of these include:

  • allergies
  • sinus conditions
  • sports injuries
  • fever
  • skin inflammation
  • asthma
  • bronchitis
  • shingles

4 Your Health also provides tools and resources to help customers improve their overall health, like the option to add customized meal plans and workouts.

Subscriptions for 4 Your Health start at $19.95 per month.

Best telemedicine company for nonurgent medical care

4. Teladoc

Teladoc was one of the first telehealth providers in the United States. The company has maintained a highly favorable rating among physicians and patients.

Teladoc can be used for a wide range of medical issues, including:

  • pediatric services
  • nonemergency medical issues
  • dermatological conditions
  • mental health consultations for conditions such as depression and substance use disorders
  • sexual health consultations

Teladoc physicians can also send prescriptions to your pharmacy or analyze lab results.

If you have insurance, fees start at $40 for general medical services and at $75 if you don’t have insurance.

5. MeMD

Creating an account on MeMD is simple. Once your account is set up, you can speak with a nurse practitioner or physician directly via webcam.

You and your healthcare provider can discuss one symptom or condition, or you can discuss multiple symptoms or conditions during a single consultation without paying an additional fee.

Lab tests can’t be ordered through MeMD, but healthcare professionals can answer questions about an existing lab report.

MeMD healthcare professionals can also send needed prescriptions to your preferred pharmacy.

Urgent care services are $67, as are men’s and women’s health visits. A talk therapy session can cost up to $85.

For psychiatry, an initial 45-minute visit is $229, and then follow-up visits “to manage medications and evaluate progress” are $99.

Best telemedicine company for queries

6. iCliniq

The website iCliniq provides a variety of services. You can submit written questions or request a phone consultation or online video.

If you submit a written question, one of the more than 3,000 doctors representing about 80 different specialties will provide an answer on the website. You can also access archived questions and answers.

If you need to speak with a doctor, phone or online video consultations are available based on the doctor’s schedule. The company also operates a “virtual hospital” for healthcare professionals and medical centers.

Consultations are available in these areas:

Your first written question on iCliniq is free. When an assigned doctor answers, you can get a notification by email or text. After that, yearly chat plans start $29 for 50 hours and prices vary depending on the subscription length.

7. HealthTap

HealthTap claims to have 90,000 U.S.-licensed physicians to answer your health questions. Doctors are available for video chats or to answer text messages. They can also order lab tests and write or refill prescriptions.

Memberships cost $10 monthly, billed for a year at a time.

Notably, a free account can still access an automated symptom checker and get personalized answers to anonymous health questions within a day.

Best telemedicine company for general medical care

8. Amwell

Two brothers who are both doctors founded American Well, which recently rebranded as Amwell. They wanted to make basic healthcare more affordable and eliminate barriers such as distance, mobility, and time.

In addition to the website, Amwell’s mobile application, available on iPhone and Android, can also connect you with a doctor.

When using the service, you’ll be matched with doctors in your state. Visits are $79 before insurance.

In addition to general medical questions, Amwell also has nutritionists available for consultation. Its video therapy services are widely acclaimed.

Best telemedicine company for psychiatry

9. MDLIVE

MDLIVE was founded in 2009. The company is continually building partnerships with healthcare systems across the United States.

Board certified physicians and other healthcare professionals are available by phone or online video 24 hours a day. They can help answer your questions about nonemergency medical conditions, such as:

Mental health professionals are also available.

Urgent care visits are $82 — or possibly less, depending on your insurance. The same goes for dermatology ($75) and counseling ($108). An initial psychiatric visit is $284, with follow-ups at $108.

Best telemedicine company for choosing a specific doctor

10. Doctor on Demand

One thing that sets Doctor on Demand apart from its competitors is that it allows people to add a doctor to their “favorites.” After your first consultation, you can select that doctor again if they’re available when you’re scheduling future appointments.

Doctor on Demand also offers new moms online assistance from board certified lactation consultants.

Connecting with a doctor for 15 minutes costs $75. For mental health services, the price scales up to $299 for an initial 45-minute psychiatric consultation. Video visits under this service are covered by Medicare Part B.

Best telemedicine company for custom treatment plans

11. LiveHealth Online

LiveHealth Online lets members select their doctors. Once you sign up, you can see who’s available in your state and then request a video consultation.

The platform says you should be connected with the doctor you’ve chosen within a few minutes.

Doctors are available 24/7.

LiveHealth’s offerings include allergy visits, in which you can map out a treatment plan and get a prescription if needed.

Several major insurance companies cover LiveHealth visits, which cost $59 without insurance.

12. Virtuwell

Virtuwell handles the diagnostic part of telemedicine by asking you to describe your symptoms in an online interview.

If the symptoms and condition sound like something Virtuwell can treat, a nurse practitioner will receive the report. They can then look at a visible symptom, if necessary, and create a treatment plan.

The service costs $59 without insurance. Virtuwell says it guarantees satisfaction or a refund.

Conditions eligible for virtual consultations include:

Telemedicine services allow people to get healthcare services digitally, usually with a computer or smartphone app. Some telemedicine platforms also provide services through telephone calls and emails.

Telemedicine should not be used in place of an in-person doctor visit. Instead, services can be used to:

  • assess when an in-person visit is necessary
  • prescribe and renew certain medications
  • treat minor medical conditions
  • provide mental health services

Many telemedicine services accept insurance plans from major providers, but one benefit of telemedicine is that most services are made to be cost effective for people who do not have insurance.

Telemedicine specifically refers to digital clinical healthcare services.

Telehealth is broader and includes nonclinical health services.

Telehealth can include services such as provider training and medical education, as well as other nonclinical services and information.

Though there are slight differences between telemedicine and telehealth, the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Telemedicine makes it easier than ever to get medical treatment. It can also be a more affordable alternative for people without insurance.

Learn more about the benefits of telemedicine.