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Finding the time to get to a doctor’s appointment can be challenging. With telemedicine, you can get healthcare consultations and some treatments right from home.

For people with busy schedules or who have difficulty accessing medical care, in-person doctors’ appointments can present challenges. Virtual doctors’ appointments via telemedicine platforms can help.

From the comfort of your home, you can discuss medical issues with a doctor, receive treatment for many common ailments, and more. These services can help make medical care more accessible.

And in many cases, telemedicine platforms can be more affordable for people without insurance or those with insurance that does not cover certain costs.

Read on to learn about different types of telemedicine platforms and what services they offer.

Insurance coveragePrice per visitMental health services
Sesame Careno• from $37
• $99 annual or $10.99 monthly Sesame Plus membership may reduce costs
MDLIVEyesfrom $82 depending on insuranceyes
Teladocyesfrom $75 without insurance, $0 with insurance yes
Amwellyesfrom $69 depending on insuranceyes
HealthTapyes$15 monthly membership with visits from $44 depending on insuranceyes
PlushCareyes$16.99 monthly membership plus an estimated cost with insurance and $129 withoutyes
Doctor on Demandyesfrom $89 depending on insuranceyes
LiveHealth Onlineyesfrom $55 depending on insuranceyes
Virtuwellyesfrom $79 depending on insuranceno

We chose these telemedicine options based on:

  • Ratings: We carefully considered customer reviews to find out what it’s really like to use these telemedicine companies.
  • Types of services offered: We looked for companies that can help with a variety of medical issues. Many also offer lab testing and mental health services.
  • Pricing: We chose companies that offer payment options to suit a variety of budgets.
  • Accessibility: We considered how services and results are delivered — via phone call, video, apps, and more — and whether you’ll have access to 24/7 care.
  • Vetting: The companies on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Telemedicine allows you to receive healthcare services online, using a computer or a smartphone app. It supports a range of communication methods, including audio or video calls, emails, and chat.

It allows you to consult with clinicians for services that don’t require a physical examination, including prescription refills, symptom checks, and initial health discussions.

While not a replacement for in-person visits, telemedicine can effectively determine when such visits are necessary. It also plays a crucial role in providing mental health services and enhancing the accessibility of healthcare.

Telemedicine offers several advantages:

  • Convenience: Fits easily into busy schedules, allowing appointments from home or work.
  • Accessibility: Opens up access to medical specialists you might not otherwise reach, and removes physical barriers for people with disabilities.
  • Safety: By reducing the need to visit medical facilities, telemedicine helps safeguard people with weakened immune systems or chronic health issues from potential infections.

However, telemedicine does require access to a reliable internet connection and a suitable device. Privacy can also be a concern if sessions are conducted in public places.

You may also hear these services referred to as “telehealth.” However, while often used interchangeably, “telemedicine” refers to the digital delivery of clinical healthcare services, while “telehealth” is a broader term encompassing both clinical and nonclinical services, such as medical education and healthcare professional training.

Telemedicine doesn’t replace in-person doctor’s appointments

Healthcare professionals on telemedicine platforms can’t take blood or urine samples, listen to your heart, take blood pressure readings, or conduct other important medical tests typically done in person.

While telemedicine can be a convenient, useful tool, you’ll still want to see a doctor in person for these tests.

Don’t use telemedicine if you’re experiencing a medical emergency. Go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency services.

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Choosing the best telemedicine service can depend on several factors, including your specific health needs, budget, and how quickly you need to access care. Here are some steps to help you find the right service:

  • Identify key features: Which features are most important for your telemedicine experience? This could be the availability of specialists, the ease of scheduling, or the range of services offered.
  • Healthcare professionals: Some platforms offer a wide selection of clinicians, allowing you to choose someone who best fits your personal health needs or preferences.
  • Cost and accessibility: Evaluate your budget and prioritize cost-effective services. Additionally, consider how quickly you can access healthcare professionals to ensure prompt care.
  • Specialized care: If you have a specific health condition, look for telemedicine services with professionals experienced in that area. Also, consider your preferred style of communication and ensure the service can accommodate it.
  • Additional services: Check if you need lab work or prescriptions as part of your treatment, and ensure the service can handle these requirements.
  • Payment options: How do you prefer to pay for services? Whether you need documentation for insurance reimbursement or prefer using a debit card, make sure the service meets your payment needs.

Free and low cost health services

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Teladoc Health is the largest telemedicine service, with $1.09 billion in revenue and more than 1,800 employees.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to which telemedicine company is the best. Choosing the best telemedicine company hinges on your preferences, healthcare requirements, and financial considerations.

Each person’s health needs are unique. What might be the ideal choice for one individual could be less suitable for another, depending on factors like the types of medical services required, the urgency of care, and budget constraints.

Within this roundup, each telemedicine service has been highlighted for its distinctive strengths and areas of specialization. All the companies listed have been recognized for their quality of service and reliability, making them excellent choices depending on your specific criteria.

The best telemedicine service for people without insurance depends on specific healthcare needs, preferences, and budget constraints.

However, if you’re seeking affordability and comprehensive coverage, Sesame Care stands out with its Sesame Plus membership.

Sesame Plus is a cost-effective way to receive care and manage healthcare expenses more predictably. Membership is $10.99 per month or $99 annually. You can then access medical visits from $29.

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