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Telemedicine is growing in popularity — and for good reason. The costs of medical care, the increased need for mental health services, and the hesitation of in-person visits during the pandemic are all reasons people are turning to their computers and phones to receive medical care.

Of course, there are situations when in-person visits are appropriate, but there’s a surprising number of conditions that can be treated through telehealth visits.

One such option is Lemonaid, a telehealth service that aims to connect people with affordable healthcare options and healthcare professionals.

Keep reading to find out how it works and if it’s right for you.

Lemonaid is a telehealth medicine service that launched in San Francisco in 2013. Its mission is simple: make healthcare accessible for everyone across the nation. All services are provided via its snazzy mobile app, video call, or phone call.

Lemonaid professionals include medical doctors and nurse practitioners. They’re able to treat over 30 conditions, and each condition has guidelines and processes for treatment. After a consultation, you may get a prescription for a medication that you can get from the Lemonaid pharmacy.

It has an extensive FAQ page that gives you answers, not only about the platform, but also about each condition that its healthcare professionals treat.

Pros

  • convenience of a professional visit from your home
  • professionals are transparent with their qualifications
  • has a mail-order pharmacy
  • easy-to-use website and app
  • great for treating a single condition
  • highly competitive pricing

Cons

  • risk that something could be missed, as you’re not seeing a professional in person
  • certain conditions still require you to go in person to complete testing
  • doesn’t replace regular long-term medical care

As soon as you’re on the homepage, you can see lists of all the conditions Lemonaid’s healthcare professionals treat, including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • hair loss
  • acne
  • erectile dysfunction

Once you click on the condition you want to be treated for, you’ll be prompted to answer some questions about yourself.

Signing up

When you sign up for Lemonaid, you’ll fill out a questionnaire about your medical history. You’ll start by sharing your sex assigned at birth, date of birth, previous diagnoses, and medications. A doctor will review your information and contact you for follow-up questions within 24 hours.

Some states have rules requiring a phone or video consultation before being treated.

Some conditions, such as anxiety and depression, require a live video chat with a doctor. This would depend on the type of condition and your own medical history. There may be something concerning that would prompt a doctor to want to see you face-to-face before prescribing medication.

Lemonaid’s mail-order service

Lemonaid offers a mail-order pharmacy that delivers medications to you. This service doesn’t take insurance. But Lemonaid encourages you to use it due to the convenience of having prescriptions delivered automatically to you.

If you’d like to use your own insurance to cover the prescription(s) that Lemonaid may send, you’ll need to first confirm that your health plan covers them. Then, you can ask Lemonaid to send them to your local pharmacy.

Other features

If you have a regular doctor you already see, or if you want to go back to your other doctor after using Lemonaid, the service makes it easy to transfer your medical records.

After you receive services from Lemonaid, you can get a care summary of notes from the doctor that cared for you to bring to your clinic.

If you don’t have a primary care doctor, or if your specific condition doesn’t fall into one of the categories it already treats, you can do a video primary care visit through Lemonaid. Here, you can talk about any health concern you have for one fee, but any testing or medications are billed separately.

General health

Conditions covered: asthma, acid reflux, flu, cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraine, hypothyroidism, cold sores, genital herpes, sinus infection, traditional complete primary care

For General Health services, Lemonaid offers care for a variety of conditions. Each condition has its own course of treatment, from simply getting a prescription to signing up for a monthly care subscription for a certain duration.

The average wait time to see a doctor is 2 days and you’ll get an hour with your physician to discuss your health and symptoms and to create a course of action for care.

For those with chronic conditions who have trouble leaving the house or don’t have time in their schedules to go to an in-person appointment, seeing a doctor virtually for these conditions can be a great option.

Pros

  • variety of care specific to each ailment or condition
  • up to one hour of time with your doctor
  • ability to see a doctor quickly
  • unlimited messaging with your medical team

Cons

  • not all conditions available for treatment
  • monthly fee may not be in reach for everyone’s budget
  • some conditions, like asthma, need to be treated in person first if you haven’t been previously diagnosed

Mental health

Conditions covered: anxiety, depression, insomnia, smoking cessation, general health, and wellness

If you’re looking for mental health services, Lemonaid offers treatment for a variety of conditions including anxiety and depression. They also prescribe medications for these conditions. Some commonly prescribed medications are:

  • Lexapro
  • Zoloft
  • Wellbutrin
  • Prozac

They don’t prescribe benzodiazepines like Xanax, Ativan, Valium, or Klonopin, though.

For general health and wellness, the platform offers coaching. This service doesn’t offer a diagnosis but provides guidance, direction, and strategies to form healthier habits. For each condition, Lemonaid offers a specific monthly package and medications to provide care.

Pricing varies based on the service and condition:

  • health and wellness coaching: $30 for your first month of unlimited coaching sessions and $115 for every month after
  • anxiety treatment: $25 for your first month, $95 every month after (no insurance accepted)
  • depression treatment: $25 for your first month, $95 for every month after
  • insomnia: $30 for your first month, $60 for every month after
  • stop smoking support: starts at $15 a month with medications shipped every 3 months

Pros

  • ability to get care virtually, which may appeal to people under mental stress
  • combines talk therapy services with medication for complete care
  • unlimited messaging with care team
  • health coaching offers unlimited coaching sessions for the first month

Cons

  • not all medications for anxiety and depression are available for prescription
  • not all mental health services are covered
  • services can be pricey after the first month’s discount ends

Women’s health

Conditions covered: birth control, UTIs, hot flashes

Lemonaid’s women’s health offerings focus on three main areas: birth control prescriptions, UTI medications, and hormone medications for hot flashes. This allows women to get virtual care for common conditions and receive medications without having to see a doctor in person.

After filling out a detailed questionnaire, your medical review team will connect with you via video or phone (depending on your state’s requirements) to discuss a course of action for care.

Birth control

For Lemonaid’s birth control service, you can either get an entirely new prescription or renew your existing one if you’ve run out or it’s been more than a year since your last visit.

Shipping is free. You’ll pay $25 for a yearly consultation but won’t get charged if they’re unable to prescribe a birth control best fit for you. Birth control is delivered every 3 months for $15. Right now, they have a new offer for $5 off your first order.

Through Lemonaid, you can get the pill, the patch, or the ring.

UTI treatment

For $25 each visit, you can meet with a nurse practitioner or doctor to receive an antibiotic sent straight to your pharmacy to treat UTI symptoms. The fee for the medication will depend on your pharmacy and health insurance coverage.

Hot flash treatment

Geared for menopausal women ages 45 to 59, you can receive prescription hormone medication (HRT) delivered straight to your doorstep. You’ll receive a 90-day supply at a time for $85 a month. Some states require a video chat or phone call, but Lemonaid’s medical team will contact you after you fill out your questionnaire regardless.

Pros

  • 100 different birth control pill options available for prescriptions, as well as NuvaRing and Xulane patch
  • help with determining which birth control pill is right for you or you can refill an existing prescription
  • UTI treatment with prescribed medication
  • medication for hot flashes can be reassessed after 3 months depending on how you feel

Cons

  • need to get a blood pressure test before Lemonaid can prescribe birth control
  • not all women are eligible to receive treatment for hot flashes or UTIs
  • UTI could be misdiagnosed since Lemonaid can’t run a urine test prior to prescribing medication
  • men are not able to receive UTI treatment through Lemonaid
  • you have to know your blood pressure to be considered for all treatments
  • since there aren’t any physical exams, infections, cysts, or other problems may be missed

Men’s health

Conditions covered: erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, hair loss

Lemonaid offers treatment for several men’s health conditions including erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation, and hair loss. The service allows men to receive prescription treatment for these issues privately without having to leave their homes. But the service doesn’t provide care beyond oral medication for these conditions.

Erectile dysfunction

For ED-related care, users can pay $25 for a consultation fee to see if sildenafil, tadalafil, or Cialis are right for them. If a medical reviewer deems that the medication is an appropriate treatment, you’ll receive a month-long supply for $30. You can also renew an existing prescription for ED medication through the platform.

You can cancel, pause, or delay your monthly delivery at any time.

Premature ejaculation

After filling out a medical questionnaire, you’ll receive an immediate request to video chat with a member of Lemonaid’s medical team. This consultation costs $25. If the nurse practitioner or doctor thinks that medication would be a good option, your delivery will arrive in plain packaging in 1-5 days for $1 a pill.

Hair loss

Lemonaid offers generic finasteride (1mg) for people who are dealing with hair loss.

After filling out a private medical questionnaire, the medical team will review the assessment within 24 hours. Depending on your location, you may have to meet with someone via video chat.

Priced at $30 for your first 3-monthly delivery (and $60 for every delivery after), you’ll receive your medication within 1-5 days. It also costs $25 for the initial medical consultation.

Pros

  • receive discreet care from home for personal conditions
  • multiple medications are offered for erectile dysfunction
  • hair loss medication comes in a 3-month supply

Cons

  • treatment may not address root cause of conditions
  • only one hair loss medication available
  • you have to know your blood pressure to be considered for premature ejaculation and ED treatments

Skin

Conditions covered: acne, dark spots

Your care begins with sending photos to Lemonaid’s care team so they can assess your skin’s needs. Then, you consult with a doctor to discuss a plan for treatment (some states require a phone or video call), including your prescription options.

For those dealing with acne or dark spots, Lemonaid provides fast, easy skin care treatment.

If the medical reviewer thinks that medication would be a good option, you’ll receive a 90-day supply straight to your doorstep.

Lemonaid prescribes benzoyl peroxide, spironolactone, and antibiotics in pill and topical forms for acne. It costs $90 for 3 months, and Lemonaid provides benzoyl peroxide free with any other acne medication.

For dark spots, Lemonaid will create a personalized prescription for you based on your photos and medical consultation. It costs $45 for a 3-month supply, and Lemonaid offers a check-in every 3 months to monitor your progress.

Pros

  • prescriptions antibiotics and topical treatments available
  • 90-day supply of medication
  • free benzoyl peroxide treatment with an acne medication plan

Cons

  • limited conditions covered
  • virtual care can be limited for dermatology issues

Testing

Conditions covered: STIs, COVID-19, A1C blood sugar, cholesterol, blood type

Lemonaid’s testing services allow you to visit a lab near you in order to get tested for various conditions. After receiving your results, you will meet virtually with a doctor to discuss treatment. If you require prescription medication, it can be sent to your home or filled at your local pharmacy.

Pricing varies based on which test you receive:

  • STI testing: initial $25 fee and a lab fee of $28.16
  • in-lab COVID-19 test: $89
  • A1C blood sugar lab test: $34.16
  • cholesterol: $25 visit fee, $42.81 with labs, and starting at $15/month for medication
  • blood type test: $36.11

It should also be noted that, unlike other telehealth platforms that offer testing, these health tests can’t be completed at home. They’re designed for users to go in person to Quest Diagnostics, a popular testing center. You don’t need to make an appointment, but you can if your nearest testing center offers them.

After completing your test, you’ll receive your results through a confidential message on your Lemonaid account. You can download a PDF of your results.

Pros

  • testing via Quest Diagnostics, which has many locations nationwide
  • response from Lemonaid’s medical team within 24 hours of test results
  • test results in 3-5 business days

Cons

  • STI testing only includes chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • in-lab COVID testing is not available in every state
  • COVID test is for antibodies, not a PCR test
  • chlamydia treatment requires an additional doctor’s visit and payment beyond the price of a test

Lemonaid is available for people in every state, but you need to be at least 18 years old to use the platform.

You also need to provide your full name, date of birth, and a photo ID. This is because Lemonaid professionals need to see who they’re treating, especially because they may be prescribing medications.

Lemonaid healthcare professionals can treat over 30 different conditions, including:

  • anxiety and depression
  • high blood pressure
  • urinary tract infection
  • birth control
  • migraine
  • acid reflux
  • sinus infections
  • asthma

Each condition will have a list of FAQs regarding any restrictions Lemonaid might have. You’ll be notified if there’s something in your medical history that would be best suited for an in-person visit.

Overall, the platform says that Lemonaid is not for everyone, due to the online nature of the service.

In the FAQs, Lemonaid explains, “Our doctors and nurse practitioners have to be more cautious than if they were seeing you in person as part of a traditional visit. For this reason, we unfortunately can’t help everyone who wants to use our service.”

Because Lemonaid operates under strict guidelines, it isn’t suitable for people with symptoms associated with comorbidities, like substance use disorders, suicidal thoughts, or psychosis derived from a condition (like schizophrenia).

Keep in mind

Lemonaid isn’t a substitute for emergency services.

In the event of a mental health emergency — if you’re thinking about harming yourself or someone else — call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

A 2020 study showed that telehealth is an important tool in medical care, as it secures the provision of healthcare services while keeping patients and healthcare professionals safe, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When it comes to treating mental health, a 2015 review showed computer-based therapy was effective at reducing symptoms among rural and urban participants. However, rural participants were more likely to want to make use of this kind of therapy. More studies are needed.

Dr. Mariea Snell, assistant director of the online doctor of nursing practice program at Maryville University, says that while Lemonaid and other telehealth services aren’t meant to replace primary care, they’re great for quickly assessing a single concern.

If you’d like to review other options, Healthline has reviewed the best telehealth companies here, as well as the best telehealth apps.

“For example, if you want to talk to someone about your anxiety and get medication that day, this would be a great option,” says Snell. “If you want to establish care with a provider that will follow you long term and treat multiple conditions, you are better off establishing care with a provider locally that will also offer telehealth visits.”

According to reviews on Lemonaid’s Facebook page, some users say they experienced longer than usual wait times, or they share concerns over their customer service experience. A few weren’t able to be treated virtually because of the medical protocols set in place for people who don’t meet the requirements.

But overall, reviews of Lemonaid describe it as easy, fast, and affordable.

One reviewer says, “Within 48 hours, I had a prescription and was able to pick up the medicine I needed. It’s truly an amazing service.”

Your $25 consultation fee covers the initial evaluation by a healthcare professional and a prescription if needed. The cost of the medication would be billed separately.

The fee isn’t covered by insurance, but it can be cheaper than some insurance copays. If you don’t qualify for services, the fee is waived, and you won’t be charged for anything.

Lemonaid’s mail-order pharmacy doesn’t take insurance, but you can use insurance if you take the prescription to your pharmacy.

The primary care video visit costs $75 and doesn’t include any prescriptions or tests that may need to be done.

Anxiety and depression services have a monthly fee of $95 (after the first month, which is only $25) and include ongoing follow-up appointments and any medications delivered to your home.

The Lemonaid website features a number of 5-star testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers.

The company has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on its Facebook page, and it currently has an A+ rating and a 3.94-star customer rating on Better Business Bureau.

The reviews from customers are mixed, however, with some people expressing frustration with the service in general, the cost of medication, and the handling of prescriptions when the service is canceled.

All eight complaints filed, most of which were billing issues, were responded to by the company in detail.

Services offeredPricingInsuranceConsiderations
LemonaidGeneral health, skin health, mental health, women’s health, men’s health, testing$25 to $70 for initial consult. Monthly subscriptions for primary care are $99 for individuals and $178 for families. Other subscriptions vary in price and durationMay cover prescriptions depending on coverageAvailable in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Subscriptions and care plan offerings vary by health condition
NurxBirth control, skin health, STI testing and treatment, mental health$15 to $60 consult fee. Prices vary depending on service or testing required. $55/month for mental health servicesAccepts insurance for prescriptionsNot available in every state. Birth control prescriptions follow state age laws
Doctor on DemandUrgent care, psychotherapy, psychiatry, preventative care$75 for medical consultation, $129 to $179 for psychology consultation, $229 for psychiatry consultationAccepts insuranceAvailable in all 50 states and Washington D.C. No subscription plans. Mental health services are pricey
MDLIVEUrgent care, skin health, psychotherapy, psychiatry$108 for psychology consultation, $278 for psychiatry consultationAccepts insuranceAvailable in all 50 states and Washington D.C. May take some time to see a provider

Lemonaid follows the legal requirements in place for protected health information. You’re not able to delete any of your medical information from the site, but you’re able to close your account so that your username and password can’t be accessed.

Lemonaid does inform you that some of your medical information can be shared with third parties, including:

  • laboratories, if you need testing
  • your state, as required if your tests show chlamydia or gonorrhea
  • Lemonaid’s mail-order pharmacy or the pharmacy you choose to have a prescription sent

Lemonaid doesn’t record video chats, but it may take images to use for its records. Text messages and emails are unencrypted, meaning they aren’t secure and can potentially be accessed by other people.

Telehealth isn’t for every condition or situation. If you have a serious injury, chest pain, or a mental health emergency, or overdose on drugs, it’s important to call 911 and go to an emergency room right away.

Typically, a virtual visit is also not recommended when you need a doctor to examine you in person. Dermatology, gynecology, urology, and podiatry are just a few fields of medicine where in-person exams are usually necessary.

Does insurance cover Lemonaid?

Insurance will typically not cover telehealth visits. However, you can consult your insurance company to see if the medicines you are prescribed are covered. If so, Lemonaid can send your prescription to your local pharmacy to be filled.

How much does Lemonaid cost?

A consult with an online doctor or nurse practitioner ranges from $25 to $70 depending on the service. Monthly subscriptions for primary care are $99 for individuals and $178 for families. Other health categories offer monthly subscriptions at various costs.

Is Lemonaid a subscription?

Some health categories, like primary care and health and wellness coaching, are subscription-based. Medications can also be delivered on a monthly or tri-monthly basis.

How do I get my prescriptions?

Lemonaid will mail your prescription right to your home or you can request to have it filled at your local pharmacy.

What states is Lemonaid available in?

Lemonaid is available in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

Lemonaid can help you with a large variety of medical conditions, and the services it offers are more extensive than other telehealth platforms.

As long as you answer the questionnaire honestly and accurately and meet the requirements for care, you can be treated efficiently and safely with a qualified healthcare professional.

Risa Kerslake is a registered nurse, freelance writer, and mom of two from the Midwest. She specializes in topics related to women’s health, mental health, oncology, postpartum, and fertility content. She enjoys collecting coffee mugs, crocheting, and attempting to write her memoir. Read more about her work at her website.