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We’ve tried and vetted one of the top online psychiatry platforms that works through insurance. See our tester’s experience with Talkiatry, and read other details.

Your schedule’s packed, stress is mounting, and you think you might want to try online psychiatry. Or is it therapy you want? You may have heard Talkiatry offers psychiatry, but you might be unsure of the differences between therapy and psychiatry.

The main difference is that psychiatrists have a medical degree (MD or DO) and can prescribe medication, whereas therapists focus on talk therapy and are not authorized to prescribe medication. Some psychiatrists offer talk therapy, too, but not all.

Both psychiatrists and therapists diagnose mental health conditions, often the same ones, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.

Talkiatry mostly offers psychiatry with medication management. Its primary clinicians are psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, who can prescribe medication.

Talkiatry sometimes offers therapy as well, but only when a Talkiatry psychiatric professional refers you in tandem with your psychiatric treatment. You can’t sign up for stand-alone therapy at Talkiatry.

Read on to learn how Talkiatry works and if the platform might help you progress in your mental health journey.

*Some names have been changed at the request of testers.

Healthline applies an in-depth vetting process to the companies and products we recommend. When researching Talkiatry, we considered the following:

  • the medical credentials of its clinicians (are the psychiatrists licensed and qualified?)
  • Talkiatry reviews (what do customers say about the service?)
  • the range of mental health conditions treated
  • its business reputation (is it respected in the medical community, or are there outstanding lawsuits or other red flags?)
  • cost of treatment
  • ease of platform use

Our tester, Sabi*, tried Talkiatry to find a psychiatrist they could open up to about recent events in their life, who they could trust with medication management, and to get a checkup of their medication for anxiety and depression.

Sabi had only one previous interaction with a psychiatrist when they were 19, and it was pretty “cookie cutter.” The psychiatrist gave them medications, then didn’t check in until 4 weeks later. Sabi was hoping for something more with Talkiatry.

They did get more, and they were pretty satisfied overall. “From my experience, it seems like the professionals truly care about any symptoms you’re experiencing and don’t take anything you say for granted,” Sabi said. “With the ease of requesting refills, meeting with my professional, and the app (Healow), I would recommend Talkiatry.”

Sabi found the sign-up process easy, “if a bit tedious.” You input your name, email, and insurance info and then answer questions about the type of care you’re looking for, your mental health history, and more details.

Hands on review of Talkiatry by Sabie
Talkiatry hands on review with Sabie

They were then given three choices of psychiatrists. Sabi chose one based on the provided picture, bio, and profile, including education, specialization areas, and accepted insurance. Sabi was satisfied with their matched psychiatrist and did not need to request a change, though they appreciated it being possible.

“She took her time with me, even though psychiatry appointments don’t typically last longer than 30 minutes,” Sabi said. “I never felt rushed, and she kept asking me questions when I wasn’t sure what to look out for.” (Talkiatry’s first appointments last 50 minutes, and follow-ups are 30 minutes.)

Hands on review of Talkiatry by Sabie
Hands on review of Talkiatry by Sabie
Hands on review of Talkiatry by Sabie

Sabi found the Healow app easy to use to communicate with their psychiatrist. But they warned that you must fill out a questionnaire before every appointment, so you should check in for your sessions early.

Mental health treatment

Talkiatry clinicians treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including:

Medication management

Talkiatry psychiatrists prescribe medications that are intended to:

  • reduce symptoms
  • stabilize mood
  • diminish distress

Medication management is a complex process engaged in over time by both you and your psychiatrist that involves tweaking your particular medications and dosages so that the medication is effective with the fewest side effects.

Psychiatrist matching

Talkiatry matches you to several psychiatrists based on the background, preferences, and goals you expressed in your intake assessment. Then you choose the clinicians you want to work with and schedule an appointment. If your first choice doesn’t work out, you can always ask for a rematch.

Covered by insurance

Talkiatry works only with people who have existing insurance plans that are in network with Talkiatry. No self-pay arrangements are available.

Treatment for children and teens

In addition to adults, Talkiatry treats teens and children who are at least 5 years old, with parent or guardian approval. Some Talkiatry clinicians specialize in pediatric and adolescent psychiatry. You can choose the target age for therapy in your intake assessment form.

Talkiatry is designed for people who want a mental health diagnosis and treatment plan that includes prescriptions and medication management, as well as ongoing support with follow-up Talkiatry appointments and prescription renewals.

If you don’t want to take medication, Talkiatry suggests its services may not be the right fit for you. That’s because its doctors generally find that medication combined with therapy most often provides the best treatment.

Talkiatry doesn’t treat complex conditions that require in-person treatment, such as schizophrenia, primary eating disorders, or medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders.

Also, Talkiatry isn’t designed for people who:

  • are looking only for talk therapy
  • don’t want to take medication now
  • want an evaluation for disability benefits, without treatment
  • want treatment for schizophrenia, primary eating disorders, or medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders
  • in crisis or immediate danger

Reviewers say Talkiatry can be very effective when you find a psychiatrist that you can connect with and work with to tweak your medications and dosage until you get the right combination.

Sabi echoed this sentiment, saying they were glad they found the right professional who was willing to listen and not make assumptions.

The cost of Talkiatry depends on your location and your insurance plan. Talkiatry bills your insurance after your visit, then sends you an invoice for your out-of-pocket share, usually within 30 days.

Talkiatry says the average out-of-pocket cost is $30 per appointment. However, online reviewers report receiving higher bills, sometimes in the hundreds of dollars.

Does Talkiatry offer payment plans?

Yes, Talkiatry allows payment over time for balances more than $250. You can enroll online after you receive your first statement. Maximum repayment period is 6 months.

Does Talkiatry accept insurance?

Yes. Talkiatry only works with people who have in-network insurance plans. To find out if your insurance plan is included, you can fill in your details in Talkiatry’s insurance eligibility checker. But be aware that even if a company is in network, all of its plans may not be.

Some accepted insurance companies include:

  • Aetna
  • BlueCross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • Medicare
  • Optum
  • United Healthcare

Talkiatry doesn’t provide estimates of your out-of-pocket costs. For many people, this will be just a copay. For others who have unmet deductibles, this charge can be more. Talkiatry may charge for additional treatment.

To avoid surprises when the bill comes, Talkiatry suggests you contact your insurance company directly before your appointment to ask about your plan’s coverage for outpatient psychiatric treatment.

Can you change or cancel your Talkiatry subscription?

Talkiatry doesn’t offer a subscription plan. It bills per individual appointment. You can cancel an appointment, but you must cancel before 48 hours preceding your appointment to avoid a $100 cancellation fee.

You can quit or take a break from your psychiatric treatment with Talkiatry whenever you want. All you have to do is let Talkiatry and a doctor know so they can help you taper off your medication. You can resume treatment whenever you’re ready.

How can I contact Talkiatry?

You can contact customer service at the Talkiatry phone number 833-351-8255, or by email at hello@talkiatry.com.

Is there a Talkiatry app?

Yes, Talkiatry partners with Healow to provide a patient portal where you message your psychiatrist or therapist, as well as participate in your Talkiatry appointments.

You can download the Healow app from either Apple or Google. You can also access the patient portal through your website browser at the Talkiatry sign in.

If you’re looking for psychiatric help that fits into your schedule and can be engaged from your home or wherever you feel comfortable, Talkiatry may be a good choice for you.

Here are some tips for making Talkiatry work well:

  • Select the right clinician for you: Spend time filling out the Talkiatry assessment so that you get matched to a psychiatrist who fits your needs. And if the first one doesn’t, don’t be shy about asking for a rematch.
  • Check your insurance: Contact your insurance company directly to check your coverage before your appointment. This is the best way to avoid unwelcome surprises when your Talkiatry bill arrives.
  • Give yourself (and your medication) time: Try to set realistic expectations for yourself. It can take time for you, your psychiatrist, and your medication to work together toward changes in your mental health.

Keep in mind

Talkiatry is not 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 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

Was this helpful?
Services offeredTakes insurance?
TalkiatryRx• online psychiatry for adults, teens, and children
• prescriptions and medication management
• add-on online therapy when recommended by professional
yes, required
Betterhelp• online therapy for individuals, couples, teens, and family (no psychiatry)
• therapy for ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions
• varied subscription plans
• financial assistance available
no
TalkspaceRx• online talk therapy
• online psychiatry with prescriptions and medication management
• treatment for individuals, couples, teens, LGBTQIA+, and veterans
• varied subscription plans
yes
Doctor on DemandRx• online therapy
• online psychiatry with medication management (no controlled substances)
• preventive health and wellness checkups
• urgent care
• flat fee for single-session video chats
yes
AlmaRx• directory format — you choose your healthcare professional from the Alma member community
• online and in-person therapy and psychiatry for individuals, couples, family, children, and teens
• medication management
• cost varies by clinician
yes, but plans vary by clinician
BrightsideRx• online therapy
• online psychiatry with medication management
• Crisis Care program for those with elevated suicidal risk
• varied subscription plans
yes, required for Crisis Care
ThriveworksRx• in-person and online therapy
• in-person and online psychiatry in some states, including medication management (no controlled substances)
yes
Hims/Hers Rx• online sales of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, plus personal care products (no controlled substances)
• products for sexual health, weight loss, skin care, mental health, and hair loss
• live video therapy sessions
• anonymized group therapy
• guided meditation sessions
• self-pay only, flat fees for services and products/drugs
no
AmwellRx• online therapy
• online psychiatry, including some medications
• nutrition counseling
• women’s health counseling, with breastfeeding support
• pediatrics
• charges per appointment
yes

Rx = Prescriptions offered

Talkiatry reviews from users are mixed. Many reviewers say the psychiatry service is good, but the business side needs improvement. Most of the complaints deal with billing disagreements, canceled appointments, and difficulty contacting customer support.

The upside is that Talkiatry responds to reviews online and invites reviewers to contact them for support.

At the time of publication, Talkiatry earned the following out of a top score of 5:

Keep in mind that people writing reviews on consumer rating sites like Trustpilot and BBB reviews rarely intend to rave about a service. A bad experience can make folks more likely to write a review.

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Talkiatry is known for its easy signup and relatively quick first appointments. Depending on the psychiatrist you’re matched with, you may have your first session within days of registration.

Fill out a questionnaire

To get started, you first need to complete an online assessment answering questions about your mental health, insurance, clinician preferences, medical history, and mental health goals. As you do, you’ll find out if you’re a good fit for Talkiatry and if it accepts your insurance.

Create an account

Filling out the online assessment will establish your account with Talkiatry. You will also need to sign up with a third-party application called Healow so that you can access the patient portal.

Talkiatry partners with Healow to conduct online sessions, manage your health records, and handle scheduling and messaging.

Customize

Next, you’ll be matched with a Talkiatry psychiatrist according to the preferences and goals that you expressed in your online assessment.

Your psychiatrist will work with you to create a treatment plan, including regular online visits as well as a medication prescription, which you can pick up at your local pharmacy.

In some cases, your matched psychiatrist may suggest during your appointment that you speak with another Talkiatry psychiatry or seek in-person help.

After the appointment, you may also decide the psychiatrist isn’t a good fit and ask for a different match yourself.

Talkiatry can be better than in-person therapy in terms of :

  • convenience
  • access
  • cost
  • ability to pick your therapist

But the answer to this question really depends a lot on you. You have to be comfortable with online psychiatry and confident that you have chosen a therapist who has the skills, style, and background to meet your needs.

Talkiatry only takes insurance. It doesn’t offer a self-pay option. To use Talkiatry, your insurance plan must be among the 60 insurance companies Talkiatry partners with.

To find out if your insurance is in-network at Talkiatry, ask customer service or use their insurance eligibility checker. Be sure you also check with your insurance company to clarify what your coverage is and what out-of-pocket charges you can expect.

Talkiatry is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant. This means it takes your privacy seriously and doesn’t reveal or share your medical or nonmedical information without your permission, unless required by law.

However, Talkiatry may share your personal information for business purposes with its affiliates, vendors, service providers, and business partners.

Talkiatry may also share your information for:

  • internal testing, research, analysis, to improve the platform
  • marketing either its product or products of third parties
  • supporting third party analytics conducted by a number of companies

To learn more, read Talkiatry’s terms of use, Talkiatry’s privacy policy, and Talkiatry’s notice of privacy practices.

Yes, Talkiatry is a legitimate company with licensed psychiatrists who provide online sessions, diagnoses, and medication for a wide variety of mental health conditions.

Though Talkiatry’s psychiatric treatment generally gets approval marks from reviewers, there is an abundance of customer complaints about billing errors, appointment scheduling, and cancellation fees.

Many are, yes. Talkiatry says its clinical team includes licensed psychiatrists who are often experts in the field. They provide a diverse range of specialties and identities and hold to the highest standards of care.

According to a 2023 review of studies, patients rate telepsychiatry highly in terms of effectiveness and satisfaction.

Some children found it to be less threatening than in-person therapy. In addition, some individuals surveyed found that they preferred it over in-person therapy for discussing more sensitive topics.

Talkiatry can be free if your insurance plan covers all Talkiatry charges. However, you may have copays, coinsurance, deductibles, or prescription costs associated with your plan that you will need to pay out of pocket.

Yes, Talkiatry is a platform providing online medical treatment, commonly referred to as a telehealth platform, or telemedicine. This means you can access care online over the internet, usually via live video and text messaging.

Talkiatry sends you a bill after every visit. Here’s how the billing process works:

  1. You complete your online session.
  2. Talkiatry bills your insurance company.
  3. Your insurer checks your coverage to determine how much of the billable amount is covered.
  4. It tells Talkiatry how much of the bill is your responsibility.
  5. Talkiatry bills you for that amount.

Talkiatry psychiatrists can prescribe any medication they think can help you after they have conducted a full evaluation during your first session. At the time of publication, this includes controlled substances.

However, this might change. Flexible rulings were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow telemedicine platforms to prescribe controlled substances without in-person visits during the public health emergency.

The Drug Enforcement Agency and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are currently considering what action to take when these flexibilities expire in December 2024.

Five types of medications that Talkiatry currently prescribes are:

Talkiatry can be a good option if you’re looking for online psychiatry and medication management that you can engage on your own schedule, from the comfort of your own home or other favorite space.

As long as your health insurance plan is in-network with Talkiatry, you’re set to begin. You’ll be matched to a licensed psychiatrist based on the preferences and goals you express at signup. You can expect personalized, judgment-free care and follow-up.

You may have to deal with some billing and customer service issues based on widespread customer complaints in these areas.

With Talkiatry, you can get psychiatric care from a licensed professional who will meet you where you are and help you take the next step in managing your mental health.

If you’re interested in trying Talkiatry, you can get started here.