Disclaimer: We evaluate the companies on our list independently, but we may receive a referral fee on the services featured on this page. Review our editorial process and full disclaimer here for more information.

The medical industry is changing in significant ways, especially in terms of how care is delivered. Thanks to the growth of the internet, and prevalence of smartphones and tablets, an increasing number of healthcare providers can see and treat patients virtually, in a practice known as telehealth.

While telehealth cannot completely replace face-to-face medical care, it can make accessing healthcare more convenient and affordable, especially for things like basic urgent and preventative care, prescription refills, and more.

The number of apps and websites offering telehealth services has exploded, making it challenging to choose which online doctor or medical service is right for you. We reviewed dozens of these services, to give you our picks for the best online doctor and medical services.

The Best Online Doctor & Medical Services of 2020

SteadyMD — Best Overall

SteadyMD bills itself as a new approach to primary healthcare, offering comprehensive, personalized, fully online care for individuals and families, for short- and long-term needs.

Amwell — Best for Women’s Health

In addition to offering a range of healthcare services for individuals regardless of gender, Amwell provides comprehensive care specifically designed for women’s issues, including menopause, postpartum depression, endometriosis, and more.

Hims — Best for Men’s Health

Created as a one-stop shop for health and wellness specifically for men, Hims gives users easy, online access to consultations and treatments for a variety of needs, including mental health, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, and more.

Anytime Pediatrics — Best Pediatrics

Anytime Pediatrics is a telehealth platform that connects parents and their children to care with their regular pediatrician, or another available physician, to treat a variety of common childhood illnesses.

BetterHelp — Best Online Therapy

BetterHelp provides online therapy services to individuals, couples, and teens via video, phone, and live chat, as well as unlimited messaging between clients and their therapists between sessions.

JustAnswer — Best for Quick Answers

Patients can use JustAnswer to instantly connect with experts on several different topics, including medicine, for quick, easy answers to urgent healthcare concerns and questions.

Sesame — Best Budget Per Visit

Sesame aims to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all by connecting users with physicians and other providers via in-person and video visits.

HealthTap — Best Budget Subscription Plan

For a low monthly fee, HealthTap gives users access to virtual visits with board-certified doctors, prescription services, virtual storage for health records, and other resources.

PlushCare — Best for Insurance Coverage

PlushCare offers insured and non-insured individuals access to affordable, convenient, and personalized care for urgent and on-going medical conditions, as well as men’s and women’s health.

How We Chose the Best Online Doctor & Medical Services

In evaluating the best online doctor and medical services, we looked for key elements that make these services safe, reliable, and effective. While price is a major consideration when choosing an online medical service, we did not factor that into our methodology, instead focusing on providing options in a range of different price points.

Communication methods

Part of what makes online medical care accessible is the variety of ways in which patients can communicate with their doctors and healthcare providers. Therefore, we prioritized services that offer multiple ways for patients to connect with their doctors, including video and phone chat, email, live chat, and text messaging.

Services available

The services available via telehealth run the gamut from simple Q&A consultations to treatment for ongoing health conditions. We focused on online doctor and medical services that offer their patients a wide spectrum of care, including treatment for acute and chronic health issues; mental and behavioral health care; preventative care; prescription and lab services, and more.

Wait time

Another main perk of telehealth is that, in theory, it takes less time to get an appointment and speak to a doctor than it would if you were visiting a clinic in-person. Therefore, we sought to include services that offer on-demand same-day appointments, as well as minimal wait times for appointments scheduled in advance.

A note about scores

All of the top 10 online doctor and medical services for 2020 included on our list below are ranked on a score out of 100 based on factors such as ease of use, convenience, technology, personalization as well as an overall score.

The Best Online Doctor & Medical Services of 2020

SteadyMD

SteadyMD

SteadyMD is a fully online service that bills itself as a “completely new approach to primary care.” This telehealth service aims to replace your traditional general practitioner, not just supplement your existing medical services.

With SteadyMD, you see the same “doctor friend” – a fully qualified physician with interests similar to yours – each time. They charge a flat subscription fee for individual and family plans. Once you sign up, services include a one-hour video consultation so your doctor can get to know you and your health concerns; unlimited same-day appointments, and unlimited calling and texting with your doctor in between visits.

Like a regular GP, your SteadyMD doctor can treat acute conditions like colds, flu, minor injuries and infections, and skin conditions, as well as provide ongoing care for chronic conditions like stress management, blood pressure, and allergies. They can also order blood work and lab tests, and prescribe medications as necessary.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
Individual plan: $99/month
Family plan: $178/month
Yes– Care available 24/7/365
– Mobile app
– Multiple languages
– More features at SteadyMD

Pros & Cons of SteadyMD

Pros:

  • Get prescriptions from the comfort of your home.
  • SteadyMD retrieves all of your health records and integrates the data from any fitness apps you may use, so that your medical records are complete and up-to-date without any work on your part.
  • Patients get unlimited texts, phone calls, and virtual visits via video chats as part of their SteadyMD membership.
  • Focuses on building a real relationship with your “doctor friend.” You can count on seeing this same physician each time you have a medical question, concern, illness or injury.
  • If for any reason your doctor is unavailable, other doctors are able to step in to help you with urgent issues.
  • Visits can last as long as an hour, and you can see or speak to your doctor as often as you need.
  • Established members get same-day appointments and responses to text messages in minutes.
  • Option to personalize your medical care by choosing a doctor who shares your interests.  Many of the interest categories relate to specific exercise or dietary approaches, including weightlifting, running, cycling, the paleo diet, or a gluten-free lifestyle.
  • Doctors see fewer patients than a traditional physician, allowing him or her to devote more time to your health needs.

Cons:

  • The subscription membership model may be more expensive, especially for patients who don’t seek medical care often.
  • Customers must commit a one-year membership, and must finish their contract even if they decide SteadyMD isn’t right for them.
  • The first appointment is comprehensive but can take one to two days, making it a better choice for patients who want to take charge of their health than for those who are just looking for an immediate appointment to quickly deal with urgent problems.

What Customers Are Saying

According to many SteadyMD customers, they love the service for the high quality of care they receive. “My doctor treats me like I’m his only patient,” writes one user. “My doctor and his wonderful staff really care about me. I wish I had started utilizing this service sooner.”

Score
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 100/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 100/100
Overall score: 95/100

AmWell


Amwell is also a comprehensive telehealth service which can supplement your primary healthcare. Users can get on-demand healthcare by downloading their free mobile app, and selecting an available doctor. Within minutes, you will have a video consultation with a physician, where you can discuss your issue, and get recommendations for treatment or next steps. If you need a prescription, they can send the order to your local pharmacy.

Among the many healthcare issues that Amwell can help with are a variety of needs specific to women’s health. Amwell’s doctors can help women choose birth control; treat symptoms of PMS, postpartum depression, and menopause; provide support for breastfeeding, and more. For families, pediatric doctors are available to treat common childhood illnesses like pink eye, sore throat, and bronchitis.

AmWell accepts insurance from major providers, although specific plans determine exactly what is covered. Individuals without health insurance can also seek treatment through AmWell.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
Urgent Care: $79
Therapy (Master’s degree): $99
Therapy (PhD): $110
Psychiatry (Initial visit): $269
Psychiatry (Follow-up): $99
Yes– Care available 24/7/365
– Mobile app
– Prescription services
– More features at AmWell

Pros & Cons of Amwell

Pros:

  • Amwell urgent care visits cost just $69, while on average, office visits with a primary care provider costs $139, and ER visits cost $645.
  • Patients with participating insurance plans pay just a portion of this cost as their copayment. Amwell accepts more than three dozen insurance plans, including those from major insurers such as Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  • Amwell has historically offered patients a free first visit, or other discounts, by using coupon codes.
  • With urgent care services as well as medical services in nine additional specialties, Amwell’s care is more comprehensive than through many other online doctor sites.
  • Amwell physicians can write prescriptions and electronically send them to your local pharmacy when medically appropriate.
  • Average wait time to connect with a doctor is three minutes.
  • Users can connect via mobile app, desktop computer, or phone.
  • Patients can choose their doctor from a list of available physicians.
  • At the end of your visit, you can opt to have Amwell send a summary of your visit to your PCP.

Cons:

  • Because Amwell offers only on demand medical care, you can’t use the service to set up an appointment. The only option is to wait until you have time to speak with a doctor, and wait for one to become available.
  • Virtual visits with the most expensive specialists via Amwell can cost up to $199.
  • An urgent care appointment through Amwell typically lasts just 10 minutes.
  • Amwell is not intended to replace your primary care physician and cannot order laboratory tests.
  • Patients see their Amwell doctors via video streaming services, but don’t have the option to message, email, or use other forms of communication to contact their doctor further.

What Customers Are Saying

AmWell customers appreciate the service for helping them with a range of medical concerns, including weight loss, prescription refills, and psychiatry. Writes one user, “I have used Amwell many times and every time has been a good experience. This last time using them actually prevented me from going to the hospital.”

Scores
Ease of use: 75/100
Convenience factor: 60/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 55/100
Overall score: 70/100

Hims


Hims is a telehealth platform designed for men, by men, to help them address common, specific issues like reproductive and sexual health, mental health, hair loss, skincare, and more.

While Hims is not quite as comprehensive as some of the other online medical services on this list, it is a good place to start for men who are seeking male-focused care from the privacy of their own home. It’s easy to set up an account (you will need to enter information about your medical history and answer basic questions about your health and lifestyle). Hims will then connect you with a licensed physician who can answer your questions, and make recommendations for treatment.

If you need prescriptions for issues like erectile dysfunction or hair loss, Hims will deliver them directly to your door, for free, in discreet packaging.

While Hims does not accept insurance for consultations, depending on your coverage, certain prescriptions may be covered.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
Consultation: $39
-Prescription prices vary
Yes, for some prescriptions– New prescriptions and refills
– Primary care and men’s healthcare
– Mobile app
– More features at Hims

Pros & Cons of Hims

Pros:

  • Hims specializes in men’s healthcare, and was created specifically to address the fact that many men are reluctant to discuss certain health issues with their primary care physicians, or seek out healthcare on a regular basis to begin with.
  • When medically appropriate, Hims’ physicians can prescribe medications for issues like erectile dysfunction, hair loss, skin conditions, and more.
  • Customers can take advantage of Hims’ free delivery, and have their prescriptions sent directly to them in discreet packaging. They also have the option of having their prescriptions filled at a local pharmacy, and picking them up there.
  • Many prescriptions available through Hims are sold at a discounted price compared to purchasing them directly from a pharmacy.
  • Besides prescriptions, Hims also sells a variety of supplements, including protein powders, vitamins and teas that help boost immunity, promote better sleep, and improve overall physical health.
  • Hims also provides mental health care in the form of teletherapy and psychiatric evaluations.

Cons:

  • Hims’ services are very niche, by design, and they do not provide any type of services for women.
  • Hims’ doctors are not able to order lab tests, bloodwork, or imaging. Users will still need to see a primary care physician for these types of services, if necessary.
  • Even if customers have health insurance, they must pay out-of-pocket for Hims’ consultation services, which have a flat fee of $39.
  • Depending on their health insurance coverage, some users may be able to use health insurance to cover copays for prescriptions ordered via Hims. However, if this is the case, customers will have to pick up their prescriptions from a pharmacy, rather than using Hims’ delivery service.

What Customers Are Saying

Hims customers like the service for being helpful and discreet. “Hims has been fantastic to deal with,” writes one user. “Great software, great medical personnel, and great customer service. Hims makes everything very private and easy to use. Product works and is very affordable.”

Scores
Ease of use: 70/100
Convenience factor: 80/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 60/100
Overall score: 75/100

Anytime Pediatrics


When your child is sick, the last thing you want to do is drag them to a waiting room in a doctor’s office or ER. Luckily, there is Anytime Pediatrics, a telehealth service that focuses specifically on providing virtual care for individuals ages birth to 21.

As the name implies, Anytime Pediatrics provides care 24/7, by connecting patients with either their primary pediatrician, or another on-call, board-certified pediatrician, via their website or mobile app. Through video visits, Anytime Pediatrics’ physicians can treat a variety of non-emergency conditions common in babies, children, and adolescents, including allergies, rashes, respiratory illnesses, nausea, diarrhea, minor abrasions, and more. In cases where prescriptions are needed, their doctors can call in orders to your local pharmacy. They can also provide notes for school for excused absences.

Anytime Pediatrics accepts many major health insurances; they also charge a flat fee for individuals who do not have health insurance.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
– Prices vary with insurance coverage.Yes– Subscription required
– Treats children ages birth to 21
– Sick notes
– More features at Anytime Pediatrics

Pros & Cons Anytime Pediatrics

Pros:

  • Anytime Pediatrics offers non-emergency healthcare services to individuals ages birth to 21, meaning that parents and young adults can rely on their care into early adulthood.
  • By conducting visits via video, Anytime Pediatrics provides a convenient yet effective way for pediatricians to exam, assess, and diagnose illnesses and conditions in patients.
  • Anytime Pediatrics’ physicians have the ability to order prescriptions for patients when medically necessary. They can also issue medical excuses that parents may need for school or other excused absences.
  • Patients do not need any special equipment, besides a computer, phone, or tablet with a camera, to use Anytime Pediatrics.

Cons:

  • In order to see your primary pediatrician, they must be part of Anytime Pediatrics’ network. If not, Anytime Pediatrics will connect you with an available pediatrician in their network who is licensed in your state.
  • Although Anytime Pediatrics accepts many major health insurances, and offers services to non-insured individuals, their pricing model is not transparent. Their website states that they offer a flat fee option, but does not publish what this rate is, only stating that it is far less than what customers will pay for an ER or urgent care visit.

What Customers Are Saying

According to many Anytime Pediatrics users, this service has saved them from unnecessary doctor visits on multiple occasions. “This service is wonderful,” writes one user. “I was able to get medical advice in the late hours of the night without having to drag my sick baby to the emergency room.”

Scores
Ease of use: 85/100
Convenience factor: 90/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 75/100
Overall score: 85/100

BetterHelp


Telehealth has also transformed the way people are accessing mental health care. The teletherapy platform BetterHelp launched in 2013, and since then, has served nearly 700,000 clients dealing with common mental and behavioral health issues like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, self-esteem, grief, and more.

BetterHelp matches clients with a therapist from their roster of 5,000 credentialed mental health professionals, including psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists. From there, clients can connect with their counselor via secure phone, video, or live chat for weekly sessions. BetterHelp also lets clients and counselors exchange unlimited email messages between sessions.

Clients can access BetterHelp’s services via their website or mobile app. Couples and teens can access care through BetterHelp’s affiliates, Regain.us and TeenCounseling.com. BetterHelp does not accept insurance, but offers discounted rates for those who qualify for financial assistance.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
– $60-$80 per week (billed monthly)No– Mobile app
– Financial assistance available
– Multiple communication methods
– More features at BetterHelp

Pros & Cons of BetterHelp

Pros:

  • Seeing a therapist from home removes obstacles to getting mental healthcare, including avoiding stigma, finding childcare, and building in travel time to and from a therapist’s office.
  • The messaging communication option, which takes place in a secure and private virtual room, is open 24 hours a day, and lets users share their thoughts or send an update whenever is most convenient for them.
  • Live, real-time communication options are also available via chats, phone calls, and video sessions.
  • It typically takes less than 24 hours from the time you sign up for BetterHelp to get matched to a therapist.
  • Because BetterHelp takes into account your unique issues, preferences, and objectives and available counselors’ approaches and areas of interest, there is some degree of personalization to attaining a provider.
  • If you and your therapist turn out not to be a good match, you can quickly and discreetly get matched with a new BetterHelp counselor.
  • Patients pay a flat weekly fee (billed monthly) that includes unlimited sessions with their therapist using any combination of these four methods of communication.

Cons:

  • Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, do not cover counseling services offered by BetterHelp, so you will likely have to pay out of pocket.
  • Customers are billed monthly, so you have to commit to paying for a whole month of therapy, even if BetterHelp is not a good fit.
  • Therapists employed by BetterHelp are not authorized to make a diagnosis, prescribe medication for mental health issues, or fulfill court-ordered counseling requirements.

What Customers Are Saying

BetterHelp has established a loyal client base by providing convenient, compassionate care. I was matched with a counselor who ended up giving me great direction in changing my life,” writes one user. “Even over the computer I felt heard and as if I was seeing my therapist in person.”

Scores
Ease of use: 85/100
Convenience factor: 90/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 75/100
Overall score: 85/100

JustAnswer


The internet can provide a wealth of information on just about any topic, including healthcare and medical advice, but it can be hard to know which answers are reliable. JustAnswer seeks to address those concerns by giving people instant access to expert medical advice from trusted physicians on-demand.

JustAnswer is a subscription-based service that lets users ask unlimited questions to experts in a variety of different areas, including medicine and healthcare, law, home and car repairs, veterinary services, and more. Experts are carefully vetted, and will communicate with customers via phone, text message, or live chat to answer their questions accurately and thoroughly. JustAnswer also gives users the option to upload documents and photos, if necessary.

While JustAnswer cannot replace a primary care physician or emergency medical attention, it can be a quick, convenient way to get trustworthy medical advice when you can’t reach your PCP or need a second opinion.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
7-day trial: $5
Monthly subscription: $41 for unlimited questions
No– Mobile app
– 7-day trial
– 24/7/365 access
– More features at JustAnswer

Pros & Cons of JustAnswer

Pros:

  • JustAnswer’s biggest pro is its simplicity. If users are seeking expert, trustworthy advice from a medical expert, they can turn to the service for a quick answer.
  • There are multiple ways for JustAnswer users to connect with experts, including talk, text, and live chat. Users can also submit photos and documents if needed.
  • JustAnswers’ services are available 24/7/365 via their website or mobile app.
  • A JustAnswers membership gives customers access to a network of over 12,000 experts in a variety of areas beyond medicine. Experts include lawyers, mechanics, accountants, electricians, plumbers, veterinarians, and more.
  • JustAnswer offers a 7-day free trial to new customers to explore the service before signing up for a monthly membership.

Cons:

  • Although JustAnswer can be useful in getting answers and advice for health and medical-related questions, it is not a full-service telehealth platform. JustAnswer does not provide users with a full exam or consultation, prescriptions, or follow-up care.
  • JustAnswer’s pricing structure is somewhat unclear. According to their website, it costs $5 to post a question, but that members may be charged additional fees for “premium services” such as phone calls and document preparation. It does not state how much these additional fees are. It is also unclear whether the $5 per question fee is in addition to the required monthly membership fee.

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praise JustAnswer for giving them quick, easy access to information they can trust. “So quick, easy, and helpful,” says one user of their JustAnswer experience. “In an instant I was able to text with a doctor when I couldn’t reach mine on the weekend. Very informative and professional.”

Scores
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 95/100
Technology: 80/100
Personalization: 75/100
Overall score: 85/100

Sesame


Sesame leverages technology to create a direct-to-patient healthcare marketplace that connects patients with quality doctors both virtually and in-person.

While anyone can use Sesame’s services, it is primarily designed for individuals who don’t have health insurance, or need to find affordable services because of high deductibles. Sesame helps members find doctors and providers for a variety of healthcare needs, including primary care, urgent care, dentistry, dermatology, mental health care, and more. Members can search for providers locally or nationally, and choose to schedule an in-person or video appointment. All healthcare providers in Sesame’s network are fully licensed and carefully vetted, to ensure patients are getting top-notch care.

The pricing for services is transparent and affordable, and can be paid using cash, credit, or a health savings account. Although Sesame does not accept payment from health insurance companies, insured individuals can submit receipts to their insurance companies for reimbursement.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
Video consultation: $25-$55
In-person visit: $37-$110
No– Telehealth and in-person services
– Prescription services
– Imaging services
– More features at Sesame

Pros & Cons of Sesame

Pros:

  • Sesame is designed as a healthcare solution for individuals who don’t have health insurance, or are underinsured. Their affordable flat rates for care may make medical attention more accessible to individuals who fall into these categories.
  • In addition to accepting payment via debit and credit card, Sesame’s doctors also accept funds from Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts as payment.
  • Sesame offers patients the option to schedule video appointments (available nationwide) or in-person appointments (available in select locations), based on their specific needs and preferences.
  • Patients can use Sesame to connect with providers in a variety of different areas of care, including primary care, dermatology, dentistry, optometry, mental health care, and more.
  • Sesame has a no-worries cancellation policy that allows customers to cancel appointments up to 24 hours in advance with no penalty.
  • Sesame’s physicians can prescribe medications if medically appropriate.

Cons:

  • Because Sesame does not accept health insurance, it may not be a logical or affordable choice for individuals who have health insurance. Although they advise individuals with health insurance to submit their receipts to their health insurance company for reimbursement, this may be more of a hassle than using a service that accepts your insurance outright.
  • While Sesame customers in all 50 states can schedule virtual visits, not all in-person services are located everywhere. Users must search their location to see what in-person services are available where they are.

What Customers Are Saying

According to customers, Sesame is living up to its mission of making healthcare more accessible and affordable for all. Writes one member, “I’ve used Sesame twice this year, and both doctors were great! Overall an amazing site for people with or without insurance.”

Scores
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 90/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 90/100
Overall score: 90/100

HealthTap


If you are looking for an affordable telehealth membership service that will give you access to doctors and healthcare guidance to supplement your primary care physician, you may want to consider HealthTap.

For just $10 per month, HealthTap gives users access to unlimited virtual consultations 24/7 via video or live chat. Users can get advice and treatment recommendations for various acute or primary care needs, as well as prescriptions, doctor’s notes for excused absences from work or school, referrals for specialists, and more.

A HealthTap membership also includes access to a searchable database of thousands of answers from doctors; secure storage for personal health records, and HealthTap’s AI feature, which can guide you to the right level of care with answers to a few simple questions.

HealthTap is accessible via their website, or by downloading their mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
– $10/monthYes– 24/7/365 access
– Mobile app
– Sick notes
– More features at Health Tap

Pros & Cons of HealthTap

Pros: 

  • HealthTap’s primary pro is that it is a convenient, accessible tool for getting quick medical and healthcare guidance via video or text chat with a board-certified physician, or by searching a database of answers from medical experts.
  • HealthTap also features an AI tool that can help users determine the right level of care for their needs.
  • The HealthTap app allows users to store their health records and virtual visit history, so it can be easily shared with their primary care physician.
  • HealthTap physicians can order lab tests and prescriptions, and make referrals to specialists as needed.
  • HealthTap accepts many major health insurances. The company also contracts with many employers to offer their services to employees.

Cons:

  • While it is relatively inexpensive, HealthTap does charge a monthly subscription fee of $10. This membership fee does not cover the cost of prescriptions, lab tests, or in-person doctor visits.
  • HealthTap is another service that is meant to supplement, not replace, a primary care physician. Customers can use the service for consultations, advice, and prescriptions, but it is not meant to provide emergency medical care, or fill the role of a long-term primary care physician.

What Customers Are Saying

HealthTap’s users praise the service for providing a quick, convenient connection with on-demand care. “HealthTap got me in touch with a doctor in a smooth and seamless way,” says one user. “They provided me with information that gave me comfort in my diagnosis. Glad to have a reliable application like HealthTap.”

Scores
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 80/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 80/100
Overall score: 85/100

PlushCare


PlushCare does not use an on-demand service model. Instead, they work with your established primary care physician and specialist, and offer exams by appointment only (although same-day appointments are frequently available), complementing the care that you receive in person.

Among the services that PlushCare offers are urgent care for acute illnesses and conditions; help with chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma, prescription refills, and STD testing. A PlushCare doctor can also order lab work for you, and will follow up with you once they receive the results.

Like many other online doctor and medical services, PlushCare requires patients to have a membership to use their services. Unlike these other companies, PlushCare does charge a membership fee of $14.99 per month. This membership does include the ability to send unlimited in-app messages, and book a same-day appointment. PlushCare also accepts most major health insurances.

PriceAccepts InsuranceOther Features
Prices vary depending on insurance coverage.
Membership: $14.99
Yes– Care available 24/7/365
– Mobile app
– Prescription services
– More features at PlushCare

Pros & Cons of PlushCare

Pros:

  • While it does not seek to be a replacement for an in-person primary care physician, PlushCare does aim to be a long-term complement to the care you receive from your PCP. PlushCare’s team will work in conjunction with your PCP to make sure all of your urgent and long-term healthcare needs are met, including treatment of chronic conditions.
  • PlushCare’s services include ordering lab tests for patients, and reviewing the results via phone or video chat, saving users a trip to the doctor’s office.
  • PlushCare accepts most major health insurances, including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Cigna, and United Healthcare.
  • Although PlushCare requires a paid membership, users get a 30-day trial period to determine if the service is right for them.
  • When a PlushCare provider needs to write a prescription for a patient, they can send it electronically to the patient’s local pharmacy for pick-up.

Cons:

  • While many online doctors or medical services require that customers sign up for a membership, PlushCare is one of the few services that charges a monthly membership fee. This is in addition to any fees that customers have to pay to the physicians they see via the service.
  • PlushCare doctors cannot prescribe or refill controlled substances, including narcotics, anti-psychotics, sleep medications, weight loss medications, ADD/ADHD medications, and anti-anxiety medications.
  • Most services are offered by appointment only, meaning customers are not guaranteed same-day care.
  • Although PlushCare’s services include psychiatric consultations for prescription medications to treat mental health issues, they do not offer counseling or teletherapy services.

What Customers Are Saying

Customers have high praise for PlushCare’s doctors and healthcare providers. “My physician is knowledgeable, understanding, empathetic, and everything else you need a doctor to be,” says one patient. Adds another user, “From the registration to the video chat, I couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant experience.”

Scores
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 80/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 80/100
Overall score: 85/100

What You Need to Know About Online Doctor & Medical Services

You may see the phrases “telehealth” and “telemedicine” used interchangeably, but they mean different things. Telemedicine refers specifically to clinical services provided remotely, while telehealth includes the use of telecommunications for clinical and non-clinical purposes, like education and administration.

Many online doctor and medical services provide both telehealth and telemedicine services, including prescription management, urgent care, check-ups, mental health care, and more. Although some online medical services aim to totally replace an in-person physician, most seek to supplement in-person doctor visits by allowing patients to ask questions or get diagnoses for common health issues from home. With the scope of what’s possible via telemedicine constantly widening, there is much speculation about how this innovation will affect in-person care going forward.

Another consideration that may impact which online doctor you use is licensure. The Federation of State Medical Boards, which regulates physicians and healthcare professionals in the U.S., sets policies regarding what kind of licensure a doctor needs to provide care online, and in which states they need to be licensed. These policies are continuously updated, both in response to evolving telemedicine practices, and to address more immediate concerns, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Latest News

Much of the current news about online doctors and medical services focuses on their increasing prevalence and popularity. This has grown significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as doctors and patients have been looking for ways to limit in-person contact as much as possible.

Sources