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The Best Online Doctor in 2024: Top Telemedicine Companies

With remote work becoming the norm and online classes rising in popularity, we are embracing the virtual sphere as never before. So much so that gone are the days when you had to visit your healthcare provider physically — with telehealth services, you can get the help you need from the comfort of your home.

Being an ingenious solution, telehealth is rising in numbers. This also means that choosing the best online doctor service can become challenging. In this article, we will go through some of the most popular telehealth providers to help you make an informed decision.

Best online doctors: telehealth companies listed

  1. PlushCare — best telehealth service overall
  2. Sesame — best budget-friendly online doctor platform
  3. DrHouse — best online doctor for urgent care
  4. Call-On-Doc — best text-based online doctor platform
  5. Circle Medical — best telemedicine service with health insurance coverage
  6. Teladoc — best online doctor provider for Canada
  7. HealthTap — best telehealth services for prolonged care
  8. Doctor On Demand — best telehealth platform for mental health support
  9. MinuteClinic Virtual Care — best online doctor platform with translator services
  10. Telemedicine — best telehealth services for families

How we chose the best online doctors

Company reputationReputable providers
Insurance acceptanceBroad coverage
Scope of care provided All-rounded services
Ease of use User-friendly interface
  • Company reputation. Before choosing the telehealth service, read reviews and testimonials from other patients to gauge the service’s reputation and quality of care.
  • Insurance acceptance. Not every telehealth provider accepts insurance as a payment method. For this list, we favored platforms that offer broad in-network coverage. If the company does not accept insurance, we preferred platforms that accept flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA), or health reimbursement arrangements (HRA).
  • Scope of care provided. We favored platforms that provide services across various healthcare needs. This could include mental health, specialist consultations, prescription refills, and follow-up care.
  • Ease of use. A user-friendly interface and seamless appointment scheduling can be one of the factors to consider when evaluating online doctor providers.

Best online doctor in 2024: company reviews

Among the myriad of telehealth providers, several of them stand out as leaders in the field, offering innovative platforms to meet the diverse needs of patients.

Let us explore some of the top telemedicine companies that are worth checking out.

1. PlushCare — best telehealth platform overall

PlushCare app

PlushCare is a high-quality telehealth platform that offers a wide range of services, including online prescriptions, mental health, and weight loss consultations.

Online doctors available on PlushCare have been trained in the top 50 medical schools in the USA, such as Yale, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California San Francisco.

This platform is in-network with a wide range of insurance providers, including Humana, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

To start using PlushCare, you would need to get a membership for $16.99 per month. In addition to that, you will be paying per visit. Individuals without insurance are charged $129 per appointment. According to PlushCare, most patients with insurance end up paying around $30 from their pocket.

According to the PlushCare website, if they are unable to treat you or provide care, you can get a full refund.

2. Sesame — best affordable online doctor platform

Sesame app

Recognized for its affordability, Sesame ranks among the top telemedicine companies, providing appointments for as low as $29.00 per visit for individuals with membership ($10.99 per month). The platform charges an upfront fee and does not have any hidden costs.

When it comes to services covered, Sesame provides a wide range of specialties such as urgent care, psychiatry, dermatology, and pediatrics.

Due to possible same-day appointments, this platform is popular for one-time visits as well. Sesame is permitted to issue or refill prescriptions, although that excludes controlled substances.

Keep in mind that Sesame does not accept any health insurance at the moment.

3. DrHouse — best online doctor platform for urgent care

DrHouse app

For those who are looking for the fastest service — DrHouse stands as an exceptional choice. This platform prides itself on its short appointment wait times, with an average wait of a mere 2 minutes during the day and just 15 minutes at night. DrHouse offers scheduled visits as well.

Moreover, DrHouse is authorized to issue or refill prescriptions, except for controlled substances. Members can have their medications delivered free of charge.

When it comes to pricing, DrHouse is also quite an affordable choice. A visit without insurance would cost you $129. DrHouse is in-network with some of insurance providers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare.

4. Call-On-Doc — best text-based online doctor services

If you're seeking fast and uncomplicated telemedicine services, Call-On-Doc could be the ideal choice for you. This platform provides text-based consultations that are asynchronous. Alternatively, you can also choose to have a phone consultation. However, in some cases, you may be asked to have a video call with the healthcare provider.

After completing the questionnaire, Call-On-Doc will check your information and issue a prescription within 2 hours.

With Call-On-Doc, you can get help for a wide range of conditions and symptoms, including urgent care, mental health, and dermatology.

It is worth noting that Call-On-Doc does not accept insurance at the moment. Most consultations would cost you around $39.99.

5. Circle Medical — best telehealth service with health insurance coverage

If you are insured and looking to start using online doctor platforms, Circle Medical could be of interest. This platform is in-network with a range of insurance providers, including Anthem, UnitedHealthcare, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. It is worth noting that you can still use the platform even without insurance coverage.

When it comes to pricing, the cost of a visit with Circle Medical will depend on the specialist, your location, and your concern. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be fully covered.

Circle Medical specializes in a broad spectrum of care, including ADHD, weight loss, and sleep conditions.

6. Teladoc — best online doctor service for Canada

Teladoc is a telehealth service that operates both in the United States and Canada. Furthermore, if you reside in one of these two countries, you are eligible to use Teladoc when traveling abroad.

All services from Teladoc can be ordered through their application. You can choose to have either a video or a phone call. Primary care, pediatrics, mental health, nutrition, and many more services are offered by this platform.

Most visits with Teladoc would cost you $75 without insurance, although some could be more expensive. To find out if your insurance is accepted, you must first sign up for an account on the platform.

7. HealthTap — best telehealth services for long-term usage

HealthTap is a telehealth solution that is focused on providing long-term care. By allowing you to choose your doctor and keep working with them over time, this platform stands as a resource for consistent and personalized healthcare support. Moreover, HealthTap allows you to text your doctor after the appointment for follow-up or clarifications.

When it comes to services, this platform offers a wide range of care: primary care, mental and behavioral health, pediatrics, and many mo

To start using HealthTap, you must get a membership. They offer two plans: a 3-month plan for $99 and a 1-year plan for $180. With a 3-month plan, you would pay $44 per visit, while a 1-year plan grants you one free visit and will charge you $44 afterward.

8. Doctor On Demand — best telehealth service for mental health care

If you are looking for the best platform to support your mental well-being, Doctor on Demand offers a convenient solution. With clinical experts ranging in diverse specialties, you may be able to find a perfect match. Moreover, the platform offers both psychiatry and therapy sessions by qualified professionals.

Moreover, Doctor on Demand provides urgent care, preventive health, chronic care, and dermatology services as well.

If you need a new prescription or renew an old one, the doctor treating you may be able to assist you, except in cases of controlled substances.\

Without insurance, prices start from $89.

9. MinuteClinic Virtual Care — best telehealth platform with translator services

MinuteClinic Virtual Care is a branch of CVS Health for telehealth services. This platform provides translation services for 41 languages in case you require one during your visit.

MinuteClinic Virtual Care is authorized to issue prescriptions, although they are unable to prescribe controlled substances.

When it comes to pricing, MinuteClinic Virtual Care services would cost you from $59 to $99 for general medical care. Mental health care is from $89 to $129. However, this platform also accepts some insurance.

10. Telemedicine — best telehealth platform for families

If you are looking for a platform that could be used by the entire family, Telemedicine comes as a budget-friendly solution. By getting their membership, you can get unlimited visits with Telemedicine doctors. Individuals pay $24.95, couples $29.95, and families will be covered with $39.95 per month.

Telemedicine also covers a wide range of conditions they work with, from primary care (e.g., acid reflux, cold, herpes) to mental health (e.g., ADHD, eating disorders, stress).

The services are available in both English and Spanish.

Telemedicine can issue prescriptions, although that does not include controlled substances.

Comparing the best telemedicine companies and platforms

ProviderInsurance acceptance Prescription medicineMembership priceVisit price*Platform
PlushCareYesYes$16.99/month$129.00Web browser and app
SesameNoYes$10.99/monthFrom $29.00Web browser
DrHouseYesYesNo membership$129.00App
Call-On-DocNoYesNo membershipFrom $29.00Web browser
Circle MedicalYesYesNo membershipFrom $100.00App
TeladocYesYesNo membershipFrom $75.00App
HealthTapYesYes$99.00/3-months, $180.00/1-year$44.00Web browser
Doctor On DemandYesYesNo membershipFrom $89.00App
MinuteClinic Virtual CareYesYesNo membershipFrom $59.00Web browser and app
TelemedicineNoYesFrom $24.95/monthFree with membershipWeb browser

* — The price indicated here is the price you would pay if you opt for the membership.

Why you might need an online doctor

Although in-person doctor visits remain to be the norm, telehealth offers a valuable alternative to traditional medical care. And while it can not be applied in every scenario, we will briefly go through a few advantages of online doctor visits.

Most prominently, telehealth excels in infectious disease control. Whether it is the common cold or the flu, you can easily contact a doctor without putting others at risk.

When it comes to mental health therapy, a certified online physician can provide the needed therapy service and, in some cases, prescription medication.

Moreover, telehealth is renowned for providing healthcare for individuals in remote areas.

Lastly, telemedicine platforms may, in certain instances, offer more competitive pricing compared to traditional in-person visits, presenting a potential cost-saving opportunity for patients seeking medical care.

How to choose the right online doctor

The best telehealth platforms for you will differ based on your needs. To help you make an informed decision, we gathered a few factors to consider while choosing the most suitable platform for you.

  • Authority to issue prescriptions. Not all telehealth doctors can issue or renew prescriptions. Moreover, it can be worthwhile to check what delivery methods for medicine are available before booking a consultation.
  • Subscription or membership pricing. Some platforms offer alluring subscription-based service options. Usually, members can get significantly lower visitation prices after subscribing to the platform. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions associated with these membership models beforehand.
  • Urgency of the services. Depending on your circumstances, you may need more immediate services — for instance, if you are looking to obtain a physician's note for work. Some platforms can offer medical attention within a few minutes or hours, while others could require more patience.
  • Accessibility. Certain online doctor services may be tailored to be more accessible by either providing language interpretation or screen reader compatibility.

Starting to use telemedicine services: what to know

When choosing the best telehealth services, you should check the scope of services offered. This could include confirming what conditions are treated and whether prescriptions can be issued or renewed.

Moreover, familiarize yourself with the billing and insurance processes to avoid any unexpected costs. Look for companies that are transparent with their billing policies.

Another important factor to consider before using telemedicine services is the platform you prefer to get the services on. For instance, some companies offer browser-based services, while others have a dedicated application for visits or phone calls.

Lastly, keep in mind that in most cases telehealth providers will not consider your full medical history while making a diagnosis. This could mean that the treatment plan may not be as personalized as it would be if you visit your doctor in-person.

What telehealth services do not cover

Telehealth service providers can vary greatly when it comes to covered services.

Most telehealth services are not authorized to issue prescriptions for controlled substances, even if you book a visit for a refill. Control substances include medication such as Adderal, Xanax, and Darvon. Furthermore, certain telemedicine companies are incapable of issuing or renewing prescriptions altogether.

It is also vital to point out that telehealth does not offer emergency care. One of the covered areas of telehealth is urgent care — care needed when the patient has a condition that is not life-threatening but requires prompt medical attention.

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