During the coronavirus pandemic, the thought of going to the doctor can feel overwhelming.
A doctor’s waiting room is a great place to encounter someone with a bug you don’t want, even if it’s not the big bad one. And with medical attention and equipment in short supply, avoiding clinics, emergency rooms and doctor’s offices can save precious resources for those who most need them.
Of course, none of that means you won’t need medical attention during the shelter-in-place period. Fortunately, there are a number of great telemedicine options that offer comprehensive online services at affordable prices — even for patients without insurance.
Try These Affordable Telemedicine Options During the Pandemic
Telemedicine is also often more affordable than in-person treatment, especially if you don’t have health insurance.
It’s important to understand that none of these telemedicine platforms provide testing for the coronavirus at this time. Still, they might help put your mind at ease or take care of another problem.
Amwell hosts a wide range of medical professionals, including general physicians, specialists and mental health care providers, all of whom you can connect with 24/7. You can access services like nutrition counseling, pediatrics and breastfeeding support, and even chat with a licensed psychiatrist.
Costs vary depending on what kind of services you need, but start at $69 for a general urgent care visit. Your cost may be less if you have a qualifying insurance plan, and you can access care from your web browser or the company’s smartphone app, which is available for both Android and Apple devices.
Teladoc is another telemedicine platform that offers anytime access to doctors and mental health professionals via phone, video or app.
While your costs may be reduced if you have qualifying insurance, uninsured patients will pay the following amounts for common services:
- Everyday care: $49
- Dermatology: $75
- Licensed mental health therapist: $90
- Psychiatrist: $229 for the first visit and $99 for ongoing visits
Teladoc also has some great resources and FAQs about the coronavirus.
Doctor on Demand
Founded in 2012, Doctor on Demand is one of the original names in telemedicine, offering consults with medical doctors as well as licensed therapists and psychiatrists.
Although lower prices may be available for patients with insurance, self-pay patients benefit from transparent pricing and can expect to pay the following prices:
- $75 for a 15-minute consultation with a medical doctor
- $129 for a 25-minute consultation with a psychologist
- $179 for a 50-minute consultation with a psychologist
- $229 for a 45-minute consultation with a psychiatrist
- $129 for a 15-minute follow-up with a psychiatrist
Doctor on Demand has also set up a useful COVID-19 resource center.
MDLive has doctors on call 24 hours a day, although they are experiencing longer-than-average wait times due to the pandemic. They offer urgent care visits as well as dermatologists, counselors, psychiatrists and pediatric specialists.
MDLive doesn’t publish the cost of urgent care visits, because your exact cost will vary with your insurance, but dermatology is $65 or less, counseling $99 or less, and psychiatry $259 or less depending on your coverage. (This post on the MDLive blog also estimates the cost of a virtual doctor visit between $40-$50, making it much more affordable than a visit to the ER.)
Along with these telemedicine platforms, it’s also a good idea to reach out to your primary care physician about remote options. Many practices are beginning to offer telephone and video consultations, although costs may vary, especially if you’re uninsured and visiting a private practice.
Jamie Cattanach’s work has been featured at Fodor’s, Yahoo, SELF, The Huffington Post, The Motley Fool and other outlets. Learn more at www.jamiecattanach.com.