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The pandemic has changed the way we perform our daily tasks, including the way we visit the doctor. Now telemedicine has become commonplace, giving to many people. If you have yet to try telemedicine on your own and aren’t sure where to start, keep reading.
You should not use telemedicine as a permanent substitute for your primary care doctor (with the exception of the hybrid models mentioned at the end of this article), but connecting with a good doctor through telemedicine can definitely be helpful when you are on your third tissue box and your cabinet contents they don’t help.
You should also not use telehealth services when you experience a true emergency, such as a breathing problem, or if you get an injury that needs urgent attention, such as a broken bone (it would be a little difficult to make an accurate diagnosis and treat effectively through video) . All that has been said, here is an overview of some of the best telemedicine services.
Apps and websites
Online-only health care systems put doctors and nurses within arm’s reach at all times. While you can’t rely on these services for things like X-rays and surgery, you can lean on them for a virtual doctor visit when you need a quick diagnosis for the flu or other common conditions.
Available 24/7, doctors on Amwell can diagnose and treat an impressive number of health conditions, and that includes prescribing medication and sending it to your preferred pharmacy. Amwell also offers urgent care online. Without insurance, the baseline cost for a visit is $79.
Sesame on Meta
Sesame offers straightforward health care for a variety of concerns, including primary care, sexual health, mental health and health care for children. You can easily search to find a provider’s availability, and see what price each doctor charges for an online appointment so you’re not surprised by a hidden fee.
If you do have health insurance, Sesame says that you’ll likely be able to find care that’s less than what you’d pay for a deductible, but that it doesn’t provide any paperwork required for submitting insurance claims.
Teladoc can diagnose and treat just about any general medical condition you can think of, and offers specialist services for mental health, dermatology, sexual health and more. Teladoc can also prescribe medications if necessary.
Unlike some other services, Teladoc doesn’t put a time cap on your visit — you can talk to your doc as long as you like, a refreshing feeling in an industry that typically tries to cycle patients in and out as fast as possible. It even has an “Expert Medical Opinion” service if you want a second opinion on a treatment plan or have more-specific concerns.
The cost of a Teladoc visit varies, depending on your plan and insurance, as well as which services you use. Learn more on its FAQ page.
Dr On Demand
Doctor On Demand breaks its services down into four main categories: urgent care, behavioral health, preventive health and chronic care, with the preventive health category being relatively distinctive. For instance, many online-only health services don’t offer preventive lab screening services like Doctor On Demand. The baseline cost for a primary care visit at Doctor On Demand without insurance is $75 for a 15-minute consultation.
This isn’t your traditional telemedicine service, but we’re including it for the innovative at heart. Tyto is an at-home medical exam kit that allows you to check for common conditions by sending high-quality video and audio to a doctor on the other end of the app. Your doctor hears your heart and lungs and sees your ears, throat and skin to diagnose conditions like ear infections, cold, flu, allergies and rashes. The kit is a one-time purchase of $300, and the price of a visit starts at $59 before insurance.
MDLive can help with common medical conditions, as well as mental health and dermatological conditions. If you receive a diagnosis, MDLive can prescribe medication and send it to your preferred pharmacy. Via the MDLive app, you can access care at any time. Depending on your health insurance, an urgent care visit will cost $0 to $82.
If you want to find out more about your symptoms, but not necessarily talk to a doctor (although you have the option to), try K Health. This app aggregates data from millions of users — don’t worry, it’s secure — and shows you how doctors have previously treated patients with symptoms similar to yours. This can help in situations when you’re not quite sure what to do, for instance, if you don’t know whether you have a cold or are experiencing allergies. It also answers questions parents may have about their child’s symptoms.
If you do want to speak to a doctor, K Health advertises a $35 one-time visit fee, or a $49 monthly fee for unlimited visits.
All of the above telehealth services offer their own 24/7 care numbers, as do most insurance companies. You can find your insurance company’s hotline by searching “[insurance company] nurse hotline “on the web. Usually all you need to do is enter your geographical location and type of plan and then you can call.
But if you’re not insured, you may be wondering where to turn if you just need a short question to answer over the phone. The possibilities of the free helpline for the uninsured population are limited, but you have a few.
Many states offer toll-free telephone lines for nurses as well as individual hospitals. To find them, it’s usually a matter of a quick Google search for a “toll-free nurse line.” [state or hospital]. ”
You can also visit the National Institutes of Health hotline page to find phone numbers for specific health conditions, including allergies, heart health, mental health and more.
Hybrid telehealth companies combine personal medical care and online services for a flawless system. These models can replace traditional primary care with an option that allows you easier access to your doctor, longer visits and deeper insight into your health.
With One Medical, you can book appointments, renew prescriptions, access medical records and get health reminders, all in the One Medical app. If you don’t feel a personal visit, you can simply send a message to your doctor or schedule a FaceTime-style appointment through their video chat software. One Medical has an annual membership fee of $ 199, and the co-payment you will be responsible for each visit depends on your insurance and the reason for the visit.
In this “doctor’s office of the future”, Forward Health is a very thorough initial visit followed by unlimited personal visits and online conversations with your provider. Membership at Forward costs $ 149 per month without paying a co-payment, and you don’t need insurance to be a member, but it is highly recommended only in case you have an emergency or need to visit a specialist.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any questions you may have about your health condition or health goals.