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Top Telehealth Apps of 2021

writtenByWritten by: Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer is a contributing health writer who has been researching and writing health content with PlushCare for 3 years. She is passionate about bringing accessible healthcare and mental health services to people everywhere.

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January 12, 2021 Read Time - 7 minutes

Top Telehealth Apps of 2021 for COVID-19 and Beyond

Can you do telehealth from home? Are telemedicine visits cheaper? How can I get a prescription without going to the doctor? If you’ve never had a telehealth appointment before, these are just some of the questions you might have before seeing an online doctor.

To help patients navigate the complicated modern medical landscape, this article will answer all those questions and more. We’ll also go over the top telehealth apps of 2021. 

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

What Is a Telehealth App?

A telehealth app is a tool that allows you to speak to a doctor online. You might have a video or phone appointment with a doctor, or you might text with a therapist throughout the week.

Using a telehealth app allows you to access these appointments from your mobile device rather than needing a computer with a webcam. 

Can You Do Telehealth Over the Phone?

Some telehealth companies in certain states may allow telehealth appointments over the phone. However, you may be required to use a telemedicine website or telehealth app with video capabilities. 

Do You Pay for Telehealth? How Much Does a Virtual Doctor Visit Cost?

Generally speaking, yes, you need to pay for telehealth appointments. They may cost as little as nothing if your insurance covers the entire cost or as much as $299 for an online psychiatrist appointment. Without insurance, regular virtual doctor visits may cost an average of $49 to $150 per appointment. 

Appointments as low as $20.

Use our cost checker to see what you'll pay

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What’s the Difference Between Telehealth and Telemedicine?

While some people use the terms interchangeably, telemedicine refers specifically to online doctor appointments. Telehealth refers to any remote health services, including things like remote patient monitoring and continuing medical education. 

How To Use a Telehealth App

Using a telehealth app is easy. Simply download the app you want to use from the App Store or Google Play and follow the in-app instructions. Depending on the app, you might schedule an appointment for later, wait on hold for the next available doctor, or start texting with a therapist (after you pay for the services, of course). 

How Can I Download Telehealth Apps?

Downloading telehealth apps tends to be fairly straightforward and simple, but varies between providers. Consider the following basic guidelines to download a telehealth app.

To download telehealth apps:

  • Visit the App Store or Google Play on your mobile device
  • Search the name of the app you’d like to download (i.e., PlushCare)
  • Download the app
  • Wait for the installation and open the app
  • Set up your account
  • Book an appointment!

What Can Be Treated on a Telehealth App?

While not all-inclusive, there are an array of conditions that our physicians can diagnose or treat using telehealth platforms. 

Here are some examples of things that physicians can treat on telehealth apps:

  • Cold and flu
  • UTI
  • Yeast infection
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Allergies
  • Sinus infection
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Rashes
  • Asthma
  • Sore throat
  • Pink eye
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

What Cannot Be Treated on an App?

As mentioned, while they’re innovative, not everything is currently able to be diagnosed or treated remotely through telehealth platforms. 

Here are a few examples of things that physicians can not treat on an app:

  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Chest pain
  • Heart problems
  • Neurological issues
  • Life-threatening issues
  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Complex mental health issues

Benefits of Telehealth Apps

Telehealth apps offer patients a wide variety of unique modern benefits that allow them to take control of their health easier than ever. Some of these benefits include:

  • Convenience
  • Affordability
  • Better patient engagement
  • Improved access to care
  • Better healthcare quality
  • Ease of use

Does Medicare Cover Telehealth Apps?

Yes. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, some telehealth services are now covered by Medicare. You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctor or other health care provider’s services, and the Part B Deductible applies. Costs are usually the same as for in-person services. 


Read: COVID-19 Medicare and Telehealth


The Top Telehealth Apps of 2021 

Which is the best online doctor app? There is no one right answer as everyone has unique needs, and each platform offers their own array of services. 

That’s why we’re going to talk about the top telehealth apps. We want to give you the information to decide which doctor app is right for you, your family, and your budget. Be sure to take into account online doctor reviews to see what actual patients have to say.

#1 – PlushCare

iPhone rating: 4.9

Android rating: 4.6

With the PlushCare app, you get phone or video appointments and, with a PlushCare membership, unlimited in-app messaging with your care team. PlushCare treats various chronic and acute conditions, such as asthma, allergies, colds and flu, UTIs, and sinus infections. You can also get prescription refills through PlushCare. PlushCare serves patients with and without insurance and has the most qualified network of doctors — having graduated from the top 50 U.S. medical schools.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

#2 – MDLive

iPhone rating: 4.7

Android rating: 4.7

With MDLive, you can schedule an appointment or wait for the next available doctor (usually about a 15-minute wait). In addition to treating many different conditions, MDLive also offers dermatology appointments, licensed therapists, and board-certified psychiatrists. 

#3 – LiveHealth Online

iPhone rating: 4.9

Android rating: 4.5

LiveHealth Online allows you to visit with board-certified doctors, lactation consultants, licensed therapists, registered dieticians, and more via live video on your tablet or smartphone. You can typically talk to a doctor in ten minutes or less. Also, Spanish-speaking doctors are available by appointment from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

#4 – Doctor on Demand

iPhone rating: 4.9

Android rating: 4.9

Doctor on Demand has physicians on-call every day of the year, including weekends and holidays. You can also schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist or psychologist seven days a week. 

In addition to accepting several forms of insurance, Doctor on Demand partners with many top employers and health plans to further reduce your healthcare expenses.

#5 – AmWell

iPhone rating: 4.9

Android rating: 4.3

AmWell offers reasonable prices for online therapy, online psychiatrists, nutrition counseling, and breastfeeding support in addition to regular urgent care appointments. Many insurance companies cover AmWell visits, meaning that you will likely be able to find affordable care. 

#6 – Lemonaid

iPhone rating: 4.9

Android rating: 4.5

Some services through Lemonaid, like birth control or hair loss, cost as little as $25, with medication shipped right to your door. Other Lemonaid services, like STD testing or UTI treatment, cost $45 for the appointment, with drugs electronically sent to your pharmacy. Lemonaid is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 12 pm PST.

#7 – Talkspace

iPhone rating: 4.2

Android rating: 2.7

For $65 per week (billed monthly), you get unlimited text, audio, picture, or video messaging with a licensed therapist and the chance to add live sessions. The therapist will reply at least once a day, five days a week. 

Book a Telehealth Appointment With PlushCare Today!

If you’re ready to book an appointment and try out telehealth for yourself, consider a service like PlushCare. You can download the app from the App Store here and Google Play here. Make an appointment through the app, and you can speak to a PlushCare doctor as soon as today! 
We treat 97% of conditions on the first visit, and our doctors are experts at treating over 3,500 conditions online. Give it a try!


Read More About Telehealth Apps


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Medicare.gov. Telehealth. Accessed on January 12, 2021 at https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/telehealth

HealthIT. What is telehealth? How is telehealth different from telemedicine? Accessed on January 12, 2021 at https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-telehealth-how-telehealth-different-telemedicine

hopkinsmedicine.org. Benefits of Telemedicine Accessed on February 14, 2021 at https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/benefits-of-telemedicine

Medicare.gov. Telehealth. Accessed on January 12, 2021 at https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/telehealth

HealthIT. What is telehealth? How is telehealth different from telemedicine? Accessed on January 12, 2021 at https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-telehealth-how-telehealth-different-telemedicine

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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