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Amwell review Oct 2020

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With on-demand, round-the-clock appointments, this platform supports you between visits to your regular doctor.

  • Explore this practice if you want to access a doctor or therapist online, or have specific women’s health needs.
  • Choose something else if you suspect you need lab work.

How does Amwell work?

Amwell is a telehealth service that offers 24/7 appointments with board-certified physicians across the US. The platform focuses on primary care, and its network includes doctors, specialists and mental health professionals.

You can launch the service through Amwell’s site or app, or connect to a doctor over the phone — though the services are limited if you choose the latter option.

While Amwell is membership-based, you’ll only pay a fee when you book a consultation.

How long does an appointment last?

A typical appointment is 10 to 15 minutes, but you can tack on more time for an additional fee.

Specialist consultations tend to last 15 to 50 minutes.

Can I choose my doctor?

Yes. When you request an appointment, you’ll be shown a list of suitable doctors and their availability.

You can then choose a doctor based on their bio and when they’ll be online and seeing patients.

If no doctors are available, you’ll be placed in a virtual “waiting room” and Amwell will send you a text message once a doctor is free.

What conditions can Amwell treat?

Amwell is designed to supplement your primary care provider (PCP). It offers urgent, preventative and basic specialist care as well as ongoing medication management.

The platform also has a whole department dedicated to women’s health and staffed with specialists such as lactation consultants.

Type of careExamples of conditions
Urgent care
  • Annual check-ups
  • Specialist referrals
Lab tests and procedures
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Cold and flu
  • Cold sores
  • COVID-19
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Pink eye
  • Rash
  • UTIs
  • Sinus infection
  • Stomach flu
  • Strep throat
Behavioral and mental health
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders, including bulimia and anorexia
  • Grief
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Life transitions
  • LGBTQI counseling
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic attacks
  • Postpartum depression and anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Relationship issues
  • Stress
  • Trauma
Specialty care
  • Women’s health — including birth control, endometritis, menopause, PMS, pelvic pain and
    breastfeeding issues
  • Sexual health and STIs
  • Pediatric care
Healthy living
  • Nutrition counseling for weight loss, digestive disorders, food allergies and health conditions (like high blood pressure)
Second opinions
    Amwell works with the Cleveland Clinic to provide second opinions on over 2,000 diagnoses, including:

  • Brain tumors and neurological conditions
  • Cancer
  • Digestive conditions
  • Geriatric conditions
  • Heart conditions
  • Kidney and urological conditions
  • Lung conditions
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Skin disorders
  • Thyroid and autoimmune conditions

Can my doctor order a lab test?

No — Amwell doctors can’t order lab tests on your behalf.

The company claims it’s too difficult to follow up on the results of these tests, though there are other telemedicine providers that coordinate lab work.

Can my doctor prescribe medication?

Yes. Your doctor may prescribe medication for you to pick up at your local pharmacy — though you’ll need to book a video visit in most states.

However, Amwell doctors aren’t allowed to prescribe the following:

  • Controlled substances with a high potential for abuse or addiction, including narcotics and medication for anxiety and ADHD
  • Erectile dysfunction medication
  • Muscle relaxants
  • State-specific controlled medications such as pseudoephedrine.

What doesn’t Amwell treat?

Amwell isn’t suitable for people suffering from serious or life-threatening conditions.

If you’re experiencing any of these emergencies, please contact 911:

  • Broken bones
  • Chest pain
  • Choking
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Head injury
  • Neurological symptoms linked to strokes
  • Seizures
  • Severe hypertension or hemorrhoids
  • Schizophrenia or hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sudden bleeding

What’s changed during COVID-19?

Not much. Since Amwell’s physicians are unable to order lab work, you can’t request a diagnostic or antibody test through the platform.

Your doctor can:

  • Screen you for COVID-19 by assessing your symptoms and risk factors
  • Recommend the next step — such as quarantining, monitoring your symptoms or going to an urgent care facility
  • Help you find your nearest testing location
  • Provide a doctor’s note if you’re too sick to work or go to school

Does health insurance cover the coronavirus?

How much does Amwell cost?

Amwell charges a flat rate fee per visit and is upfront about the costs of each consultation.

Type of appointmentFee
Urgent care — including pediatric care and women’s health
  • $79
Psychology
  • $99 for a master’s level therapist
  • $110 for a doctoral level therapist
Psychiatry
  • $269 for an initial visit
  • $99 for each follow-up visit
Nutrition
  • $70
Lactation consult
  • $129 for an initial visit
  • $75 for each follow-up visit
Second opinion
  • $800

Can I use my FSA or HSA to pay for my Amwell visit?

Yes. You can pay for your visit with your Flexible Savings Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) debit card.

The platform also accepts debit and credit card payments.

Does Amwell accept insurance?

Amwell accepts insurance for urgent care visits, and works with most major insurance companies, including:

  • Academic Health Plan (AHP)
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • APWU
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Capital Blue Cross
  • Capital Health
  • Cigna
  • CorVel
  • EnhancedcareMD
  • Foreign Service Benefit Plan
  • Health Alliance Plan
  • Health Tradition
  • Highmark
  • Hawaii Medical Services Association
  • Medica
  • HBP
  • MVP Healthcare
  • Physician’s Health Plan
  • Rural Carrier Benefit Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • WEA Trust

For behavioral, specialty and healthy living visits, you’ll need to submit a claim through your health insurance company.

The second opinion service offered through the Cleveland Clinic isn’t covered by insurance.

Can I use Amwell if I don’t have health insurance?

Yes. You can sign up for the platform and pay for any of Amwell’s services out of pocket.

Where is Amwell available?

Amwell is available nationwide. When you book a telemedicine consultation, the platform will ask for your location and only display physicians who are licensed in your state.

Pros

  • No membership fees. You’ll only pay when you visit a doctor, and Amwell is transparent about its pricing.
  • 24/7 consultations. Doctors and mental health professionals are available around-the-clock and on demand.
  • Wide scope of services. Along with urgent care, Amwell offers teletherapy, psychiatric consultations and pregnancy and nutrition counseling.
  • Accessible platform. If you don’t have access to a computer or smartphone, you can request a phone visit by calling 844-733-3627.
  • Ability to add children to your plan. You can set up your account to cater to you as well as any children under 18 years old.
  • Experienced doctors. All physicians on the platform are licensed and board-certified, with an average of 15 years’ experience in their field.

Cons

  • Video visits required for prescriptions. This includes prescription refills.
  • No live chat function. Amwell doesn’t offer real-time chat support to its members.
  • Doctors can’t order lab tests. If you need blood or lab work, you’ll need to go elsewhere.
  • Poor reputation. Patients complain about billing issues, long wait times and slow responses from the customer care team.

Compare alternatives to Amwell

Name Product Telehealth coverage Wellness support Membership required Average monthly cost
Zocdoc
Zocdoc
Yes
Yes
No
$0
Understand your health plan by uploading your insurance card to your account, revealing your coverage details and in-network doctors
4 Your Health
Yes
Yes
Yes
$14.95
Get 24/7 wellness advice, meal plans, workouts and telehealth doctors, including psychologists and pharmacists. No insurance needed.
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Amwell reviews and complaints

Despite being in business since 2006, Amwell isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It has a B rating for its failure to respond to all 31 complaints leveled against the company over the past three years. While there are no reviews on the site, the complaints centered on inaccurate billing and poor customer management.

On TrustPilot, Amwell has 3 out of 5 stars based on over 2,000 reviews. Customers say the platform is ideal for quick appointments, managing existing conditions and getting prescription refills. But they mention long wait times and doctors not showing up to scheduled appointments.

I’ve seen Amwell in the news a lot lately. Why?

The company recently made news for two reasons. In August, Google Cloud announced it’s investing $100 million into Amwell, according to CNBC. And in late September, Amwell went public — meaning you can now buy shares in the telemedicine platform.

How to sign up for Amwell

You’ll need to create an account before you can speak to a doctor. To become a member:

  1. Go to Amwell’s site or download the app for iPhone or Android.
  2. Click Sign Up.
  3. Enter your personal and contact details plus a password, then tap Submit.
  4. Select your location, gender and date of birth from the dropdown boxes. Click Continue.
  5. Type in your health insurance details if you have a plan.

At this point, you’ll have an account. To book an appointment, select Video Visit or Phone Visit and follow the prompts to pay for your consultation and choose a pharmacy.

Can I access Amwell through my employer?

Many employers offer an Amwell membership as part of their health benefits. To find out if your workplace participates, read through your benefit documents or speak to your HR department.

If it does, you’ll be able to enter your employer’s Service Key during the signup process.

Frequently asked questions about Amwell

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by


Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

Amwell offers round-the-clock virtual appointments with doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as medical specialists. It also focuses on women’s health and has pregnancy, postpartum, menopause and lactation experts in its network.

The company is upfront about its flat fees and accepts most health insurance plans. But the appointments are short and somewhat limited — doctors can’t order lab work, and a video chat is required for all prescriptions.

For these reasons, it’s best to view Amwell as a supplementary healthcare tool. It doesn’t replace your regular doctor, and it’s not meant to — instead, it’s there to support you when you can’t or don’t need to see your PCP in person.

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