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Teladoc review 2020

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This telemedicine app offers a range of routine and specialist services, but it has its limitations.

  • Explore this practice if you want to choose between a phone or video appointment, or your insurance covers Teladoc.
  • Choose something else if you need specific lab tests.

How does Teladoc work?

Teladoc is a virtual clinic offering telemedicine appointments with a network of licensed, board-certified doctors, dermatologists and mental health professionals. Launched in 2002, it’s open to US and Canadian residents and consults are available 24/7.

To use the app, you need to become a member — but Teladoc doesn’t charge subscription fees. You only pay a flat fee when you speak to a doctor, and your health insurance plan might pick up the tab.

How long does an appointment last?

There are no time limits on appointments. However, most medical consults last 15 minutes or less, and the average mental health visit is 45 minutes.

Can I choose my doctor?

Yes. You can select a doctor from a list of licensed providers in your state and view their availability.

If you book an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist, you can opt to see the same one for all future visits.

What conditions can Teladoc treat?

Teladoc offers urgent, routine and basic specialist care, and the services you can access come down to your health insurance plan or employer.

For a full list, refer to the welcome letter you received in the mail or call 800-835-2362.

Type of care Examples of conditions
Urgent care
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Cold and flu
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Sinus infections
  • Sore throat
  • Upper respiratory infections
Preventive and routine care
  • Allergies
  • Digestive disorders
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Men’s health — including prostatitis, erectile dysfunction and STIs
  • Women’s health — including birth control guidance, UTIs, yeast infections and STIs
  • Muscle and joint pain
Dermatology
  • Acne
  • Cellulitis
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Psoriasis
  • Rashes
  • Rosacea
  • Sunburn
Behavioral and mental health teletherapy
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Anger issues
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Relationship issues
  • Panic attacks
  • Postpartum care
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse disorder
  • Trauma and grief — including PTSD
Medication
  • Generic medical prescriptions
  • Medication reviews, refills and interactions
Wellness
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Back care for chronic pain
STD testing Teladoc partners with STDCheck to offer confidential STD lab tests, and you can expect results within three business days.
Medical experts If you need an opinion — or second opinion — about a diagnosis or treatment, Teladoc can connect you to a network of specialists. The database includes specialists who can advise on sports injuries, pregnancy complications, chronic diseases and rare conditions.

You can request this service by tapping the Find a Doctor button on the app.

Can my doctor order a lab test?

Your doctor can only order a sexual health test, which is administered through STDCheck.

You need to go to a local lab for a specimen draw. This typically takes 15 minutes, and you receive an email when your results are ready on the STDCheck system. If your test results are positive, you can request a consultation with a STDCheck doctor, who can write you a prescription or advise you on the next steps.

Can my doctor prescribe medication?

Yes — your doctor can prescribe medication for you to pick up at your local pharmacy. But they can’t prescribe controlled substances or non-therapeutic drugs for long-term use.

These include:

  • Substances with a high potential for abuse, such as muscle relaxants and pseudoephedrine
  • Strong pain medications, like Gabapentin
  • Stimulants, such as Adderall and Ritalin
  • Erectile dysfunction medications, like Viagra
  • Antidepressants, such as Cymbalta, Prozac and Zoloft

What doesn’t Teladoc treat?

Teladoc isn’t suitable for medical emergencies or long-term treatment of chronic conditions. It’s meant to supplement your primary care provider (PCP) — not replace it.

If you’re experiencing any of these illnesses or conditions, you need to see a doctor in person or go to the hospital:

  • Brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Chest pain or numbness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe burns
  • Vomiting and coughing blood

What’s changed during COVID-19?

Not much. Since Teladoc’s lab testing is limited, doctors can only assess your symptoms and advise you on the next steps.

This may involve self-quarantining or getting a diagnostic test, and your doctor can help you find your nearest testing location.

How much does Teladoc cost?

The amount you pay depends on your health insurance plan. But if you don’t have insurance or your plan doesn’t cover Teladoc, you can expect to be charged a flat fee per visit.

Type of appointment Fee
Medical
  • $49
Dermatology
  • $95
Psychology
  • $90 to connect with a licensed therapist
Psychiatry
  • $299 for an initial consultation
  • $90 for ongoing sessions

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

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

The app also accepts all major debit and credit cards, as well as PayPal.

Does Teladoc accept insurance?

Yes. Teladoc works with over 40 health insurance companies, including Aetna, Anthem, BCBS and United Healthcare. It also accepts many Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans.

To find out if your insurance applies, fill out the Registration Form on the website or call your health insurance provider.

Where is Teladoc available?

Teladoc is available nationwide. When you request a telemedicine appointment, the app asks for your location and only connects you to providers who are licensed in your state.

The app is compatible with Android devices 5.0 and up, as well as the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It requires iOS 10.0 or later.

Pros and cons of Teladoc

Pros

  • No membership fees. You only pay when you visit a doctor.
  • Low cost for general medical visits. Without insurance, the fee is $45 — which is much cheaper than competitor apps.
  • Wide scope of services. Teladoc offers medical care as well as dermatology, psychiatry and wellness consults.
  • Phone and video consult options. You can speak to your doctor via phone or video, making Teladoc accessible to more people.
  • Partners with major insurance companies. Many users access Teladoc’s services for free under their insurance.
  • Set up a family account. Most plans allow you to add a spouse, children or adult dependents to your account.
  • Ability to choose your doctor. You can select your doctor or therapist based on their bio, specialties and languages spoken.

Cons

  • Lack of lab testing. Teladoc can’t order basic blood, urine and COVID-19 tests — only STD tests.
  • No live chat feature. Users can’t chat with a Teladoc rep in real-time.
  • Mental health appointments not available 24/7. You can only see a therapist or psychiatrist from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time.
  • Dermatology visits aren’t virtual. All communication happens on the app’s secure messaging platform.
  • Poor customer reputation. Across online forums, users complain about billing issues and rushed appointments with some physicians.

Compare alternatives to Teladoc

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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Teladoc reviews and complaints

Teladoc isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but the agency gives it an F rating for its failure to respond to nearly 30 customer complaints. Most of the complaints have to do with billing or collection issues, such as surprise insurance bills in the mail.

Customers award the company 1.27 out of 5 stars, and it’s clear Teladoc could improve on its transparency and communication.

The app has 4.8 out of 5 stars on the App Store based on over 270,000 reviews, and 4.5 stars on Google Play based on nearly 37,000 reviews. On forums like AppGroove, customers say Teladoc is user-friendly. But they mention doctors call from unlisted numbers, and the app’s filters could be better.

Teladoc reviews: Finder team members share their experiences using Teladoc

Case study: Dawn's experience

Dawn Daniels profile photo
Dawn Daniels
Publisher
“When my asthma flares up, the treatment is always the same and has been since I was a kid. In the past, I’ve gone to my primary care doctor or, if they couldn’t get me in quickly, an urgent care clinic for bad flare-ups. They listen to my lungs, confirm I don’t have a fever, and prescribe the same steroid every time — and then I get a hefty bill. The Teladoc service lets me skip the waiting room and the bill in lieu of a quick phone call, which makes things easier and doesn’t affect my treatment. I’ve also found that it’s useful for getting a regular prescription filled quickly when my doctor isn’t available.

But Teladoc can’t replace my primary care physician, and it definitely can’t replace specialists. When I wanted to make changes to my long-term treatment plan, I made an appointment with my pulmonologist. He knows my medical history and the ins and outs of my specific type of asthma and can order crucial tests and do a physical exam. Plus I trust that he’s up-to-date on the most recent research, something I don’t know enough about any Teladoc to confirm. I love the Teladoc service as a supplement to my health care — but it’s not a replacement for my doctor.”

Case study: Anna's experience

Anna Serio profile photo
Anna Serio
Senior Writer

“I used Teladoc during a dental emergency when I couldn’t get in touch with my dentist’s office. Once I was logged in, it was a matter of minutes before I was on the phone with a doctor. They quickly wrote me a prescription for what I needed — but gave me some medical advice that contradicted what my dentist had told me.

I’d use it again in a heartbeat for something that’s very straightforward, but it’s no replacement for an in-person checkup. Especially when you’re not sure what’s wrong.”

How to sign up for Teladoc

You need to set up an account before you can see a physician. Follow these steps:

  1. Download the Teladoc app.
  2. Tap Register.
  3. Type in your personal and contact details, including your ZIP code and preferred language.
  4. Enter your health insurance information to check your eligibility, or skip to the next step.
  5. Select a username and password, and provide answers to security questions.
  6. Tap Complete Registration.
  7. Go to your Account Dashboard to fill in your medical history, add family members and set your communication preferences.

Many employers offer a Teladoc 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.

What happens after I sign up?

Once you’ve registered, you can start booking appointments.

When you need to see a doctor, tap Request a Visit on the home screen. You need to update your medical history, select your preferred pharmacy and pay for your visit — if applicable — before entering the waiting room.

Frequently asked questions

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

Teladoc was ahead of the telemedicine game when it launched in 2002, and it’s still a leader in the space. It offers urgent and routine care, as well as mental health and wellness services and expert medical opinions — which is rare. There are no subscription fees, and you can add various family members to your account.

However, doctors can’t order most lab tests, including COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody tests. And dermatology visits take place entirely on the app’s messaging platform.

Teladoc accepts most health insurance plans. But if you’re not covered, compare membership medicine apps.

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