Seeking medical care in the United States without health insurance can be both a complicated and extremely expensive journey.
But with the increasing popularity of telemedicine, care options are becoming more accessible and more affordable — especially for people who don’t have health insurance.
Using your computer or smartphone, you can call up a doctor whenever one is needed — even in the middle of the night — and have issues addressed quickly and easily via a virtual consultation.
From wellness visits to urgent care, connecting with a doctor online can help you save money.
Here are the best telemedicine options if you don’t have insurance coverage and how much it costs to use each one. Telehealth visits may even be free with insurance.
How Much Is a Telehealth Visit Without Insurance?
Cost is always a primary concern when you don’t have health insurance to help reduce medical bills. Just like in-person care, the cost varies as health care providers have their own pricing tiers and options.
How much you pay depends on the type of care provider you see and the length of the visit. Studies show that virtual visits tend to cost $40 to $79 vs. more than $150 to be seen in-person, though urgent care visits may be less expensive.
The average cost for basic or urgent care is $68 per visit among the five cost-effective telehealth providers we picked. You can see a doctor with our top pick, GoodRx Care, for $49.
Some providers, such as GoodRx Care, also offer subscriptions to help you save on ongoing care.
GoodRx is an online health care company familiar to bargain hunters looking to save on prescriptions. But GoodRx has offered even more since launching its own telemedicine option — known as GoodRx Care — in 2019.
From general questions to quick refills, GoodRx Care offers a collection of health services that include preventative care, sexual wellness, lab tests and aspects of chronic disease management.
With GoodRx Care, you can see a medical professional for only $49 per visit. No insurance required. If you need more frequent medical care, you can sign up for a Gold Membership, which brings the cost down to only $19 per visit.
Gold memberships cost $9.99 a month for an individual or $19.99 a month for a family. You can have up to five people on your family plan and you can include kids, grandparents, even pets.
Additional membership benefits include access to over 1,000 prescriptions for less than $10.
Other Telemedicine Options If You Don’t Have Insurance
Many health insurance companies offer telehealth with their plans, and MDLive is one company that is frequently included. MDLive also offers its services to those without medical insurance.
After a simple sign-up process, you can access providers working in urgent care, mental health and dermatology in an instant right from home.
Pricing for MDLive varies depending on the type of care, but all costs are shown up front before you begin your sessions, so there are no surprises. You’ll pay anywhere from $82 to $284 for an initial visit.
An MDLive provider — who has an average of 10 years experience — can help with allergies, birth control, cold and flu symptoms, coughing, addiction, anxiety, depression, acne, alopecia, cysts and more.
When you need virtual care, one option to call on is Teladoc — another popular telemedicine service.
Patients can book appointments for general and urgent care, as well as to see mental health professionals and specialists. For those without insurance, Teladoc also provides access to dermatologists, nutritionists, mental health and back and joint care providers.
To begin with Teladoc, all you need to do is set up your account and provide your information. Based on what you share, Teladoc will let you know which services you can utilize, even if you don’t have health insurance.
Teladoc providers can even send prescriptions to your local pharmacy if needed. Teladoc is just one more reason that you don’t need to leave the home to obtain affordable medical care.
Doctor On Demand
General Medical Care
Preventative & Chronic Care
Back in the day, a doctor who was on demand provided house calls with a black medical bag in tow. Now with Doctor on Demand, you can summon a medical professional to your home for a virtual visit.
From everyday care to skin conditions and mental health services, Doctor on Demand provides different medical experts available around the clock.
The 24/7 service means that whenever you need to speak to a medical provider, you are only a few clicks away from personalized care.
According to Doctor on Demand, providers commonly help with allergies, mental health, acne, UTIs, colds, flus, medication refills, rashes, sinus infections and IBS. Preventative health is also available, including diet and nutrition guidance and medication management.
General Medical Care
Pediatrics & Women’s Health
Another option for those considering virtual care is Amwell. Using the app, you can see care providers — including mental health professionals — 24/7 to easily address your concerns without needing to leave home. Patients can also use Amwell by calling in from a mobile device or landline.
Once you create an account with Amwell, you can provide any relevant medical information and instantly begin speaking with providers.
The mobile app provides access to video call sessions but you can also have a voice-only medical consultation over the phone.
Amwell’s services include urgent care visits, mental health services, nutritional counseling, pediatrics, women’s health and more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is the Cheapest Telemedicine Option?
GoodRx Care provides health care for $49, one of the lowest priced options for anyone who doesn’t have insurance. GoodRx Care offers a membership for even more savings, including $19 visits and more than 1,000 medications under $10.
Is There a Free Telehealth App?
No, every telemedicine app charges you to see a provider. If you are concerned about the cost of care without insurance, check out GoodRx Care. You could see a provider for as little as $49 or $19 with a membership. You can also look for a sliding scale clinic in your area. Virtual visits may not be an option but what you pay is based on your income.
Do You Have to Pay for Virtual Visits with a Doctor?
Yes, just as seeing a doctor in-person, there will be a charge to see a doctor virtually. However, telemedicine appointments can be cheaper and there are lots of options, even if you don’t have insurance. Our top pick is GoodRx Care followed by MDLive, Teladoc, Doctor on Demand and Amwell.
Can Telehealth Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics?
In many cases, yes, telemedicine doctors are able to send prescriptions to your local pharmacy for pickup. Depending on what you need, these medications may include antibiotics or something more routine like blood pressure medication or birth control.
Is Teladoc Free?
No, Teladoc is not free. While you can download the mobile app and sign up for free, you will need to pay for each Teladoc visit. What you pay will vary depending upon the type of doctor you see and the length of the appointment.
Michael Archambault is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.