Teladoc Online Therapy Review

Offering flexible online therapy and psychiatry

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Teladoc Review

Teladoc

As one of the largest telemedicine companies out there, Teladoc has a well-established reputation as a reliable, high-quality online therapy platform. The company accepts most major insurance plans and offers talk therapy, psychiatry, and medication management services in a flexible online format. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can choose your own therapist
  • No monthly subscription fees
  • Wide variety of appointment times available
  • Offers counseling to teens ages 13 to 17
  • Accepts insurance
  • Offers psychiatry and medication management services
  • All providers are licensed or board-certified

Cons

  • Can’t see exact prices until you register
  • Some parts of the website are confusing to navigate
  • Can’t view therapists’ bios until after signing up
  • Can be somewhat costly without insurance
  • No text therapy

A growing number of Americans are facing mental health challenges, yet just under 40% of them don’t think they can afford therapy. Luckily, in many cases, online therapy can help to provide a more affordable, accessible alternative to in-person care. Online therapy has been found to be effective in treating a number of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.

As virtual therapy becomes more popular, it’s all the more important to assess the quality of care at well-known platforms. We decided to review Teladoc—one of the largest, oldest online therapy providers in the U.S.—due to its leading position in the ever-growing teletherapy space. To do this, we surveyed 105 Teladoc users and I signed up for the service to test it over a one-month period. Here’s what we found.

What Is Teladoc?

Teladoc describes itself as the “first and largest telehealth provider” in the United States. Since its establishment in 2002 by G. Byron Brooks and Michael Gorton, Teladoc has expanded to all 50 U.S. states and Canada. Users can also visit with a medical provider while traveling internationally through the company’s Global Care program. 

Over the years, Teladoc has acquired several other telemedicine companies, such as BetterHelp. Company representatives have also lobbied against legislation that would require patients to see a physician in person first before visiting one online. 

Today, Teladoc offers a variety of medical services, including primary and pediatric care as well as dermatology, nutrition counseling, and more. The company also provides online mental health care with board-certified psychiatrists and licensed therapists. 

In our survey, Teladoc users’ experiences were overwhelmingly positive. Among the users surveyed, an impressive 97% rated their experience with the platform as positive (excellent, very good, or good)—making it the company with the highest overall rating on this question with our survey respondents across 55 companies. 

What Services Does Teladoc Offer?

Teladoc provides the following services via live video and audio sessons:

  • Individual therapy
  • Teen counseling (for kids ages 13 to 17)
  • Psychiatry 
  • Medication management

All of Teladoc’s therapists are licensed; all of its psychiatrists are board-certified. The company’s mental health providers are typically licensed as marriage and family therapists, psychologists (with PhDs or PsyDs), clinical social workers, or professional counselors. 

Most therapy sessions with a Teladoc provider are approximately 45 minutes long. After a longer initial consultation, follow-up visits with a psychiatrist are typically around 15 to 30 minutes long.

Who Is Teladoc For?

Teladoc offers treatment for a variety of mental health conditions, including:

According to the company’s website, you can also reach out to a mental health provider for help with common problems like:

  • Stress
  • Negative thought patterns
  • Not feeling like yourself
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Relationship or family conflicts
  • Trauma
  • Mood swings

Teladoc’s teen counseling services can help teens with a variety of life challenges and mental health conditions, such as:

  • Self-esteem
  • Bullying
  • Problems with relationships
  • Eating disorders
  • Sexual abuse
  • Anxiety, stress, and depression

The company’s therapists come from a variety of diverse backgrounds and work in a wide range of therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-focused therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Psychiatrists at Teladoc can prescribe certain medications to treat depression, anxiety, and other common mental health conditions. However, they can’t prescribe controlled substances (such as stimulants to treat ADHD) or medications to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Most online therapy platforms, including Teladoc, aren’t appropriate for medical emergencies or mental health crises. If you or someone you know is struggling with an urgent mental health concern, call 911 or 988 for immediate help. 

How Much Does Teladoc Cost?

Teladoc operates on a pay-per-session model rather than a subscription plan. This means it’s free to sign up for the website or app. You’ll only pay for the care you receive. 

With insurance coverage, your copay for a mental health appointment at Teladoc may be as little as $0. Without insurance, you’ll pay up to the following prices out-of-pocket:

  • $99 per session for talk therapy
  • $299 for initial psychiatry consultation; $119 for follow-up visits

These prices are within the typical range for therapy in the U.S., with average costs ranging from $100 to $200 per session. Still, the therapy may be prohibitively expensive for some, especially if you need to pay for prescription medications and many subsequent sessions. 

Does Teladoc Take Insurance?

Unlike many of the online therapy platforms we reviewed, Teladoc accepts a variety of insurance plans, including major providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield as well as Medicare and Medicaid. 

Without insurance, some users might find that Teladoc is too expensive for continued care (especially for psychiatry services). However, most users have at least partial coverage for their visits. Our user survey found that only 7% of Teladoc users don’t have some form of insurance. 

Does Teladoc Offer Discounts?

Teladoc doesn’t offer any free trials. There are some promo codes available online, which you can enter before signing up for a discount.

Navigating the Teladoc Website and App

The top of the Teladoc’s landing page reads, “Connect to a doctor in minutes by phone or video.” To the righthand side, you can choose to register either with insurance or without insurance. Average (but not exact) prices of visits with different specialists are listed in this section. 

Teladoc Home Page

As you scroll down, you’ll find more about the basic services Teladoc offers, testimonials and sample reviews, and a few of the specific conditions Teladoc providers can treat. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see links to legal disclaimers, a notice of non-discrimination and language assistance, and the company’s U.S. web and mobile privacy policy.

Teladoc conditions treated

Other parts of the website provide information about Teladoc’s company values and mission statement, an FAQ page, customer service contact info, prescription and privacy policies, a third-party hotline provider to contact about ethics and compliance issues, and Health Talk, a blog with informative articles about various health conditions.

[Screenshot]

Teladoc Mission

Overall, the Teladoc homepage is fairly user-friendly. Eighty-two percent of the users we surveyed found the website easy or very easy to navigate. 

However, especially after signing up for the service, there are many different sections and navigation bars to click through at both the bottom and the top of each page that can sometimes be difficult to sift through to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Does Teladoc Have An App?

Yes. Teladoc’s app can be downloaded through Google Play or the Apple Store. 

After registering for the service, you can opt to sign in with your fingerprint (on certain devices) or with a username and password each time. Teladoc’s app has mostly positive user reviews, with average ratings of 4.8 on the App Store and 4.3 on Google Play.

How Do You Sign Up for Therapy at Teladoc?

To begin the signup process at Teladoc, click “Register now” on the homepage. You can choose to register either with or without insurance; I signed up without insurance. If you sign up with insurance, you’ll have to confirm your insurance information before you move forward.

Next, you’ll be asked to provide personal information, such as your full name, birthdate, preferred language, location, biological sex, and email. Then, you’re asked to create a username and password and provide the answers to three security questions. Your username/password combo can be used to sign into your Teladoc account both on the website and the app.

After clicking “Create account,” you are taken to a private portal. There, you can request a visit, complete your medical history, add family members, contact customer service, or set your communication preferences. 

Within my portal, I was also able to access my messaging center, where I received messages from my chosen therapist as well as from the Teladoc customer service team. On the home screen of my Teladoc account, I could see options to access mental health care as well as 24/7 care for non-urgent medical conditions, dermatology, and preventative wellness care, among others.

Overall, the process took me about 35 to 40 minutes. If I’d had to confirm my insurance information, it might have been a bit time-consuming. However, the process was thorough, in-depth, and saved time later on, as I didn’t have to enter so much information in subsequent steps. 

According to our user survey, 83% of users found the Teladoc signup process easy or very easy. Only 2% of users found it difficult, and none considered it very difficult.

Choosing a Therapist at Teladoc

At Teladoc, you aren’t able to see therapists’ bios or specific prices before you sign up for the service. Instead, after you register, you can choose a therapist by clicking “Get started” under Mental Health. Then, click “Request a visit” to start the process of selecting a provider. 

During the scheduling process, I was asked to provide my location, emergency contact information, and the reason for my visit, such as grief and bereavement, LGBTQ+ and gender identity, relationship issues, stress management, sexual dysfunction, and more. This process didn’t take too long, and it was helpful in determining exactly what kind of provider I was looking for. Among the users in our survey, 70% thought the process of finding a therapist with Teladoc was easy or very easy.

I was prompted to the next step in the process based on the responses I provided. For example, when I tapped “relationship issues,” the app displayed a message saying that Teladoc didn’t currently provide couples therapy. When I tapped certain responses, such as “anxiety or panic,” I was asked whether or not I needed help in managing my medications. 

After answering a series of questions, I was provided with a list of therapists’ bios. Each bio displayed the therapist’s availability, qualifications, gender, languages spoken, types of therapy provided, conditions treated, and education. From there, I could schedule an appointment with any therapist on the provided list. 

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at Teladoc?

After creating a Teladoc account, you can schedule a therapy session anytime. Here’s how the individual therapy, psychiatry, and teen counseling sessions work on the platform.

Individual Therapy

Teladoc therapy appointments are available between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week, and they need to be scheduled at least 72 hours in advance. Live sessions are available either via video or audio within the app or in your website portal. 

After following the steps to request a visit and select a therapist within the Teladoc app or website, you can select an appointment time from their calendar and check off whether you’d like to connect by audio or video. Sessions are typically available for booking up to a few months in advance, if desired. One of the therapists I worked with asked for first-, second-, and third-choice appointment times to make sure we could schedule an appointment. 

I chose an appointment time and was asked to complete an emotional health questionnaire about my overall sense of wellbeing over the prior 2 weeks. I had to complete this questionnaire before every appointment (even before booking a time), which may be helpful to some and cumbersome to others. 

Before confirming my session, I provided my preferred email address for reminders. I automatically received an appointment confirmation email right after signing up for my first session and a follow-up email 10 minutes before my appointment time. You can also voluntarily sign up for text message reminders, which I did not opt to do. 

Next, I was able to see the estimated cost of my visit ($99) and enter my payment information. 

It could be frustrating for some users to not be able to see the exact price of the session until after creating an account, requesting a visit, and entering a great deal of personal information. 

Finally, I accepted the terms of the privacy policy and the informed consent agreement to confirm my appointment.

I chose a live phone session with my first therapist, a licensed clinical social worker whose schedule fit well with mine. We set an appointment for 9 a.m., but the system let me know that I would receive a call sometimes between 9 and 9:15. I provided my cell phone number, but was told through the app that I would receive a call from a blocked number and that my number would be masked to protect my privacy.

My therapist called at the appointed time and was friendly, proactive, and clear about what I could expect from our session. She also seemed very prepared, having read through the questionnaire answers I provided beforehand. This doesn't always happen with online therapy, unfortunately, so it was refreshing.

Overall, most of the users we surveyed were happy with the talk therapy they received through Teladoc. Sixty-nine percent of the users we surveyed said they would begin their search for a new provider with Teladoc again if they ever needed therapy in the future, and 90% were satisfied with the diversity of available therapists. Seventy-eight percent of Teladoc users felt that their therapist met all or most of their needs.

Personally, I appreciated the greater flexibility of Teladoc’s scheduling system in comparison to other online therapy providers. Each therapist had many available appointment times, and it was possible to schedule one far in advance if needed. The process of requesting a visit was also quite user-responsive, providing me customized answers as I went through the flow. 

Teen Counseling

Teladoc offers counseling services with licensed therapists to teens ages 13 to 17. Common issues addressed include eating disorders, depression, stress, bullying, self-esteem, confidence, friendships, and identity. 

I didn’t test Teladoc’s teen therapy services, so I can’t speak specifically to their level of effectiveness. However, you can add your teen as a family member by tapping “Add new” under “Medical info” in the Teladoc app. 

When you request a mental health visit, you can select your teen’s name from the menu to schedule an appointment for them.

Medication Management/Psychiatry

Teladoc’s psychiatrists can prescribe certain medications—such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and a limited number of ADHD medications—to treat mental health conditions. They can’t prescribe any controlled substances to treat schizophrenia or substance abuse, and only a few medications can be prescribed to treat bipolar disorder

Some of the controlled substances that Teladoc providers can’t prescribe include:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan
  • Vyvanse
  • Librium
  • Neurontin
  • Xanax
  • Lithium
  • Seroquel
  • Risperdal
  • Latuda
  • Naltrexone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Acamprosate

“More serious mental health problems often require a higher level of care than online therapy services can provide,” explains Hannah Owens, LMSW, Mental Health Editor. “The fact that Teladoc specifically states it cannot prescribe for those more severe issues is actually to the company’s credit, as it signifies that it recognizes that it is not appropriate for those in crisis or dealing with conditions such as psychosis.”

When you request a visit through Teladoc Mental Health, you’ll be prompted to answer whether or not you need help managing your medications. If you say “yes,” you’ll be asked to choose a pharmacy in your area where medications can be sent. Then, you’ll be directed to a list of board-certified psychiatrists to choose from. 

When I browsed through the list, I noticed that many of Teladoc’s psychiatrists had consistent schedules each week and many available time slots throughout each day. All I needed to do was choose a phone or video session and select a time to book my appointment.

Most Teladoc users in our survey were satisfied with the psychiatry and medication management services they received. Ninety-four percent of users rated their prescriber’s qualifications as excellent, very good, or good. Meanwhile, 89% of users said their prescriber’s bedside manner was good to excellent.

What Happens If I Miss a Session at Teladoc?

Because Teladoc providers are independent contractors rather than employees, they each have their own policies around missed appointments. 

If you’re a no-show or cancel less 24 hours before your appointment time, you may have to pay a $50 fee. 

Switching Therapists at Teladoc

Since Teladoc isn’t a subscription-based service, you can switch therapists at any time by requesting a visit with a new provider. Just log in, click “Request a Visit” in the app or on the website, and browse through providers’ bios to schedule a new appointment. I didn’t have to take any special steps; I just went through the usual process of setting up a visit and chose a new provider at the end.

Interestingly, 79% of the Teladoc users we surveyed said they never switched providers, a noticeably high percentage compared to other similar online therapy companies we reviewed. This may be because Teladoc users aren’t matched with a therapist, so there is a great deal of choice available from the beginning. 

Pausing or Cancelling Therapy at Teladoc

Because Teladoc has a pay-per-session model, you don’t have to cancel a subscription plan or take any formal steps to stop using it. You can stop scheduling sessions with your psychiatrist or therapist anytime. 

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

According to our user survey, most people thought they received high-quality mental health care at Teladoc. Most users were especially impressed with the available providers’ levels of experience and expertise. 

Eighty-three percent of surveyed users said they were satisfied with the variety of available therapists they had to choose from, and 94% said they would rate their therapist’s qualifications as excellent, very good, or good. Meanwhile, 84% rated the number of high-quality available providers as good to excellent. 

Similarly, I felt that Teladoc stood out in comparison to other online therapy platforms I’ve tried in terms of the sheer number and quality of available providers. Many providers had regular schedules each day of the week with many possible time slots. I never had trouble finding a provider on a day when I wanted to set up an appointment. Teladoc’s signup and visit scheduling processes are also especially thorough, allowing you to get some of the extra steps (such as discussing the reasons for your visit, your medical history, and logistics) out of the way before meeting with your therapist. 

Still, some of the processes for requesting and scheduling sessions could seem overly time-consuming to some people. For example, having to fill out an emotional health questionnaire may feel like a lot to take on before every new appointment. 

Some Teladoc services—particularly psychiatry and medication management—may also be too expensive for people without insurance coverage. However, most Teladoc users have insurance. Fifty percent of the people we surveyed said that whether or not a company accepted insurance was the most important factor in their decision to use a particular online therapy platform. What’s more, 87% percent of Teladoc users said they thought the value of the service they received for their money was excellent, good, or very good. 

Privacy Policies at Teladoc

You can find Teladoc’s privacy policies at the bottom of the homepage. Before scheduling any visit with a provider, you’ll also have to read and agree to the company’s privacy policies. 

The privacy policy provides detailed information about how the platform will store, use, and share your protected health information (PHI). This includes PHI collected directly from you—such as information you share voluntarily through the app—as well as PHI collected automatically and from third parties. 

The policy explains the various instances in which your PHI may be disclosed: for treatment activities (to allow your medical providers to provide you with adequate care), payment activities (such as to your insurance provider), and healthcare operations purposes (to provide customer service, for example). You can also find details about your rights in terms of your PHI, when Teladoc may be legally obligated to share your information, and when the company needs to ask for your permission to share your information. 

Teladoc also prominently displays the HIPAA logo at the bottom of the company homepage, assuring users that the service is HIPAA-compliant. 

Teladoc vs. Its Competitors

Teladoc is comparable to other large telemedicine companies that offer general telehealth services alongside therapy, medication management, and psychiatric care, such as LiveHealth Online and Doctor on Demand.

In comparison to Teladoc, LiveHealth Online’s out-of-pocket prices are slightly less expensive. Talk therapy sessions cost up to $95, while an initial psychiatric consultation costs $175.

The self-pay prices for talk therapy are more expensive at Doctor on Demand, ranging from $129 to $179 per session. However, the costs of psychiatry and medication management services are about the same: Like at Teladoc, an initial session with a psychiatrist at Doctor on Demand costs up to $299.

According to our survey, users were more satisfied overall with the level of care at Teladoc, especially in the areas of medication management and psychiatry. Eighty-nine percent of Teladoc users said they would be likely or very likely to recommend the company’s medication management services to a friend, in comparison to 81% of Doctor on Demand users and 77% of LiveHealth Online users. 

Similarly, 92% of Teladoc users rated the platform’s medication management and psychiatry services as excellent, good, or very good. Eighty-seven percent of LiveHealth Online users and 84% of Doctor on Demand users felt the same way.

Final Verdict

The majority of the users we surveyed were satisfied with the mental health care they received through Teladoc. Eighty-six percent of users said they were very likely or likely to recommend the service to a friend or family member, and 88% of people reported that the company was excellent, very good, or good in terms of overall helpfulness in connecting them with a therapist. 

Teladoc is a great platform for people looking for convenient, high-quality teletherapy or psychiatry services with licensed and board-certified clinicians. The company’s medication management services, flexible pay-as-you-go model, and wide variety of qualified providers make it stand out among the competition. However, Teladoc may not be the best choice for you if you’re looking for text therapy or unlimited messaging with a particular provider. 

Methodology

To fairly and accurately review the best online therapy programs, we sent questionnaires to 55 companies and surveyed 105 current users of each. This allowed us to directly compare services offered by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about each company and its users’ experiences.

Specifically, we evaluated each company on the following factors: website usability, the signup and therapist matching processes, therapist qualifications, types of therapy offered, the service's quality of care, client-therapist communication options, session length, subscription offerings, client privacy protections, average cost and value for money, whether it accepts insurance, how easy it is to change therapists, overall user satisfaction, and the likelihood that clients would recommend them. We also signed up for the companies in order to get a sense of how this process worked, how easy to use the platform is, and how therapy takes place at the company.

Key Specs

  • Price: For therapy, up to $99 per therapy session without insurance; for psychiatry, up to $299 for an initial consultation and $119 for follow-up visits without insurance
  • Is insurance accepted? Yes
  • Types of therapy offered: Individual, teen, medication management, psychiatry 
  • Communication options: Live audio, live video
  • HIPAA compliant? Yes
  • Is there an app? Yes
  • Accepts HSA or FSA? Yes
  • Prescriptions available? Yes
  • Billing cadence: Pay-per-session
Edited by
Simone Scully
Simone Scully Headshot
Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.
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Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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