Teladoc Online Therapy Review

Teladoc still stands out as a leader in online therapy and telehealth

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Teladoc Review

Teladoc

Teladoc’s reputation as one of the pioneers of telemedicine makes it a reliable choice for online mental health care. The flexibility and choice afforded to users is hard to beat, and its pricing plans are reasonable, especially for users with insurance. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Accepts insurance

  • Live video chat

  • Night and weekend availability with some therapists

  • Users can choose their own therapist

  • Medication management services available

  • Couples therapy available

  • Telehealth services also available

Cons
  • No free trial or discounts

  • Therapist bios and qualifications only viewable after sign-up

  • Unable to see if insurance is accepted without sign-up

  • Company does not only focus on therapy

  • Website navigation can be clunky at times

Key Facts
Price
$99 per therapy session, $209 for initial psychiatry appointments, and $109 for follow ups (without insurance)
Is Insurance Accepted?
Yes
Type Of Therapy
N/A
Communication Options
Audio, Video Chat
HIPAA Compliant?
N/A
Is There an App?
Yes
Why Trust Us
55
Companies reviewed
5,775
Total users surveyed
350
Data points analyzed
We surveyed 105 users from each online therapy company and asked the companies to complete questionnaires. Then, we tested the services ourselves, conducted comprehensive data collection research, and evaluated our results with the help of three licensed therapists.

The average cost of an in-person therapy session in the United States reaches as high as $200 and so much of the country is unable to access adequate mental health services today. That’s why when companies, like Teladoc, have the goals of connecting more patients with mental health professionals and doing so with a high standard of care, this is so important.

“The people of Teladoc Health are committed, now more than ever, to use our position as a global company to expand equitable access to care and create a world where everyone has an opportunity to attain their full health potential,” Jason Gorevic, Teladoc CEO, said in the company’s 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

So, in order to assess how the quality of Teladoc’s mental health services, we surveyed 105 users of Teledoc to gather information about their experience with the company, and we evaluated these results with the health of three licensed psychologists. Additionally, I signed up for services myself and interviewed a therapist currently working at Teladoc. Here is how Teladoc came out in our research this year.

What Is Teladoc?

Founded in 2002 by former NASA flight surgeon G. Byron Brooks and entrepreneur Michael Gorton, Teladoc markets itself as “the oldest and largest telemedicine company” in the U.S. Its straightforward model offers not only mental health services but medical ones such as primary care and pediatrics.

Today, Teladoc is a multinational company, serving patients in 130 countries around the world. Since its inception, Teladoc has acquired companies such as BetterHelp, Best Doctors, and Advanced Medical.

Having been in the telemedicine game for more than twenty years, Teladoc has a good reputation overall. Its app has an overall rating of 4.8 stars in the App Store and 4.3 stars in Google Play, with users praising its convenience and ease of use.

What It Offers

Teladoc provides the following types of mental health services:

  • Individual therapy
  • Couples therapy 
  • Medication management

“We have many options: psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers who can meet your unique needs,” explains Dr. Aron Wolf, lead psychiatrist for Teladoc in a company blog post. “We provide confidential and supportive video or phone visits to help you manage everyday challenges.”

Teladoc therapists also offer various modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-focused therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

Since we reviewed Teladoc last year, the company has since added couples therapy to its offered services, in addition to individual therapy and psychiatry sessions. While it still does not offer instructional classes, guidebooks, or worksheets, it does have a robust blog with helpful articles on topics such as parenting, coping with anxiety, and deciding whether therapy is right for you.

Who Is Teledoc for?

The Teladoc website provides users with a short quiz they can take to determine whether therapy at Teladoc might be a good fit for them. 

T Quiz


According to Teladoc, answering "yes" to any of the questions is a good indicator that therapy can help. From there, it provides links to learn more or schedule a visit.

When we asked our survey respondents what they were seeking therapy for at Teladoc, most named depression, anxiety, and stress—all conditions that Teladoc lists as ones it treats. The company also says it can help with work pressures, sadness, relationship conflicts, grief, trauma, PTSD, mood swings and mood disorders, and anger management. 

How Much Does Teladoc Cost?

Teladoc is not a subscription service, like BetterHelp or Talkspace. Instead, you pay per therapy session or psychiatry visit.

If you’re paying out-of-pocket for Teladoc’s services, the pricing for therapy is as follows:

  • $99 per session for all therapy visits
  • $299 for the initial psychiatry consultation; $119 per session for follow-ups

While these prices are comparable with other teletherapy companies that also have a pay-as-you-go model, it could still get a little pricey if you don’t have insurance, as in my case. Continuing weekly therapy sessions would cost me $400/month, and the cost would increase significantly if I were to require medication and its accompanying psychiatrist visits.

According to data from the Federal Reserve System, 32% of Americans would not be able to pay an unexpected expense of $400 in full, and 12% would not be able to pay it at all. It then follows that if Teladoc does not accept a patient’s insurance, its services are likely out of reach for many.

Still, 66% of users who answered our survey thought Teladoc’s services were affordable or very affordable, with 87% of respondents having a favorable opinion of Teladoc’s value for the money.

 Does Teladoc Accept Health Insurance?

Yes. Teladoc accepts 60 different insurance plans, including major providers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and United Healthcare, in addition to Medicare and Medicaid plans. However, users are not able to access the list of accepted providers until they register on the Teladoc site.

Still, it is unusual for an online therapy company to accept such a wide variety of insurance. 

“Most online therapy companies do not accept insurance at all, much less so many kinds,” Hannah Owens, one of our subject matter experts, as well as an LMSW and mental health editor. explains. “This removes a serious barrier to care by making mental health services accessible to those who cannot pay for therapy out-of-pocket. With the cost of in-person therapy sessions averaging $100 to $200 per session, Teladoc provides an eminently affordable alternative if you have insurance.”

Eighty-two percent of Teladoc users from our survey used insurance to pay for services.

Navigating the Teladoc Website

Teladoc’s homepage has a clean, uncluttered look with clear wording and cool-toned colors. This, along with stock photos of happy-looking people, give the site a hopeful feel. The bold tagline, about midway down the page, reads 'we're here to help,’ which adds to this feeling.

Help

The site is easy to navigate and offers a large FAQ section, which answered most of the questions I had.

FAQ

Maneuvering between pages was intuitive and straightforward, and the mental health portion of the site was easy to find. The Teladoc users who completed our survey had a similar experience to mine, with eighty-two percent of them saying the site was easy or very easy to navigate.

In addition to information about how Teladoc works, services offered, and customer testimonials, the site has a blog, called Health Talk.

Health T

The blog features a variety of articles ranging from parenting tips for navigating trauma with your child to healthy recipes. These articles were also featured at the bottom of relevant pages on the website.

The homepage links to Teladoc’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, where the company posts healthy living tips, infographics, and blog posts. Teladoc appears to engage with its social media followers, but the majority of the comments on its Facebook page were complaints about slow customer response times and providers canceling on patients.

 Does Teladoc Have an App?

Yes, the Teladoc app is available on the App Store and on Google Play. It has a rating of 4.8 stars on the App Store and 4.3 stars on Google Play.

If you have questions about benefits and other insurance issues, Teladoc’s customer service is happy to assist you 24/7 to help in real-time, unlike other companies that only offer support via email, contact forms, and text chats.

How Do You Sign Up for Therapy at Teladoc?

Beginning the sign-up process with Teladoc could not have been easier, with multiple "register now" and "get started" buttons sprinkled throughout the home page, as well as on the mental health page. After entering some basic information—my full name, date of birth, zip code, preferred language, and biological sex—I was prompted to select my insurance company from a drop-down menu. Mine was not listed, so I called the customer service number available on the page.

Register

I was quickly connected with a representative, and I shared the name of my insurance company. She was unable to locate my insurance on the list of providers (not unusual in my experience, as it is a smaller company), and asked me where I had gotten it. I explained that my insurance was from the health care insurance state marketplace, and she seemed confused. After a moment or two more, she said that Teladoc did not accept my insurance. 

Returning to the sign-up screen, I clicked the "no insurance" option and was led to a screen with a price list of services without insurance. The mental health option said "$99+." By now I was really curious how much my therapist visit was going to cost me; $99+ covers a lot of territory! It was understandable that I couldn’t get a firm price without entering my insurance information, but since I was now in the ‘no insurance’ category, why was the price range still so vague?

Next, I chose a username, password, and security questions, and entered my name, address, and phone number. From there I was told the process was complete, and there was a button to request an appointment. I now had access to a private patient portal, where I was given the option to give my medical history, add family members, or set communication preferences.

All in all, the sign-up process took me around 45 minutes to complete, including the customer service phone call and completing a medical history form that had to be filled out before requesting appointments. The medical history form had standard intake questions, such as my height, weight, medical conditions, and current medications. One question asked me to select from a list any health problems I had experienced in the past twelve months. Included on the list were anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. A similar question followed this one, asking me to select health problems experienced by family members. At this point in the process, these were the only questions specific to mental health. 

Even with the hassle of calling about my insurance, the process was still relatively simple and straightforward. Teladoc users in our survey had similar experiences, with 83% of them finding the sign-up process to be easy or very easy.

Choosing a Therapist

To request an appointment with a therapist, I clicked on the "mental health" button and then on "request a visit."

Visit

After requesting a therapist appointment, Teladoc prompted me to choose the reason for seeking help from one of six categories: COVID-19 concerns, anxiety/depression, drug/alcohol addiction, family/relationship issues, stress, or other. 

From there, I was asked five questions to match me with the best provider. I was surprised that there were only five questions in the questionnaire, as well as the fact that they were all general in nature. I also discovered that the same questionnaire was given no matter which reason you selected for your visit. 

Teladoc does not match you with a single therapist but provides you with a list of providers who most closely match the answers you give on the questionnaire.

Questions

In the end, I chose the "exit and see all providers" option, which allowed me to choose my own therapist.

From there, I was given a list of providers, along with their photos, titles, language(s) spoken, gender, whether they offered medication support, methods offered (phone or video), and availability. 

Each provider also had a profile with more details, including a short bio, specialties, and education. The site gives the option to filter providers by name, gender, language, and whether they offer medication support, specialty, or availability by date. However, the date filter seemed to have a glitch, as when I searched for availability on a specific date, the search pulled up other days. I had better luck applying the other filters and sifting through the results to find a time that worked with my schedule. 

Some therapists were booked further out than others, but eventually, I was able to book an appointment within a week by clicking on the "schedule a visit" button under the provider’s name.

82% of users said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the therapist options provided on Teladoc.

In addition, sixty-seven percent of our survey participants said their prescriber was available when they needed them. This is a strong point in Teladoc’s favor, considering the importance of communicating quickly with a provider regarding medication.

The providers listed held a range of certifications, including Ph.D., LCSW, LICSW, LMFT, and LPC, among others. However, the site does not have the option to filter by provider qualification, and users are unable to see specific information about Teladoc providers before registering initially. This was a little frustrating, as it meant more time sifting through a long list of therapists to find what I was looking for. Given that nearly one-quarter of Teladoc users in our survey listed therapist qualifications and expertise as an important factor in their therapist search, expanding the site’s filter abilities seems like a worthwhile investment.

Something I found strange was the fact that each time I booked a therapy appointment, I was prompted to enter the first day of my last menstrual period. I would expect this sort of question for a medical appointment, but I don’t recall ever being asked this by a therapist. Given the current political climate surrounding women’s reproductive rights, I found this question more than a little off-putting.

Overall though, I was pleased with the freedom Teladoc allowed me in choosing my therapist. The process, even with minor glitches, was still fairly easy. Other Teladoc users had similar reactions, with 70% of those who answered our survey saying they found the process easy or very easy and 70% saying all or most of their needs were met by their provider.

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at Teladoc?

All therapy sessions at Teladoc are live video calls. I received reminder text messages and emails before each of my therapy sessions, with the final reminder coming ten minutes before my appointment. 

I found the first therapist I tried to be friendly and compassionate if a bit clinical. She seemed to be reading from a list of questions, and while her responses were generally warm, her approach stunted the natural flow of conversation. In my previous experiences with therapy, sessions were more of a conversation, with issues organically coming to light. Some fast and furious questioning can be expected of any first-time session, but the approach did little to ease the awkwardness of the situation. 

Our session lasted around 50 minutes, at the end of which my therapist booked my next appointment for the following week. 

After my initial appointment, I was then able to send my therapist messages through the patient portal. She answered these messages quickly (within a few hours most of the time), and her answers were thoughtful and helpful. 

Couples Therapy

While I did not try couples therapy through Teladoc, the process for booking the appointment is similar to that of individual therapy. The primary Teladoc member would add their partner under the "my family" tab in the patient portal. From there, Teladoc sends the partner a registration email. After registering with Teladoc, the partner then fills out a medical history form. Once these steps are complete, either member can click "request a visit," and the option to choose couples counseling appears.

Medication Management/Psychiatry

Teladoc members looking to manage their medication can schedule visits with a psychiatrist in the same way they would other therapy sessions. The website states that Teladoc psychiatrists cannot prescribe any controlled substances or medications for the treatment of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. However, they can prescribe medications used to treat depression, anxiety, and ADHD, among other conditions.

Users in our Teladoc survey were overall very pleased with the company’s psychiatry or medication services, with 92% of them finding the services good, very good, or excellent. The majority of users said their prescribers were available when users needed them, and that they felt like prescribers cared about their well-being. 

Among conditions treated with medicine, depression, anxiety, and PTSD were the most commonly listed in our survey. Others included insomnia, opioid use, and weight management.

What Happens If I Miss a Session?

According to Teladoc customer service, Teladoc only charges for sessions you attend. That means customers are not charged for last-minute cancellations or for missing a session. This policy is different from nearly every other company we have reviewed.

Switching Therapists at Teladoc

After my session with my first therapist, I was easily able to book an appointment with a different one, following the same process I did to book the first appointment. There was no need to get approval or go through any special steps to switch therapists, which I appreciated. 

Finding a therapist who is well-suited to your personality and needs can take time–and a few different therapists–before you find the right one. 48% of Teladoc users in our survey said they tried two or three different therapists before settling on one.

The second therapist I tried seemed more at ease and let me take the lead more, only asking questions occasionally to clarify or dig deeper. However, she ended our session after less than half an hour. Granted, first sessions are always a bit different from follow-ups, but paying for a 50-minute session and being given less than 30 definitely irked me. 

Still, this therapist had a more goal-oriented approach, which I liked, and she said that her ultimate goal was to provide me with the tools to not need therapy anymore. For users needing a targeted approach to specific issues, this method could be very appealing.

Pausing or Canceling Therapy

Members can easily cancel appointments through the user portal. Since Teladoc has a pay-as-you-go model vs. a subscription-based one, members don’t have to cancel anything if they will no longer be using its services; they simply don’t schedule any further appointments.

Quality of Care

Overall, I was very satisfied with the quality of care I received at Teladoc. Having previously only participated in face-to-face therapy, I was a little nervous at the idea of trying it online. While the therapists I tried were different from one another in their individual styles and approaches, they both felt qualified, warm, caring, and attentive to my needs. They were available at times that suited my busy schedule, responded to my messages quickly, and worked to accommodate my needs.  

After trying Teladoc, I still prefer in-person therapy. However, this is more of a personal preference than anything. I would not hesitate to recommend Teladoc to a friend or family member who was interested in online therapy.

Teladoc users who completed our survey shared an overwhelmingly positive view of the company’s quality of care too. 97% of Teladoc users had an overall favorable opinion of the company and 94% of users had favorable views on the qualifications of their therapists.

They also reported positive connections with their therapists, with 80% of users saying most or all of their needs were met. 63% of Teladoc users said the company was better or much better than other services they had used in the past. 

The numbers were similar with users who used Teladoc’s medication or psychiatry services: 92% of survey participants had a favorable opinion of the company’s service in these areas.

I interviewed a therapist who currently works at Teladoc, as well as two other telemedicine companies, Amwell and Path. She said that of the three companies, Teladoc’s platform is the least provider-friendly, and she lists that as one of the reasons she does not plan to renew her contract with them. 

As an example, the therapist, who wished to remain anonymous, discussed a client who recently needed to bump her appointment up half an hour. The therapist was unable to make the adjustment on her end, and when she contacted Teladoc support, they could not help her either. In the end, she had to go through the time-consuming process of canceling the appointment, scheduling it for an earlier time, and waiting for the client to accept it. In contrast, the therapist said that at Path she has a support person specifically assigned to her whom she can directly contact with any issues.

The therapist also expressed frustration at not being able to communicate these issues with the company. Upon outlining several issues through a Teladoc provider link, the email bounced back to her. A recent provider satisfaction survey was not much help either, as it only asked providers whether they were satisfied working at the company and if they would recommend it to a friend. No space was provided to enter comments, specific suggestions, or concerns.

During our interview, the therapist said she felt like the problems at Teladoc stem from its origins as a company geared toward medicine, saying “It feels like they tacked therapy onto their services without understanding the differences on the user end for mental health vs. medical.” In addition, the company was never able to match her with more than two to three clients at a time during her two years with them. 

Since Teladoc does not provide a way for providers to communicate with one another, she was unaware of the company’s turnover rate. However, she did say that if a therapist leaves, their clients are rematched with other providers without much trouble.

Privacy Policies

The Teladoc website clearly outlines exactly what information it collects about you, when that information is used when the information must be shared, and when the company must seek your permission to share it. 

Additionally, Teladoc outlines your rights concerning protected health information (PHI). It also details the ways in which it keeps patients’ PHI safe and what it does if access to PHI is compromised.

Teladoc vs. Its Competitors

Teladoc is similar to other telemedicine providers like MDLIVE, Amwell, and Doctor on Demand, in that all four are top-ranking companies with similar business models and delivery of therapy. Each of these companies offers medical services in addition to therapy, and they all have a long list of providers to choose from. 

However, among these companies, Teladoc is the most affordable option overall. At $99/session, its rates are comparable to those of MDLIVE ($108/session) and Amwell ($109-$129/session), and significantly lower than Doctor on Demand, ($179/session).

Teladoc also slightly edges out its competitors in overall user satisfaction among our survey participants. Ninety-seven percent of Teladoc users gave it a favorable rating overall, compared to 94% of Doctor on Demand users, 91% of MDLIVE users, and 88% of Amwell users. 

Teladoc also beats its competitors in the recommendation category, with 86% of users saying they would be likely or very likely to recommend the company to a friend. Compare that with 84% of MDLIVE users, 79% of Doctor on Demand users, and 78% of Amwell users.

How does Teladoc stack up to two other top competitors, Talkspace and BetterHelp? Unlike Teladoc, both of these competitors operate on a subscription model, but Talkspace accepts insurance, while BetterHelp does not. Talkspace’s live therapy plan runs $99/month and includes four live therapy sessions per month, which is significantly cheaper than Teladoc’s pricing. However, to message your therapist in between sessions, you would need to upgrade to the $129/month plan. In a company questionnaire, BetterHelp told us their plans cost an average of $68/week, although, as we pointed out in our review of the company, their website reflects a significantly higher range. Also of note, BetterHelp participates in surge pricing. This means that the cost of therapy could go up depending on users’ location and current demand for mental health services.

When it comes to overall user satisfaction, Teladoc ranks higher than both Talkspace and BetterHelp. 97% of Teladoc users gave it a favorable rating overall, compared to 90% of Talkspace users and 86% of BetterHelp users. Teladoc users were also more likely to recommend the company to others, with 86% of users saying they were likely or very likely to recommend Teladoc. This ranks higher than the 82% of Talkspace users who said they were likely or very likely to do the same, and 77% of BetterHelp users.

Final Verdict

Overall, Teladoc seems to be a good choice for people seeking online therapy. Given that the company accepts a wide range of insurances, it makes mental health care an affordable option for those who otherwise may not be able to seek help. 

The large list of providers is another plus, with users able to schedule appointments quickly and at times that aren’t typically available with in-person therapy. Additionally, being able to try out different therapists without having to complete extra steps makes things less awkward and time-consuming for users. 

While parts of the website could be improved, such as the filter capabilities, sixty-three percent of survey participants said the company was better or much better than other services they had used in the past. That being said, if other Teladoc therapists feel similarly to the one I interviewed, the company needs to address these issues if they are to maintain a high standard of care.

We reviewed Teladoc last year and had a similar final verdict, even with the recent addition of Teladoc therapist input. The platform still gives users the best bargain in online therapy, but it would be wise to take provider input into account if it hopes to maintain its lead.

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 sign-up, 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. Then, we interviewed therapists we found who either currently work or worked for this company in the past and worked with three subject matter experts to get their expert analysis on how suited this company is to provide quality care to therapy seekers.

By Leslie Gaar
Leslie is a freelance writer and early childhood consultant, focusing on social/emotional development. As a proponent of whole-child learning, she has worked with educators and administrators to create curricula and classroom management strategies that are developmentally appropriate.

Edited by
Simone Scully
simone-scully-verywell

Simone is the health editorial director for performance marketing at Verywell. She has over a decade of experience as a professional journalist covering mental health, chronic conditions, medicine, and science.

Learn about our editorial process
and
Hannah Owens
Hannah Owens

Hannah Owens is the Mental Health/General Health Editor for performance marketing at Verywell. She is a licensed social worker with clinical experience in community mental health.

Learn about our editorial process