Teladoc vs. Talkspace

Talkspace is the best overall service, but Teladoc has better privacy policies

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Teladoc and Talkspace are telehealth companies that provide online therapy services. While both share a mission of making essential mental health care services more accessible, they take different approaches to reaching this goal. 

Talkspace uses a combination of messaging and live video sessions and focuses its model entirely on mental health services. While Talkspace does offer medication management, it's limited to medications for less severe mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.

Teladoc began as a telehealth platform offering general health services, including dermatology, primary care, and sexual health, then added mental health services as the company began to grow. Now, Teladoc users have access to medical doctors, including psychiatrists, as well as therapists. Unlike Talkspace, Teladoc does not offer messaging therapy as part of its mental health services. Instead, it offers consults with psychiatrists for medication management and live audio or video therapy.

Talkspace offers more flexibility through its messaging model, which allows for communication between client and therapist 24/7 along with short, live video therapy sessions. However, Teladoc may provide more comprehensive services as the company offers longer live therapy sessions along with access to medical doctors in a wide variety of specialties. 

To accurately compare these two companies, I signed up at both Teladoc and Talkspace and used both therapy services for a month. Additionally, I reviewed data from a Verywell Mind survey sent to 105 users of each company to provide a comprehensive look at how they stack up against each other.

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: How Do They Compare?

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.

: Teladoc


  • Price: $0-$299
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Psychiatry

Based in Purchase, New York, Teladoc is a telehealth platform connecting clients with mental health services provided by licensed therapists and board-certified psychiatrists. Teladoc is a comprehensive digital health provider, so clients can also schedule consults with medical doctors with specialties such as primary health, pediatric health, sexual health, nutrition, and dermatology.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Numerous providers practicing in each state

  • Accepts a variety of health insurance plans

  • Competitive self-pay fee of $99 for therapy sessions

  • No cancellation fee 

Cons
  • No option for communicating with therapists outside of sessions 

  • No sliding scale options

  • Difficult to find same-day or next-day appointments

: Talkspace


  • Price: $276 - $516 monthly
  • Is Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling

Based in New York City, Talkspace is digital mental health provider offering text-based and live therapy sessions with licensed therapists through a subscription service. Talkspace also provides medication management consults with board-certified psychiatrists for an additional fee.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Flexible scheduling 

  • Accepts many insurance plans

  • Provides individual, couples, and teen therapy options

  • Affordable plans available

Cons
  • Sessions are only 30 minutes long

  • Therapist messages may be copy-and-pasted

  • Affordable plans are message-only

Compare the Teladoc vs. Talkspace: How Do They Compare?

Best For
Price
Is Insurance Accepted?
Does it Accept HSA/FSA?
Type Of Therapy
Communication Options
Reset All
Teladoc N/A $0-$299 Yes No Psychiatry Audio, Video Chat Learn More
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Talkspace N/A $276 - $516 monthly Yes Yes Couples Therapy, Individual Therapy, Medication Management, Psychiatry, Teen Counseling Audio, Live Chat, Messaging, Phone, Video Chat Learn More
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Teladoc vs. Talkspace: What Types of Therapy Do They Offer?

While there are plenty of features that set Teladoc and Talkspace apart, they also have a lot in common. Both companies offer similar types of therapy. Talkspace offers therapy for individuals, teens ages 13 to 17, and couples therapy. Similarly, Teladoc offers individual therapy, couples therapy, and teen therapy. One thing Talkspace offers that Teladoc does not, however, is group workshops (as part of its highest-tier subscription).

Clients anywhere in the United States can sign up for either Teladoc or Talkspace, as both serve all 50 states. 

I sought out individual therapy from both Teladoc and Talkspace. Among the users we surveyed, 72% of Talkspace clients were seeking individual therapy and 77% of Teladoc clients said the same. Only 4% of Talkspace users signed up for couples therapy and 4% for teen therapy. None of the surveyed Teladoc users signed up for couples therapy and just 2% signed up for teen therapy.

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: How Much Do Services Cost?

Both Teladoc and Talkspace have similar price points for live therapy options. 

Teladoc charges $99 for each 45-minute session. Its therapy services follow a pay-per-session model and clients are not obligated to commit to a certain number of sessions at sign-up. 

Talkspace operates on a subscription basis, with three different price points. The most affordable is a messaging-only option and costs $69 a week. The second-tier option costs $99 a week and includes messaging-based therapy along with one 30-minute live session. The third tier costs $109 a week and includes group workshops alongside the live therapy and messaging options. Since Talkspace operates on a subscription basis, clients must pay for a month upfront.

Both Talkspace and Teladoc accept insurance, which could make either option more affordable for those with mental health coverage included in their health insurance plan. 

While the two services seem to be neck-and-neck when comparing costs, Teladoc may actually have more value. The live therapy sessions at Talkspace are 30 minutes long, whereas Teladoc reports that its therapy sessions are 45 minutes long. However, when I tested the service, my sessions actually lasted between 50 and 60 minutes. Seventy-seven percent of Talkspace users rated the company’s value for the money as good, very good, or excellent, whereas 87% of Teladoc users felt the same.

Canceling at Teladoc is also less complicated. Talkspace requires a full 24 hours' notice from clients who want to cancel or reschedule a session. Since Talkspace is a subscription service, failure to cancel 2 -hours in advance results in losing one of the four sessions you've paid for each month. By comparison, Teladoc only charges for the sessions users attend. This means, whether you cancel 24 hours in advance, one hour in advance, or forget to attend, you won’t pay any fees for a missed or canceled session.

For many Americans, self-paying at Teladoc or Talkspace isn’t a realistic expense. This speaks more to the the issue of accessibility and affordability of mental health care in the United States than it does to these specific services, though. In fact, both Teladoc and Talkspace fall on the lower end of the cost of therapy, which is typically between $100 and $200 a session. However, with both totaling just under $400 a month for weekly care, therapy becomes an expense 32% of Americans can’t pay cash for, according to the Federal Reserve.

Even so, over half of the users we surveyed didn’t find the cost of therapy to be a problem at either company. Among those who signed up for Talkspace, 58% said the cost was affordable or very affordable, and 65% of Teladoc users said the same.

Insurance

Both Teladoc and Talkspace accept a wide variety of insurance plans. Talkspace partners with many major insurance providers, including Premera, Cigna, Optum, Gatorcare, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. While Teladoc doesn’t list which providers it accepts, it states that it is in-network for most major insurance providers. Teladoc accepts some Medicaid and Medicare plans, while Talkspace does not.

Because of the differences that exist between insurance plans, each therapy seeker will need to check with their insurance provider or sign up for services at Talkspace or Teladoc to get an exact idea of what is covered by their insurance and how much it will cost.

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: Navigating the Websites & Apps

The Talkspace and Teladoc websites both have a lot in common as well. Both are designed with cool colors, like blues, purples, and whites, and keep the information on the homepage simple and easy to read. At both companies, more information about the services offered can be accessed through a horizontal menu at the top of the page. 

Overall, I found both websites intuitive to navigate and many of the users we surveyed said the same. At both Talkspace and Teladoc, 82% of users rated the website as easy or very easy to use.

That being said, Talkspace does provide a little more information about pricing upfront. At Teladoc, therapy seekers need to sign up before confirming the cost of self-pay therapy (which is advertised at “$0 to $99”), but Talkspace shares the cost of its subscriptions in its Help Center. If you’re hoping to use insurance to pay for teletherapy, it is necessary to sign up for both Talkspace and Teladoc to confirm your copay with insurance, but you may be able to get more information by calling your insurance provider.

Similarly, Talkspace and Teladoc both have highly rated mobile apps that be downloaded on iOS or Android devices. For fully mobile therapy seekers, it is possible to sign up for both services, as well as schedule and attend sessions, through the apps. 

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: How Do You Sign Up?

At Talkspace, 76% of users rated sign-up as easy or very easy and 83% of users said the same about signing up for therapy with Teladoc. Sign-up can be done in the app or on the website at both companies. Here’s what to expect from sign-up at each company.

Teladoc 

Sign-up at Teladoc begins with a medical questionnaire followed by a mental health questionnaire. At this point, Teladoc asks for insurance information. If you are planning to self-pay, you indicate that at this time but don’t provide payment information just yet. Teladoc allows users to search for providers using filters including gender, language spoken, availability, and conditions treated.

After signing up, Teladoc prompts users to browse a long list of providers in their state. Once you select a provider, you indicate your top three choices for the date and time of your first session. Payment information is required at this time, but you won’t be charged until your therapist has confirmed your first session.

Talkspace

Sign-up is also quick and easy at Talkspace. You are asked to select what type of therapy you are looking for and to provide your reasons for seeking therapy. After this, Talkspace asks for basic medical information and details about any medications you are taking. At this point, Talkspace asks for insurance and payment information. You must select your therapy subscription plan before you can be matched with a provider.

Unlike Teladoc, Talkspace initially matches you with a provider rather than listing all available therapists and allowing you to choose.

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: How Do Therapy Sessions Work?

Talkspace 

Talkspace offers messaging-based, video, and audio therapy options for clients enrolled in its Live Therapy subscription service. I signed up for this option and tried out messaging with my therapist as well as video and audio sessions. 

My therapist used the messaging option to send me educational materials, and I reached out with specific questions but chose not to share personal medical information in the messaging chats. When I did reach out to my providers, they responded within two hours. 

When it was time for live sessions at Talkspace, I launched the video or audio call from my account page in the Talkspace website or app. My sessions were 30 minutes long, which felt too short to talk about much outside of getting to know each other. During my calls, I didn’t experience any glitches or problems with video or audio quality. At Talkspace, one therapist was late for one call by over 10 minutes, though.

Teladoc 

Teladoc offers live audio or video therapy on a pay-by-session model. I signed up for three sessions and tried both the video and audio options. Teladoc doesn’t offer the option to message or email providers to communicate with them outside of scheduled sessions.

At the time of my scheduled sessions, I launched the video or audio call from my account dashboard on the website and the app. My sessions were just under an hour long, even though the website states they are 45 minutes long. I didn’t experience any issues with the quality or functionality of the audio or video sessions. However, one therapist did cancel my session two minutes before it was scheduled to start. This was frustrating for me since I had asked my babysitter to come earlier than normal to accommodate my therapy session. 

Talkspace vs. Teladoc: Medication Management

Both Talkspace and Teladoc offer medication management at an additional fee. Medical doctors and psychiatrists can prescribe medications for depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and PTSD. However, neither company can legally prescribe controlled substances, including stimulants (such as Adderall or Ritalin), benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Klonopin), or pain killers (such as Percocet).

Talkspace charges $249 for an initial psychiatry consult and $125 for each follow-up visit. If the psychiatrist prescribes medication, they will call it into your local pharmacy for pick-up.

Teladoc states that its psychiatry services can range from $0 (if covered by insurance) to $299 per session, and prompts you to “set up your account to see your discounted pricing.” An initial consult with a psychiatrist lasts 45 minutes at Teladoc and each follow up visit is 15 minutes long. Like Talkspace, Teladoc doesn’t mail prescriptions but submits them to your local pharmacy for pick-up.

I chose not sign up for medication management when I tested Talkspace and Teladoc. However, 9% of the Talkspace users we surveyed reported they used the company’s psychiatry services and 14% of Teladoc users said the same. At Talkspace, 90% of psychiatry users rated their experience as good, very good, or excellent. At Teladoc, 91% of psychiatry users said the same. 

Talkspace vs. Teladoc: Missed Sessions

Talkspace and Teladoc have vastly different policies about canceled or missed therapy sessions. At Talkspace, therapy is paid for on a monthly subscription basis. At the start of the month, enrolled users get four credits to use before the month ends. If a Talkspace client misses a session or fails to cancel at least 24 hours in advance, they forfeit one credit.

At Teladoc, however, clients only pay for the sessions they attend. This means that even if you forget about a session and don’t show up, or cancel a session an hour or two before it is meant to start, you won’t be charged. 

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: Therapist Qualifications

At Teladoc and Talkspace, mental health providers are licensed or certified in their chosen discipline. This means the therapists who work with Talkspace or Teladoc are licensed clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional clinical counselors, or have a PhD in clinical psychology. Talkspace states its providers have an average of 7 to 10 years of experience.

Teladoc doesn’t provide information about the average experience of its providers. I also checked the individual bios available after sign-up, but there wasn’t any information about how long each therapist had been practicing. Despite this, 94% of users rated the therapist qualifications at Teladoc good, very good, or excellent, and 92% of Talkspace users felt the same.

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: Switching Therapists

Both Teladoc and Talkspace allow users to switch therapists at any time. Neither makes it difficult, but each has a different process for changing from one therapist to the next. 

Talkspace clients can switch to a new provider by either leaving a negative review for their provider or initiating a change from their account dashboard. Users who have had a negative experience will be prompted to change providers after leaving a low star rating. Alternatively, clients uncomfortable with leaving a negative review can navigate to their account page by clicking on their username in the top left corner of the website. From there, they can select “Payment and Plan” and scroll down to “Change Provider.” 

In my experience, when I first indicated that I wanted to switch therapists, Talkspace presented a short blurb about giving my provider a chance. When I said that I still wanted to change, the website also requested I provide a reason. Talkspace then gave me three new therapist bios to choose from.

At Teladoc, switching a therapist is an option only when you’re scheduling a new session. From your account, you can select the option to schedule and answer the prompts about who is seeking care and what the visit is addressing. From there, you can choose to schedule with a provider you have already seen or click a link below the therapists’ bios indicating you’d like a new provider. In my experience, I was presented with a long list of providers in my state who treat my mental health condition. 

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: Privacy Policies

Both Teladoc and Talkspace have expansive privacy policies on their websites. Each company’s policy states that personal health information, or PHI, is protected under HIPAA laws. Similarly, both companies disclose that certain information, like the demographic information collected at sign-up, is shared for marketing purposes.

While both companies appear to have similar privacy policies at face value, in practice it appears that Teladoc takes more care with its clients’ PHI. Recently, Talkspace has faced criticism for using transcripts from therapist and client messaging in its marketing materials. Additionally, some U.S. Senators are investigating claims that Talkspace includes identifying details in anonymized data.

Teladoc vs. Talkspace: User Satisfaction

When I tested Teladoc and Talkspace, I was more satisfied overall with my experience using Teladoc. I felt therapists at Teladoc were more attentive and the therapy sessions were more helpful at 45+ minutes long than the 30-minute sessions at Talkspace.

Among the users we surveyed, Teladoc and Talkspace were neck-and-neck on user satisfaction. At Talkspace, 78% of users said most or all of their needs were met by their therapist and 80% of Teladoc users said the same. When we looked at the quality of the providers available to users, the two companies also rated very similarly. Eighty-six percent of Talkspace users said the quality of providers available in their area was good, very good, or excellent, and 84% of Teladoc users said the same. However, while 51% of Talkspace users reported that they would still be with their therapist in six months’ time, only 36% of Teladoc users felt the same way.

Final Verdict

Talkspace and Teladoc rated very similarly among the users we surveyed. When it came to the user-friendliness of the website, the ease of the sign-up process, availability of therapists, and meeting their clients' needs, they typically scored within a few percentage points of each other.

However, when it comes to privacy practices and the efficacy of therapy services, Teladoc does stand out from Talkspace. Since Teladoc appears to practice more care with personal health information, it may be a more comfortable choice for many therapy seekers. Additionally, Talkspace offers shorter sessions and relies on messaging-based therapy, which may not be as effective as the longer, talk therapy sessions at Teladoc. Personally, if I planned to continue therapy with one of two of these services, I would choose Teladoc over Talkspace.

That said, Talkspace is a great all-around service for people new to therapy or that want to sign their family up for multiple mental health services. Talkspace offers individual, couples, and teen therapy, in addition to add-on psychiatry services. It also accepts many insurance plans, offers affordable subscription plans, and might work better for people with busy schedules.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Are Therapy Sessions at Teladoc and Talkspace?

Therapy sessions are 45 minutes at Teladoc and 30 minutes at Talkspace.

Do Teladoc and Talkspace Accept Health Insurance?

Yes, both Teladoc and Talkspace accept a wide variety of health insurance plans.

Can Teladoc and Talkspace Therapists Provide Diagnoses?

Generally, psychiatrists and clinically licensed therapists can provide a mental health diagnosis. However, neither Teladoc and Talkspace directly state that their therapists diagnose their clients.

Can Therapists on Teladoc and Talkspace Prescribe Medication?

No, therapists are not able to prescribe medication. However, both Teladoc and Talkspace offer medication management and psychiatry services with board-certified psychiatrists for an additional cost.

When Should I Consider Getting Help Beyond Online Therapy?

Anytime you feel you are a danger to yourself or someone else, it imperative that you seek immediate, emergency care by going to the emergency room or calling 911 or 988.

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 Teladoc and Talkspace 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.

Beautiful woman having an emotional conversation remotely in online therapy

Zinkevych / Getty Images

Article Sources
Verywell Mind 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.
  1. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Report on the economic well-being of U.S. households in 2021 - May 2022.

  2. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Warren, Booker, Wyden call on mental health apps to provide answers on data privacy and sharing practices that may put patients' data at risk of exploitation.

By Mary Sauer
Mary is a freelance writer with eight years experience reporting on mental health, pregnancy, and parenting. Her work can be found in Parade Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Vice's Tonic.

Edited by
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
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.

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and
Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics in the health, wellness, and lifestyle spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

Learn about our editorial process