Teladoc Online Therapy Review

A telehealth company specializing in accessible mental health care

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

4.7

Teladoc Online Therapy

Teladoc Review logo

Teladoc

Individuals looking for live video or phone therapy options might find Teladoc to be a good fit. Through this telehealth service, clients can connect with licensed therapists and psychiatrists practicing in a variety of specialties. Couples or marriage counseling, along with counseling for teens, is also available, but Teladoc doesn’t offer services to anyone under the age of 13. 

Key Facts

  • Price: $99 per therapy session, $209 for initial psychiatry appointments, and $109 for follow ups (without insurance)
  • Insurance Accepted?: Yes
  • Type Of Therapy: N/A
  • Communication Options: Audio, Video Chat
  • HIPAA Compliant?: N/A
  • Is There an App?: Yes

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Numerous providers in each state

  • Licensed providers with a variety of specialties

  • Accepts insurance

  • Self-pay is available at a set fee of $99

  • Both video and phone sessions are available

  • No cancellation fee

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

  • No way to communicate with therapists outside of sessions

  • Company scandals might detract from client care

  • No sliding scale options

  • Therapists may be overscheduled

4.7

Teladoc Online Therapy

Teladoc Review logo

Teladoc

Getting treatment for a mental health condition often isn’t simple. Even if a person is insured, they may not have access to a qualified provider where they live. In fact, in the United States, mental health care shortages are so prevalent, it is less common to live in a state where mental health care needs are met. Most states, with the exception of New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Utah, aren’t even meeting 50% of the need for mental health care in their state.

Teladoc is hoping to address this need by offering mental health services through video or phone sessions. Specifically, it takes pride in working with skilled doctors throughout the country so anyone can improve their health, no matter their need or location. In addition to live therapy options, Teladoc offers psychiatry, general health, dermatology, sexual health, and pediatric medical services. In order to assess Teladoc’s mental health services, we surveyed 105 Teladoc users about their experience. I also signed up for the service myself. Here’s how Teladoc fared.

What Is Teladoc?

Teladoc calls itself the oldest telemedicine service in the United States. The company was founded in 2002 by G. Byron Brooks, EE, MD, and Michael Gorto. Initially, the company focused on giving clients remote access to doctors that fit their schedules. Since then, the company has expanded to include mental health services, including therapy and psychiatric care.

With two decades under its belt, Teladoc has experienced its fair share of negative press. In 2016, an executive was exposed for sexual misconduct after engaging in a relationship with an employee under his leadership and giving the employee unearned promotions. Additionally, this executive was also accused of financial misconduct after advising this employee on trading Teladoc stock. More recently, in 2022, a class action lawsuit was filed against the company stating executives misled investors by overstating how the company was expected to perform in the future. As a result, investors faced significant losses.

What Services Does Teladoc Offer?

Teladoc offers a wide variety of health care services, but its mental health services include:

  • Medication management
  • Live therapy 
  • Couples or marriage counseling
  • Counseling for teens ages 13 to 17

Practitioners working with Teladoc provide a variety of therapeutic options to their clients. According to the website, licensed professionals offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and talk therapy.

Since we last reviewed Teladoc in 2021, its service has added counseling for teens ages 13 to 17. The company also has a blog, which is filled with educational posts about seeking counseling, mental health conditions, and caring for your mental health.

How Much Does Teladoc Cost?

Teladoc offers a pay-per-session model, charging you for each time you meet with a provider instead of a monthly subscription fee. A 60-minute counseling session costs $99 out-of-pocket. 

If you don’t have insurance, this cost might feel prohibitive. The monthly cost of four weekly sessions totals $400, something 32% of American adults couldn’t pay for upfront, according to the Federal Reserve.

Still, surveyed users didn’t rate Teladoc as too expensive for their budget. Of the 105 users surveyed, 30% said Teladoc was very affordable and an additional 35% said it was affordable.

Does Teladoc Take Insurance?

Yes, Teladoc accepts insurance from a wide variety of providers, including some Medicaid and Medicare plans. This is a big deal for individuals who have insurance but are unable to access quality healthcare where they live or because of schedule restrictions.

Individuals interested in using Teladoc aren’t able to confirm their health insurance coverage before signing up for the service. There isn’t a list of accepted plans available on the company’s website.

Navigating the Teladoc Website

Overall, the website is easy to navigate, but not all relevant information is available upfront. I was uncomfortable with being required to disclose personal and medical information during the signup process before knowing if my insurance would be accepted or if the providers are a good fit for my needs. I’d much prefer to have the whole picture before creating an account with the service.

Help

Most of the information available about Teladoc can be accessed through a menu bar at the top of the homepage. The first option, “How it works,” redirects you to a new page that succinctly describes signing up for care and being matched with a care provider. Just to the right, a drop-down menu includes links to short pages about Teladoc’s offerings, including primary care, pediatrics, mental health, dermatology, nutrition, and sexual health. 

There is also a link titled “Quality Care,” which redirects to a page that includes quotes from medical professionals about working with Teladoc and a short video about the quality of care Teladoc provides. Lastly, there is a link to a testimonial page.

If you’d like to get started, you can quickly select a bold “get started” button in the center of the page.

FAQ

Teladoc does have a large FAQ section that is very thorough, including information about scheduling, canceling, and billing practices. This is where potential Teladoc users will find the most information about the company’s mental health care, but there is still some information missing. For example, Teladoc doesn’t disclose the cost of counseling or provider bios on the website. 

From the bottom menu, website visitors can also access the Teladoc blog called Health Talk. This is a general health blog, and it contains educational articles about specific health conditions, parenting advice, nutrition, self-care, and mental health. Teladoc doesn’t attribute any of the blogs to authors, so it isn’t clear if they’re written by or reviewed by experts. However, each article is heavily sourced with sources listed in the footer. 

Health T

Teladoc has an Instagram account with a little over 7,000 followers. I had some trouble finding it because the website links to a defunct Instagram and Google searches take you to the removed account as well. Once I found the account, I noticed most of the comments on the account are complaints. Teladoc consistently responds to complaints, usually asking the commenter to reach out privately. On Facebook, the company has 47,000 followers.

The posts on Instagram and Facebook are the same and don’t follow a consistent rhythm. Some weeks, there are daily educational posts covering a variety of health topics, including mental health and nutrition, but there are stretches of a few days or a week with no posts at all. At least once a month, Teladoc adds an educational video to the company’s YouTube page, which has 2,850 followers.

Does Teladoc Have an App?

Yes, the Teladoc app is available for iOS and Android devices. The app has a 4.8 rating on the Apple App Store and a 4.2-star rating on Google Play. 

In addition to being able to schedule sessions and communicate with your therapist through the app, you can use Teladoc’s video platform through the app as well.

How Do You Sign Up for Therapy at Teladoc?

The signup process with Teladoc is fairly simple. 

It begins with a short questionnaire about your medical history, focusing on major medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, and cancer. After that, you complete a mental health survey that is similar to a depression inventory you might fill out in the doctor's office. It asks you questions about your mood, prompting you to rate it on a scale. The questions touch on your interest in your hobbies and whether you feel anxious, depressed, or hopeless.

Once you complete these questionnaires, you are prompted to enter your insurance information. If you plan to pay out of pocket, Teladoc doesn’t ask for payment information until after you’ve selected a therapist.

Matching With a Therapist/Choosing a Therapist

It's worth noting that Teladoc doesn’t match clients with therapists. Instead, the client chooses their own provider from a list compiled based on their reason for seeking therapy. After I completed the Teladoc intake questions, I was able to select from a pretty extensive list of therapists practicing in my state. I was impressed by how wide the selection was—I had a few pages of profiles to look through. Additionally, the therapists had different specialties, so I was able to be more discerning about who I chose to meet with. That being said, I was presented with so many options that I found it difficult to really compare each provider’s bio thoroughly. 

This could be overwhelming for some therapy seekers. However, the website does have the option to filter search results based on gender, language spoken, availability, and whether or not medication support is required. All of the therapists offered to me were licensed in their discipline, whether they were licensed counselors or medical doctors.

At this point, Teladoc also asked me about availability. One thing that stood out to me is that I was asked to provide my first, second, and third choices for date and time. From there, the therapist was able to choose what worked for their availability before confirming my appointment.

How Do Therapy Sessions Work at Teladoc?

When it is time for your scheduled appointment, you can access the video call through your account dashboard. Scheduled sessions are the only way to communicate with your therapist using Teladoc; you’re not able to message them before or after sessions with additional questions. However, Teladoc does have a phone option. Teladoc’s website says the therapy sessions are 45 minutes long, but mine were closer to 60 minutes. 

Overall, my in session experiences were positive. I didn’t have any trouble using the website, and there were no technical issues. My therapists were attentive and seemed well qualified to discuss my mental health condition. I specifically felt my first therapist was a great match for me. They listened well and seemed to truly understand the circumstances I described. At the end of each session, I was offered the option to take on outside work. I agreed to this and was sent a few pages of reading.

The Teladoc users we surveyed also felt their therapists were well qualified, with 75% reporting their provider’s qualifications were very good or excellent and 19% describing them as good. 

Medication Management

Teladoc also offers psychiatric services that include medication management. While I didn’t use this service, 14% of the users we surveyed did.

Among the users that turned to Teladoc for psychiatric services, 47% rated their experience as excellent and 25% rated it as very good. After looking through the FAQs and psychiatry information pages, I wasn’t able to find out the charge for psychiatry appointments. I suspect that, like therapy, the exact cost isn’t shared until after you sign up and state whether you’re self-paying or using insurance. Typically, the initial medication management appointment is 45 minutes and each follow-up is 15 minutes long.

Like many telehealth websites, Teladoc isn’t able to prescribe controlled substances. This means clients who need prescriptions for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and mood disorders will find the service most useful. If your mental health condition requires stimulants, benzodiazepines, or pain medication, Teladoc won’t be able to meet your needs.

What Happens If I Miss a Session at Teladoc?

If you need to reschedule or cancel your session, you can do this from the app or your account dashboard. You only pay for the sessions you attend.

Switching Therapists at Teladoc

After my first session, I chose to switch providers. 

Once logged in, you can switch providers from your account dashboard. First, you start the process of scheduling a new session. Teladoc asks some of the same questions it asked at sign up each time you schedule a session, including who the appointment is for, what issue you’d like to discuss, and where you are located. After this, any providers you’ve seen through Teladoc will populate first. Under their bios, there is a link offering the option to switch to a new provider. 

If the issue you’d like to discuss with your new provider is the same as it was with your first, you’ll be offered the same list of providers as you were at signup. However, if you indicate you’d like to address a different issue during this session, your list of providers may be different depending on the available therapist’s specialties.

I sifted through the same list presented to me at signup to choose a new therapist based on their specialty and availability. 

While 79% of the users we surveyed didn’t switch therapists within Teladoc, 11% of users switched once and 7% of users switched two or three times. Fifty-two percent of those that did switch reported they searched through all available therapists and chose from that list, 24% said they were offered a limited number of therapists to choose from, and 24% said they were matched with a provider. 

Pausing or Canceling Therapy at Teladoc

Since Teladoc isn’t a subscription service, users don’t need to cancel their membership in order to discontinue therapy. Instead, clients who no longer want to use Teladoc can simply stop scheduling appointments. If you have any appointments scheduled you don’t want to attend, cancel those through your account dashboard.

Quality of Care and User Satisfaction

My in-session experience with Teladoc was largely a positive one. The providers I spoke with were knowledgeable and empathetic. They worked with me to offer appropriate homework outside of my sessions that was helpful but not overwhelming for my busy lifestyle. I prefer live therapy sessions to text therapy, so I felt the hour-long video sessions allowed my therapist to best meet my needs.

I felt the therapists met all of my needs in sessions, and 48% of Teladoc users said the same, (32% reported that most of their needs were met). 

That being said, I did find scheduling with therapists less satisfactory. My second provider canceled my session two minutes before it was meant to start, something that was especially frustrating since I scheduled childcare specifically for this purpose. At the time of cancellation, the provider immediately offered me a new time. It didn’t work for me, but we worked out another time on a later date. 

I also wasn’t able to schedule any same-day or next-day appointments. In fact, some of the providers weren’t available for several days. This wasn’t a major inconvenience, but it did make scheduling a little more difficult. As a parent with four kids, I need more flexibility in scheduling and the ability to schedule on short notice when some time opens up in my week. 

It's worth noting that scandals associated with Teladoc could certainly impact the quality of care. Personally, I didn’t see the consequences of these scandals firsthand. Still, knowing about them makes me uncomfortable enough to want to choose a different teletherapy service moving forward.

Privacy Policies

Looking at the Teladoc privacy policy, it seems its practices are similar to other telehealth services. For instance, like many telehealth companies, Teladoc does collect and share user information both through cookies and the signup process. The information it shares is demographic information, and it might be shared with sister companies or with advertisers.

Teladoc treats personal health information, or PHI, with more care. Medical information shared during the signup process or during sessions is protected by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law protecting PHI) and is only shared in exceptional circumstances. For instance, Teladoc would share PHI if required by law or if the client indicated they were a danger to themselves or others. Additionally, if a client requests a consultation with another provider, their existing provider would share details relevant to the consultation.

Teladoc vs. Its Competitors

Teladoc shares a lot of similarities with Doctor on Demand, Amwell, and MDLIVE. These telehealth services provide general medical services and psychiatry in addition to live therapy. Teladoc offers the most affordable option, with a 45-minute session costing $99. Amwell charges between $109 and $129 for an online therapy session, depending on the qualifications of the provider. MDLIVE charges $108 for a session. Self-pay at Doctor on Demand is $179 for a 50-minute consultation. 

Forty-seven percent of Teladoc users we surveyed said they were very likely to recommend the service to a friend while only 44% of Amwell users, 40% of Doctors on Demand, and 29% of MDLIVE users said the same. However, 48% of Doctors on Demand users and 48% of Amwell users said the service met all of their needs, while 47% of MDLIVE users and 47% of Teladoc users said the same.

It’s also important to note that Doctors on Demand has a better reputation in the media, while Teladoc is associated with two major controversies in the last 10 years. 

Final Verdict

Overall, I had a good experience with Teladoc. I felt the therapists I met with were knowledgeable and the experience of signing up for their services was user-friendly. In sessions, I felt my needs were being met, but I didn’t feel the same about scheduling. There was usually some delay with scheduling, many providers were unable to meet for two or three days, and some were unable to meet until the following week. Additionally, one provider canceled my session two minutes before it was meant to start, something especially frustrating since I scheduled childcare specifically for this purpose.

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.

Specs

2 Sources
Verywell Family 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. KFF. Mental health care health professional shortage areas (HPSAs).

  2. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Economic well-being of U.S. households in 2021.

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