BetterHelp vs Amwell (Who takes the cake?)

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In this article, we will be checking out the various services and features offered in two mental health care platforms, BetterHelp and Amwell. While BetterHelp is focused on delivering high quality online therapy to everyone, Amwell is one of the pioneers devoted to providing all types of health care through an online platform.

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In the table below, you will be able to see the main differences between BetterHelp and Amwell as well as understand the common ground that these two platforms share with each other.

 Feature  BetterHelp Amwell
 Types of services  Therapy All types of health care
 Pricing  Min 240 USD Min 79 USD
 Payment options   All major credit cards, Paypal,HSA, FSA All major credit cards,HSA, FSA, HRA
 Insurance   Unavailable Available
 Age group  13 years and above Any age group 



  • Betterhelp has couples therapy and teens counseling
  • It has group sessions for free
  • It has many in-built therapy tools


  • BetterHelp does not have insurance coverage
  • The prices can depend on several factors
  • Therapists cannot prescribed medications



  • Amwell offers all types of health care services
  • It can be covered by insurance
  • Access to doctor consultations is quick and easy


  • Amwell cannot be used for emergencies
  • It cannot be used for testing
  • There is a restriction on certain medications

About BetterHelp

BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that was launched in 2013. This company was founded by Alan Matas and Danny Bragonier in order to make access to therapy both affordable and easily accessible. Ever since its founding, BetterHelp has become one of the world’s largest platforms for online therapy services.

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Picture credit: BetterHelp

In BetterHelp, users can find features for individual therapy, couples therapy as well as teens therapy. There are also group therapy sessions that are offered free of cost. The live therapy sessions can be conducted through several formats, while the user can always reach out to their therapist through the feature of unlimited messaging.

The platform also allows users to switch therapists at any point of time for free. BetterHelp has definitely tried its best to be as affordable as possible. For those who fall under categories like unemployed or disabled, the platform also offers financial aid that can reduce the prices by up to 25 per cent.


About Amwell

Many people still call Amwell by its original founding name, American Well. This platform was founded by Dr. Ido Schoenberg and Dr. Roy Schoenberg who wanted to create a platform that makes healthcare consultations flexible and comfortable. The result was Amwell which has catered to millions since its launch.

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Picture credit: Amwell

Amwell allows its users to access healthcare professionals through subscriptions. These allow the users first priority while waiting to meet licensed and certified health care professionals. In Amwell, users can find services for non-emergency related medical reasons, including behavioral health.

The behavioral health services in Amwell cover therapy as well as psychiatry services. Thus, the platform becomes a one-stop shop related to all needs for mental health care. The platform also offers primary care consultations for individuals as well as their families. To use Amwell, users can go to any web browser or any of the Amwell kiosks provided across the country.

Best features of BetterHelp

Betterhelp is certainly one of the most well-known names in the field of online therapy and for a good number of reasons. In this platform, users can find a plethora of great features such as the ones described in the section below.

BetterHelp can be used from anywhere

The great thing about an online therapy platform like BetterHelp is that it can be used from anywhere and everywhere. BetterHelp operates completely online and makes high-quality therapy accessible from anywhere. This makes it splendid for those in remote areas or far off locations which may have a dearth of licensed therapists.


It offers couples therapy

Couples therapy is also available in BetterHelp for those who want to improve their relationships. This feature is made available through ReGain which is the sister site of BetterHelp. Couples therapy is not only indicated for those who are heading for divorce but also those who are planning on getting married to each other so that they can set a solid foundation.

It has teens therapy

Teens therapy is another great feature that is available in BetterHelp. This service is made available for those adolescents between the ages of 13 years and 18 years. To use this service, the individual must provide parental consent. Teens therapy or counseling is highly recommended as adolescents today undergo high levels of stress and anxiety.

It also provides group sessions

Group sessions are also provided in BetterHelp. The best part about these sessions is that they are absolutely free of cost and any user of BetterHelp can participate. The users can remain anonymous in these group sessions which cover more than 20 different topics related to mental health and mental illness.

Therapy can be availed in multiple formats

The therapy itself can be availed in many different formats in BetterHelp. The platform allows users to choose between live audio sessions, live video sessions and also live chat sessions for their therapy. These sessions are conducted for the duration of thirty to forty-five minutes depending on the availability of the therapist.


BetterHelp offers unlimited messaging

All the users in BetterHelp can utilize the unlimited messaging feature provided in the platform. Through the unlimited messaging, the user can send any number of messages to their therapists at any time for which they are guaranteed responses a certain number of times a week. The messages can be text messages, audio messages and even video messages.

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Picture credit: BetterHelp

Financial aid is available

BetterHelp is definitely affordable by any user, even if they do not have insurance coverage. To make things easier for its users, BetterHelp offers financial aid or financial assistance. This is reserved for those who are unemployed, furloughed due to the pandemic or even those who are currently studying. It can also be applied to those who are disabled or have veteran status.

BetterHelp makes smart use of algorithms

BetterHelp uses algorithms through which the individual is matched with a compatible and suitable therapist. This is made possible using the data provided by the user at the time of signing up for the platform. Through this process, there is a better chance of a strong client-therapist fit which is necessary for the effectiveness of the therapy itself.

It has in-built therapy accessories

The platform also has many features through which the therapy process itself is made even more effective. BetterHelp has an online journaling feature which automatically prompts the user to write it in on a regular basis. The journal can also be shared with the therapist if the user wishes to. Furthermore, there are numerous worksheets and templates that can be used at any time.

It is completely HIPAA compliant

Users of BetterHelp do not have to worry about their security and privacy on the platform. BetterHelp is completely HIPAA compliant and has strong security features like end to end encryptions and multi-step authentications. The user can also further protect their identity under a nickname.

Best features of Amwell

Amwell is one of the most popular platforms for receiving high-quality health care in a digital medium. Users of Amwell can expect to enjoy several features such as,

Short waiting times

Through Amwell, users can expect much shorter waiting times than in-person doctor visits. Urgent care appointments in Amwell mean that the users can consult the doctor almost immediately. Those who have subscribed to medical care through this platform also mean that they can consult doctors in a very short span of time.

Mental health services

Amwell not only offers general medical care but also behavioral health services. There are therapy services as well as psychiatry services offered here as part of this program. The therapy sessions in Amwell go on for the duration of 45 minutes. Psychiatry consultations have a time-limit of 50 minutes for the first visit and 15 minutes for follow-ups.

Quick and easy process

The best advantage that Amwell offers is that the process is very quick and easy. Through this platform, the patient can consult with their doctor without even leaving the house. The services of the platform are accessible through any web browser and thus all that the user requires is a smart device and an internet connection.


Picture credit: Amwell

Ability to choose health-care professionals

In Amwell, the user has one more great advantage in the fact that they can choose their doctor based on their needs and requirements. The bios and details of the doctors are provided openly in the website which enables the user to choose as they wish. This can contribute not only to the convenience of the user but also the effectiveness of the treatment.

Easy prescriptions for medications

The prescriptions for medications in Amwell are also easily received. These are sent directly to the local pharmacy that the user prefers. This is not only available for the general medical consultations also the mental health conditions which can greatly increase the comfort of the user.

HIPAA compliance

The platform is highly secure and has won many awards for its strong security features. Amwell is solidly HIPAA compliant which means that the identity and information of the user cannot be stolen easily. Since most of the consultations are done online, the user enjoys an extended layer of physical safety in this platform.

High affordability

The platform is highly affordable and thus easily accessible. The costs per visit for both the general medical consultations and the behavioral health features are much cheaper when compared to traditional settings. Amwell also allows insurance coverage through a multitude of in-network providers.

Pricing of BetterHelp

The costs of BetterHelp can vary depending on the location of the user and also the number of therapists who are licensed to practice in that area. The costs of therapy in BetterHelp can range from $60 to $90 per week which is billed every four weeks.

Pricing of Amwell

The costs of Amwell can depend on the type of care that the user is opting for. For an urgent care visit, the user may have to pay $79 per session. The behavioral health services in the platform have their own pricing. For therapy sessions, users will have to pay $99 for a therapist who has only completed a master’s degree and $110 for someone with a doctorate.

For the psychiatry services, the user will have to pay a flat fee of $279 for the first session which is the initial consultation. The follow-up visits to the psychiatrist will cost $109 each. The costs of the medications can depend on the brand and the type of substance. However, all this is coverable through insurance.


Signing up for BetterHelp

To sign up for the online therapy in BetterHelp, the individual can go to the website or the app and complete the brief assessment given. They wi1ll also have to mention the type of therapist they want to work with. Once the matching is done by the platform’s algorithm, the therapy process can commence in a matter of days.


Signing up for Amwell

To sign up for the medical services in Amwell, the individual will need to go to the website and click on the ‘sign-up’ button. Here, they will need to provide basic details about themselves which includes their name and their email id. Once a password has been created, they can provide their insurance details and proceed with the consultation.

Tips for using BetterHelp

BetterHelp is popular for not only the quality of therapy that it provides, but also its simple user-interface. A few tips to help new users of BetterHelp have been described as follows.

  • The BetterHelp platform allows users to send an unlimited number of messages to their therapists. This can be done through three different formats, like texts, audio messages and even video messages. Explore these options and choose what suits your preference
  • You can improve the effectiveness of your live therapy sessions by creating a dedicated spot for this in your home. If you cannot find such a space in your home, you can always use a quiet park, a rooftop or a friend’s place.
  • BetterHelp allows live therapy sessions to be conducted in three different formats, like audio sessions, video sessions and even live chats. Find the format that suits your preferences and convenience the best.
  • The platform also has many free resources that can be used during your therapy sessions like the online journaling feature. If you are an old school pen and paper person, you can still do so and write in your journal when you get the prompts from BetterHelp. You can share your key points to your therapist if you wish to do so in your live therapy sessions.
  • While the platform uses an algorithm to match you with a compatible therapist, you can always find your therapist on your own by going through the directory in the platform. While doing so, keep in mind the age group that you want, the gender preference and even factors like religion and sexual orientation.

Tips for using Amwell

While Amwell is known for its high ease of use, new users may find the platform tricky. Some tips to help new users of Amwell have been described in the points given below.

  • The consultations in Amwell are mainly through video. While this can be cumbersome for many, you can increase your comfort by turning off your selfie view. This can help you concentrate more on explaining your symptoms instead of being conscious about your looks.
  • Make sure that you are looking directly into the camera lens during your video sessions. This will mimic a natural eye-contact and help in communicating your problems better.
  • You can also write down your symptoms and your feelings before your session so that the communication becomes easier and more effective.

Personal experiences in BetterHelp

The BetterHelp app has a rating of 4.8 stars in the Apple apps and a rating of 4.7 stars in the Google Play store. In the section below, we will check out some of the personal experiences that users have had on this platform.

  • Most users of BetterHelp have felt that the platform is simple and highly user-friendly in its approach. The matching process of the platform has also been found to be relevant and very worthwhile.
  • Some users have felt that the messaging therapy that the platform provides is way too impersonal, especially as the therapist is not always guaranteed to respond immediately. However, some users have felt that this feature is perhaps the best-selling feature of the platform as it allows constant communication with a mental health professional.
  • Many users have enjoyed the various therapy tools that the platform provides, such as digital worksheets and online journaling. This has helped them regain control even outside of live therapy sessions.
  • A few users have complained that the platform is not transparent and open about its pricing and costs. This is mainly because the costs of therapy can differ based on the location of the user.

Personal experiences in Amwell

Amwell has been catering to the medical needs of more than 400, 000 users. Some of the personal experiences that users have had in this platform have been explored in the points below.

  • Most users of Amwell have felt that the platform is very easy to use and makes access to medical care a lot easier and comfortable. Amwell has become widely acclaimed especially during the pandemic when users have found it dangerous to be in waiting rooms for doctor appointments.
  • Many users have experienced high quality medical care at the hands of professional and experienced doctors in Amwell. The platform allows users to choose their own doctors by perusing the bios and details. This makes it even more convenient for users.
  • However, some users have complained about minor glitches in the platform, such as not being intimated the right amount of time before their doctor’s appointment. This has led a few to leave negative reviews about Amwell.


BetterHelp and Amwell are certainly two great platforms for tele-health. Amwell focuses on all types of non-emergency related medical care. On the other hand, BetterHelp is solely dedicated to the treatment of mental health conditions through therapy delivered online. Thus, both these platforms cater to different populations.

BetterHelp provides therapy through licensed and experienced mental health professionals who conduct their sessions using various formats of live therapy such as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. There is also unlimited messaging available here. The therapy services are very affordable and financial assistance is also available for certain persons.

The greatest advantage of using Amwell is that there is no need to leave the house to consult a medical professional. Using Amwell, the person can seek medical care for non-emergency conditions like flus, sinus infections, allergies, UTIs and even get laboratory tests. The platform also provides services for behavioral health such as therapy and psychiatry services.

Frequently asked questions:

What is the monthly cost of BetterHelp?

The therapy services in BetterHelp can cost the user $60 to $90 per week and this is billed every four weeks. The costs can differ based on the location of the user and the number of therapists who are available in that particular locality.


How long are BetterHelp sessions?

The live therapy sessions in BetterHelp are conducted for a minimum of thirty minutes. This can be extended up to an hour depending on the availability and discretion of the therapist. The live therapy sessions in BetterHelp can be conducted through live audio sessions, live video sessions and even live chat sessions.

How many live sessions do you get with BetterHelp?

In BetterHelp, users can schedule up to two live sessions per month. The live sessions have to be scheduled one at a time and mass scheduling is not possible on this platform. In addition to the live therapy, the user can utilize the resources in the blog section, the groupinars and even the various mental health exercises and tools provided in the BetterHelp platform.

How long are Amwell sessions?

The length of the sessions in Amwell depends on the type of service the user is opting for. Urgent care visits can last for the duration of 15 minutes. Therapy sessions go on for 45 minutes. Initial psychiatry sessions are for 50 minutes, while follow-up sessions are for 15 minutes each.


Is Amwell safe?

Yes, Amwell is safe. The platform has many security measures such as end to end encryptions and multi-step authentications which ensure the privacy and safety of the users. Amwell is also HIPAA compliant in all its features and services.

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