BetterHelp vs Teladoc (A Brief Comparison)

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In this article, we will compare the features of two very well-known platforms, BetterHelp and Teladoc. While BetterHelp caters to only mental health care by providing high quality therapy services, Teladoc offers all types of health care services including behavioral health features like therapy and psychiatry.

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The table below will show you the main services offered in BetterHelp and Teladoc. It will also help you understand the differences between these two platforms.

 Feature  BetterHelp Teladoc
 Types of services  Therapy All types of health care
 Pricing  Min 240 USD Min 75 USD
 Payment options   All major credit cards, Paypal,HSA, FSA All major credit cards, Paypal,HSA, FSA, HRA
 Insurance   Unavailable Available
 Age group  13 years and above Any age group

BetterHelp

Pros

  • BetterHelp offers individual therapy and group therapy
  • Couples therapy and teens therapy is available
  • It offers financial assistance

Cons

  • It cannot be covered by insurance
  • It does not psychiatry services
  • Therapists cannot diagnose mental health conditions

Teladoc

Pros

  • Teladoc can be used for all types of health care
  • Medications are available here
  • It can be covered by insurance

Cons

  • Varieties of formats are not available for therapy
  • Group sessions are not offered
  • It cannot be used for high risk patients

 

About BetterHelp

BetterHelp was founded by Alan Matas and his friend Danny Bragonier in 2013 as an online therapy platform. Since its launch, BetterHelp has catered to nearly two million users and is offering a multitude of features and advantages for those who are seeking quality mental health care.

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Picture credit: BetterHelp

In this platform, users can avail therapy through several formats, such as live audio, live video and even live chat sessions. The messaging therapy in this platform also allows the user to send messages through various modes like text messages, audio messages and video messages. In addition to therapy for individuals, group sessions are also available for free.

BetterHelp additionally offers couples therapy and counseling for adolescents. The costs of therapy in this platform is very much affordable and financial assistance or financial aid is also available for select categories. This aid is provided to those who are unemployed, disabled or veterans and can be renewed every three months.

 

About Teladoc

Teladoc or Teladoc Health is an online health care platform that can be used for all types of non-emergency medical conditions. In addition to these, it offers behavioral health services such as therapy and psychiatry as well. Teladoc was founded in 2002 and operates in many countries apart from the United States.

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Picture credit: Teladoc

In Teladoc, users can easily consult with licensed and certified doctors for various medical needs. The doctor consultations are done through phone calls and even video conferences that the user can choose from based on their needs and preferences. The medications are also sent to the local pharmacy of the user.

While Teladoc is certainly one of the most popular tele-health platforms out there, it still cannot be used for emergencies like brain injuries or fractures. The platform is very affordable and also allows easy insurance coverage through a tie-up with a large number of in-network providers. Teladoc can be used for any age group, from children to senior citizens.

 

Best features of BetterHelp

BetterHelp offers a plethora of features and advantages that can be very beneficial for anyone with a mental health condition or someone who simply wants to improve their mental health. The best features of BetterHelp have been described in the points below.

 

BetterHelp can be used from anywhere

BetterHelp can be accessed and used from anywhere and everywhere as long as the user has an internet connection and a smart device. Since it does not require the clients to meet the therapists in person, BetterHelp has become very popular after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, it can also be helpful for those who live in remote areas.

It provides a lot of security

BetterHelp is completely HIPAA compliant and thus users need not worry about the security of their identity or their information. The platform also allows the users to create profiles using a nickname under which their identity will be further protected. Furthermore, the online nature of the therapy sessions here, protect the user and the therapist physically.

It offers several formats of therapy

The therapy sessions in BetterHelp can be availed through several formats such as, live audio sessions, live video sessions and even live chat sessions. Thus, the user has a lot of choices when it comes to therapy sessions and enjoys more convenience and comfort here. The therapy sessions in BetterHelp last for the duration of thirty minutes, but can be extended up to an hour.

It has messaging therapy

Messaging therapy is also available in BetterHelp. Through this feature, the user can send a limitless number of messages to their therapists at any time. In addition to this, the user can also send the messages through formats like text messages, audio messages and even video messages depending on their needs and requirements.

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Picture credit: BetterHelp

It offers group sessions

Group sessions are also available in BetterHelp. These group sessions are called ‘Groupinars’ and are conducted once a week by the providers in BetterHelp. The sessions cover a range of topics related to mental health and mental illness. Users can choose to view these sessions live or any other time in a period of seven days.

 

Couples therapy is available here

Couples therapy is also available in BetterHelp. Online couples therapy allows the partners to communicate with the therapist at any time through chats or live video sessions. Couples therapy can do wonders to a relationship and help the partners communicate better with each other. In BetterHelp, this feature is offered through Regain, which is a sister website.

Teens therapy is also available

Teens therapy is another feature that is available in BetterHelp. This is meant for those adolescents between the ages of 13 years to 18 years and requires the user to provide parental consent before the therapy or counseling can start. Teens therapy is necessary especially today as teenagers are facing stressors much earlier in life when compared to earlier generations.

BetterHelp provides financial assistance

BetterHelp also offers financial assistance for those who are finding it difficult to afford the therapy services on the platform. This financial assistance can reduce the costs of therapy by up to 25 percent. This aid needs to be renewed every three months and is meant for those who are unemployed, currently studying, disabled or those who are veterans.

 

It has a number of therapy resources

The therapy sessions in BetterHelp are increased in effectiveness through the presence of several resources or accessories. A good example of such a feature is online journaling which allows the user to write it in at any time. The feature is also programmed to prompt the user to write it in regularly which can greatly improve their mental health at any given time.

 

The matching process is smart

Online therapy platforms like BetterHelp often have a signature matching process through which the right therapist is brought to the user. In BetterHelp, this process is made possible through a smart algorithm which uses the data of the user that is provided at the time of signing up to match them with a compatible therapist.

 

Best features of Teladoc

Teladoc has been one of the pioneers in the tele-health industry. The platform boasts of several useful features such as,

Ease of use

The Teladoc platform is very user friendly and allows users to access medical professionals in a very short span of time. When compared to traditional medical care settings, the waiting period in Teladoc is very short and the sign up process is also very simple. Those who have urgent needs are also put on the priority list, further decreasing the waiting time.

More control to the user

Users have a lot more control and thereby convenience in Teladoc. After signing up for the platform, the user will be able to view a large set of medical professionals and can choose their doctor based on the bios which are visible. By giving more control to the person, Teladoc also increases the effectiveness of its treatment options.

Different session modes

The consultations in Teladoc can be done over the phone or even through video conferencing depending on the needs of the user. This is applicable to even the behavioral health features that are available in the platform. However, certain medical conditions like skin issues need to be consulted via video.

 

Various types of medical care

Teladoc can be used for a variety of medical conditions and not just one category. There are medical services available for acute infections, flus, rashes, and even chronic conditions like diabetes. Furthermore, those who have mental health conditions can also seek treatment through the services offered in this platform.

 

Easy insurance coverage

While signing up Teladoc, the platform overtly asks the user for their insurance provider. Insurance coverage is made pretty easy for the services offered in Teladoc. This is made possible through a tie up with a number of in-network providers. Through insurance coverage, medical care becomes easily available to a wider population.  

 

Medical care for the whole family

Teladoc can be used for any age group and thus even children and teenagers can easily use this platform for medical care. Those who are below the age of 18 years need to be present with their parents or need to provide parental consent before their consultations. Through Teladoc, users can find medical care for not only themselves but their entire families.

 

Behavioral health services

In addition to medical care for non-emergency conditions, Teladoc provides behavioral health services as well. This includes therapy as well as psychiatry services. Therefore, the platform becomes a one-stop shop for all needs related to mental health care. The medications that are prescribed by the doctors are sent to the local pharmacy of the user.

Picture credit: Teladoc

Pricing of BetterHelp

The therapy services in BetterHelp can be availed at a cost of $60 – $90 per week. This is billed every four weeks. The cost can range based on where the user is situated and also the number of therapists who are licensed to practice in that area. For those who are finding the therapy services in BetterHelp expensive, the platform offers financial assistance or aid.

Pricing of Teladoc

The costs of a general doctor consultation in Teladoc can cost the user $75. Those who are consulting dermatologists may have to shell out $99 per visit. The platform also has special services like nutrition plans and back care that can cost $95 and $49 respectively. Through insurance coverage, users may have to pay as low as $0.

Signing up for BetterHelp

To sign up for BetterHelp, new users can go to the platform’s website or the app and take the assessment that is given. In this assessment, they will need to provide information about themselves and also mention their therapist preferences. Once the matching process is done, the user can expect to start therapy in a matter of days.

Signing up for Teladoc

Those who want to consult a doctor through Teladoc can go to the website and enter their details in the sign-up portion. In addition to their name and other basic details, they will also have to enter their insurance provider. Since Teladoc operates in several countries, the user will also need to enter their nation and their preferred language.

Tips for using BetterHelp

BetterHelp is a pretty easy to use platform that can be beneficial for anyone who is trying to improve their mental health by therapy. Some tips that news users of BetterHelp might find useful have been given as follows.

  • BetterHelp offers several formats of live therapy, such as live audio sessions, live video sessions and even live chats. While live video is certainly one of the most common formats for live therapy, you can give the other sessions a definite try. 

Many users who have experienced therapy through the unconventional live chatting have also felt that the feature brings more convenience.

  • The platform has an online journaling feature that will prompt you often to write in it. If you prefer a pen and paper to a smart device, you can always choose to write in a physical journal when you are being prompted.
  • In this therapy journal, you can also jot down the goals that you want to achieve through your therapy sessions. These goals need to be realistic and achievable and must also be communicated to your therapist for maximum efficacy.
  • The unlimited messaging feature can be used for more than just communication. You can use this feature for healthy venting and expression and even notes to remind you of talking points for your live therapy sessions.

Tips for using Teladoc

Teladoc is definitely very easy to use and has a simple layout. Some tips to help users maneuver through the nuances of the platform have been listed as follows.

  • Most of the consultations and treatment sessions will be in the video format. Make sure that your devices are working properly beforehand so that you are not interrupted by any technological glitches. If you are seeking therapy regularly from Teladoc, you can even invest in a high speed internet connection to make your experience better.
  • While in a video session, ensure that your selfie view is turned off. In doing so, you will be able to focus more on what your doctor or provider is saying rather than being worried about the way you look.
  • Try to find a quiet and comfortable space for your consultation. This can be a corner of your living room or even your bedroom. If you are worried about the presentation, you can always choose a phone session with your doctor.

Personal experiences in BetterHelp

Most users of BetterHelp have felt that the platform is simply superb in its therapy services. The BetterHelp app has a rating of 4.8 stars in Apple apps and a rating of 4.7 stars in Google Play store. Some experiences that users have had in this platform have been shared below.

  • A large percentage of BetterHelp users have felt that their mental health has significantly improved as a result of the therapy sessions on the platform. The therapy providers in BetterHelp have been known to be empathetic and knowledgeable of best practices.
  • The video conferencing features in BetterHelp have been noted to be of high quality and are devoid of technological glitches.
  • A few users have not liked the messaging feature that the platform provides, citing the fact that the therapist only responds once or twice a day. Users have also felt that some of the responses from the therapists are highly generic and non-specific in nature.

Personal experiences in Teladoc

Teladoc has been in the telehealth game for a long time now and has accumulated a large number of users so far. Some of the personal experiences that users have had in this platform have been explored below.

  • Most users have felt that they have been able to consult a medical professional in a very short span of time.
  • Many users have also felt that the affordability in Teladoc is very high, particularly as extensive insurance coverage is available.
  • Some users have experienced glitches and errors during the video sessions in Teladoc while others have had scheduling problems for their appointments.

Conclusion

BetterHelp and Teladoc are definitely two superb platforms for tele-health. However, these two platforms are specifically known for their unique sets of features catering to certain populations. BetterHelp offers only online therapy services, but in a variety of formats. Teladoc on the other hand, offers all types of health care services including therapy and psychiatry.

In BetterHelp, users can find therapy formats like live audio sessions, live video sessions and even live chats. In addition to these, the user can also send any number of messages to their therapists at any time. The platform also offers features like online journaling, digital worksheets and scheduling templates that can increase the effectiveness of therapy.

Teladoc is one of the pioneers of telehealth and allows users to easily access and consult medical professionals in a short span of time. Users in Teladoc can consult doctors for any type of non-emergency medical conditions like allergies, rashes, UTIs and even skin issues. The behavioral health services here include science-backed interventions like CBT, REBT and medications.

Frequently asked questions:

Is BetterHelp covered by insurance?

No, BetterHelp is not covered by insurance. However, reimbursements for therapy sessions on this platform may be available. For those who are finding it difficult to afford sessions in this platform, BetterHelp offers financial aid that can bring down the costs of therapy by up to 25 percent.

How long are BetterHelp sessions?

The therapy sessions in BetterHelp are for the duration of thirty minutes and can be extended up to an hour or so depending on the needs and requirements of the user. It also depends on the availability of the therapist with whom the user is consulting.

Can you video chat in BetterHelp?

Yes, you can schedule live video therapy sessions in BetterHelp. In addition, the live therapy sessions are available through audio and even chat. If the user is keen on using video, unlimited messages in video format can also be sent through BetterHelp.

Is BetterHelp HIPAA compliant?

Yes, BetterHelp is completely HIPAA compliant. This means that the privacy and identity of the user is well-protected in this platform. The security of the user is even more in BetterHelp as they can remain anonymous by using a nickname. There is also no need for the user to meet the therapist in person, therefore increasing the levels of safety.

What can be treated by Teladoc?

In Teladoc, several non-emergency medical conditions can be treated. Some of these are allergies, UTIs, flus, sinus infections and even sore throats. Furthermore, the platform has special services for back aches, nutrition and even chronic conditions like diabetes. Behavioral health is also offered in Teladoc and covers both therapy as well as psychiatry.

Can Teladoc write an ESA letter?

Yes, the doctors in Teladoc can write users an ESA or Emotional Support Animal letter. Through an ESA animal, many users can find relief from their anxiety and other stressors.

What are the benefits of Teladoc?

Teladoc provides a range of benefits or advantages. Some of these are:

  • Users do not need to leave the house to consult with medical professionals. All the consultations can be conducted from the comfort of their homes through video conferencing or phone sessions.
  • The services in the platform can be covered by insurance and therefore the user may have to pay as little as $0 for general medical consultations.
  • There are a variety of medical care services in this platform apart from primary care. These include behavioral health services, nutritionist consultations, back and neck care packages and even dermatologist consultations.

Can I get birth control through Teladoc?

Yes, you can get birth control through Teladoc. However, it depends on several factors like the region that the user is residing in, local laws governing it and whether a physical examination is required according to state laws.

How long do you have to wait for Teladoc?

Once you have signed up for the services in Teladoc, you will be able to meet a doctor within 10 minutes. The platform ensures that the waiting time for doctor consultations is very short and thus is preferred by millions for their medical needs and requirements today.

If you like this article, please post your comments and questions in the space below.

Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BetterHelp
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/betterhelp
https://pitchbook.com/profiles/company/101072-26
https://vator.tv/news/2019-03-27-how-betterhelp-is-trying-to-expand-access-to-mental-health-services
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teladoc_Health
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/teladoc
https://www.forbes.com/companies/teladoc-health/
https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/TDOC:US

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