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Telemedicine

Can I Use Telemedicine Without Insurance?

Dr. Joe Pazona

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught has several things:

  1. We are a divided society with a lot of anger (can’t we all just get along y’all?).
  2. It IS possible to watch ALL of the good shows on Netflix, Prime, and Hulu. Suggestions anyone?
  3. Telemedicine is an effective, safe way to visit with your doctor remotely.

Of homes with internet access, 64% of Americans had a telemedicine visit in 2021. 82% of people felt that their telemedicine visit was just as good as an in-person visit. When asked why they enjoyed their telemedicine visit, our patients have reported:‍

  • Access to medical specialists/experts.
  • Shorter wait time for the doctor.
  • No travel.
  • Same day or same week appointments.
  • No time off of work..
  • Eliminate need for child or elder care.
  • Safety from COVID-19

Despite these benefits, one BIG question still remains about telemedicine services. How much is a telemedicine visit going to cost? You need to know answers to other cost questions including:

  • Can I use telemedicine If I don’t have insurance?
  • Are virtual visits cheaper?
  • What is the cheapest telemedicine without insurance?

 

Here at VirtuCare we believe in price transparency. Do you want to know the cost of a urology telemedicine visit without insurance? It’s $89. What’s the cost of telemedicine with insurance? It’s also $89. There are no hidden fees. No upcharges for prescriptions. No surprises.

So, can you use telemedicine without insurance? The short answer is “YES” with VirtuCare. In fact if you need help in the bedroom, the bathroom or anything else urological (UTIs, kidney stones, bladder/prostate problems, ED) then click here to schedule an appointment today.

Before we explore some other options for using telemedicine without insurance, let’s answer one big important question:

Why you SHOULD use telemedicine without insurance

The insurance industry has corrupted our healthcare system. There I said it. Please don’t forget that the primary purpose of insurance companies is to MAKE MONEY BY DENYING YOU CARE AND WITHHOLDING PAYMENTS TO YOUR DOCTORS. This is the ONLY way they make money. In fact, in 2020 insurance companies did exactly this to the tune of $31 billion in net profits. Let that sink in for a moment.

Don’t think for a second that they have your well-being anywhere on their priority list. Unfortunately, healthcare costs are astronomical. As a result, some degree of health insurance is necessary to cover some of our healthcare needs. I can’t imagine the out-of-pocket costs associated with a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

However, telemedicine has provided an opportunity to break free of the shackles of traditional healthcare delivery. Here are the top reasons you should consider using telemedicine without insurance.

1. Save Money

The administrative costs associated with billing insurance companies is ridiculous. Most medical practices have an army of staff who’s time is spent submitting insurance claims, calling insurance companies, and fighting denials of payment. By eliminating the middleman, we can run a leaner operation, and pass the cost savings on to you.

2. Price Transparency

No hidden fees. No “I’m sorry but you haven’t hit your deductible yet, so you owe us $1000.” The price you see is the price you pay.

3. Freedom of choice

You don’t have to ask your insurance company for permission to see a doctor. You can choose the doctor. Stop worrying about whether a doctor is “in-network”.

4. Easier access

You don’t have to waste time entering in insurance information. The doctor doesn’t have to waste time checking “benefits” (are they really benefits?). This means a quicker appointment time with fewer headaches along the way.

5. More time with your doctor

Have you ever wondered why your doctor is paying more attention to their computer than to you? It’s because of the mind-numbing volume of paperwork required by insurance in order to hopefully receive payment two months after your appointment. A telemedicine visit without insurance simplifies our documentation. As a result we can focus more on you.

 

Hopefully now you’re more open to considering telemedicine without insurance.

Which services provide telemedicine without insurance?

Primary care telemedicine without insurance

There has been an explosion of healthcare companies which have entered the telemedicine space since the start of the pandemic. A number of the larger well-known telemedicine services (e.g. Teladoc, Amwell, GoodRx) provide primary telemedicine visits without insurance. If you have a basic ailment that needs a quick answer, then these telemedicine services may be a convenient, inexpensive option.

Psychiatry telemedicine without insurance

You probably also won’t have much trouble identifying mental health specialists who provide telemedicine services without insurance. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists have been on the telemedicine train for many years. Many of their services are not covered by insurance companies anyway (because who needs mental health? That’s sarcastic. Insurance companies suck).

Otherwise, if you’re looking for expert, comprehensive care, then you may have a bit more difficulty finding a provider who offers direct telemedicine without insurance. On a Google search, you’ll find a number of traditional medical practices which offer telemedicine visits. Good luck sorting out if they provide telemedicine without insurance, and if so, what the cost will be.

You also need to make sure that the doctors are licensed to practice medicine in your state of residence. Although some of the laws were relaxed during the COVID-19 pandemic, most traditional medical practices will only see patients in the same state as the practice.

To help with the process we’ve done some of this research for you already. Check out the following telemedicine doctors without insurance:

 

Rheumatology telemedicine without insurance

Rheumatologists are experts in auto-immune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology evaluations can be quite complex and time consuming. As a result, rheumatologists are typically booked out several months and hard to find.

Enter Dr. Diana Girnita with Rheumatologist OnCall  to disrupt the industry. She’s an experienced, talented rheumatologist licensed in several states. She started Rheumatologist OnCall to provide direct telemedicine care without insurance. She spends time with her patients, is brilliant and thorough. And no, she didn’t pay me or VirtuCare to say this (in fact there is no financial relationship with any of these physicians/services).

Orthopedic telemedicine without insurance

An orthopedic surgeon is a joint and bone doctor (so are urologists, but we deal with a different “bone”). If you have a joint that hurts (e.g. neck, back, shoulder, wrist, hip, knee or ankle), then you might want an evaluation with an orthopedic surgeon. The team at Moonlight Ortho is exploring how to start this evaluation with telemedicine. Pretty innovative for a field that’s traditionally hands-on and surgery focused. The best part is that they offer telemedicine without insurance.

Urology telemedicine without insurance

A urologist is the human plumber. Specifically, we treat conditions of the male and female urinary tract along with conditions of the male genitalia. If you have trouble in the bedroom or the bathroom, then you should give a urologist a call.

Urologists treat a number of very common medical conditions including:

  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • BPH (trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate)
  • Prostate, kidney and bladder cancer
  • Overactive bladder
  • Female incontinence (bladder leakage)
  • Erectile dysfunction

 

Only 300 urologists a year are being trained per year in the U.S. Additionally urologists are retiring at an alarming rate because of the frustrations with our broken healthcare system in the U.S. As a result, there is a serious shortage of urologists, especially in rural areas.

I formed VirtuCare with a mission of providing easy, affordable access to urologists. VirtuCare offers telemedicine without insurance. In fact, we don’t accept any insurance. We’re trying to make healthcare easier, not harder (we’re only trying to make a certain male organ harder . . . if that’s what you’re looking for LOL).

If you’re interested in a visit, click here to start getting the help you deserve today.

 

What is the cost (value) of telemedicine without insurance?

We have to retrain ourselves when it comes to the cost of medical services. For years the mindset was, “is it covered by insurance?.” If the answer was “yes”, then we didn’t think twice about having that extra diagnostic test, choosing the name brand medication or undergoing an elective surgery. Unfortunately this lack of stewardship regarding medical expenses has led to a broken system. You may have thought that you weren’t “paying” for those medical services because your insurance flipped the bill. In actuality, we are all paying for the services, just many years later. Nothing is free. Especially in healthcare.

This is why insurance premiums, copays and deductibles are rising, while the number of coverable medical services is declining. Remember, insurance companies make money when they charge you more money, and deny more care. To break free from the chains of the insurance industry, you can instead choose to directly pay for medical services.

I’m sure you’d like to know the cost of telemedicine without insurance. However, I would challenge you instead, to calculate the VALUE of telemedicine without insurance.

Cost = what you pay for a service

Value = what you receive for a service

 

The average cost of a primary care telemedicine visit without insurance is $79. In many cases, these visits are problem focused. If you need help with a single medical issue, then you can expect a solid value for your money. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more comprehensive continuity of care, you should consider membership services.

The cost of ongoing telemedicine services without insurance vary greatly as well. KHealth is an app-based service that allows you unlimited texting with your doctor for only $19 a month. They might be a great choice if you want quick, easy and affordable. I’m not certain they will go really in depth and spend a lot of face-to-face time with you at this price point. If you’re relatively healthy and just need some prescriptions, then they may be a good option.

Parsley Health is focused on comprehensive “well care.” Kudos to the Parsley Health team for wanting people to be well. They are more expensive at $175 a month, however, you also receive great value with the following included in your membership:

  • An initial 60 minute in depth visit with your doctor.
  • An initial 45 minute visit with your health coach to provide guidance on daily habits.
  • 10 total visits a year.
  • Unlimited messaging with your doctor

 

At VirtuCare we feel that we provide great value at an affordable cost. A 15 minute visit with a urologist (don’t worry we won’t time the visit), costs $89. This includes any prescriptions or referrals to in-person colleagues. These visits are great to discuss a single urology issue. If you require a 2nd opinion or have multiple issues that require attention, then a 30 minute visit for $139 is probably a better option for you.

Since a number of urological conditions need long-term care (e.g. ED, recurrent UTIs, BPH, kidney stones), we also offer a $99 annual membership. Our membership gives you ongoing access to your urologist via a secure messaging platform. You’ll also receive discounted follow up visits at $59.

 

Conclusions

Healthcare should be about the doctor patient relationship. In an ideal world, we would all have affordable access to caring, competent physicians who spent time with us. Unfortunately, the U.S. healthcare system is far from ideal.

We believe that utilizing telemedicine without insurance, will be the spark that ignites a healthcare revolution where you, the patient, chooses and directly pays the doctor for their medical expertise. Let’s cut out the greedy middleman. Direct payment for direct care.

That sounds better. Don’t you think?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Joe Pazona

Dr. Joseph Pazona is the founder and President of VirtuCare, a telemedicine solution for connecting patients with physician experts. He can be reached at joe@myvirtucare.com.
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We’re here to help.

At VirtuCare, we believe that patients deserve direct access to the experts. There should be no gatekeeper standing between you and a healthcare specialist. VirtuCare puts you in control.

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