MDLive is a telemedicine platform that offers online therapy and psychiatry to individuals 10-years and older in all 50 US States and Puerto Rico. There are no monthly fees, subscriptions, or sign-up costs associated with MDLive and you pay per session. MDLive costs range from $108 – $248, depending on which service you choose, and they accept many major health insurance plans.
During our independent review of MDLive, the platform earned two unique star ratings, one for its online therapy services and one for its online psychiatry services. MDLive’s online therapy services earned 4.5 out of 5 stars and its online psychiatry services earned 4 out of 5 stars.
Pros & Cons of MDLive
MDLive offers a range of services for individuals ages 10-years and older. You can schedule an appointment within hours, choose your own provider(s), and select between phone or video sessions. However, MDLive will not treat children under the age of 10, there are no options for text-based therapy, and there are no discounts on bundling therapy and psychiatry together.
What is MDLive?
MDLive is a telemedicine platform that offers online psychiatry and therapy to people 10-years and older in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Appointments are available by phone or live video call and are accessed through the company’s website or app. While MDLive does not offer text therapy, you can message your provider between appointments in the app. Out-of-pocket costs of mental health services with MDLive range from $108 – $248 and they do accept several health insurance plans.
MDLive’s psychiatry and therapy services allow you to browse a directory of licensed providers in your state. You will be able to filter your search by gender, specialty, language, and type of appointment (phone or video). Each provider has their own profile where they describe their treatment approach and provide their scheduling options. This allows you to schedule an appointment that works for you, with some providers having evening and weekend appointments available.
Therapy sessions are approximately 45 to 60 minutes long and during your first appointment, you and your provider will discuss how often sessions will be held and your treatment plan and goals. For those seeking psychiatry, your initial evaluation typically takes 30 minutes and all follow-up appointments are approximately 15-minutes long. During your initial evaluation, your psychiatric provider will ask you questions about your current mental health concerns, psychiatric history, and determine whether medication is right for you. You and your provider will discuss how often follow-up visits will be held.
MDLive psychiatry offers medications for a range of mental health conditions, including medication for depression, medication for anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They do not offer prescriptions for controlled medications and do not prescribe anxiolytics, stimulants, sleeping medicines, or detox medications. If your provider decides to prescribe you medication, your medication will be sent to your local pharmacy where you can pick it up.
Urgent Care, Primary Care, & Dermatology
MDLive’s urgent care program offers appointments 24/7 and can be booked in as little as 15 minutes. They treat more than 80 non-emergency medical conditions, such as cold and flu, sinus problems, UTIs, and pink eye. The cost of urgent care is as little as $0 depending on insurance coverage.
Their primary care program offers appointments for select insurance plans. They provide wellness screenings and routine care for non-urgent medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and asthma. The cost of primary care is as little as $0 depending on insurance coverage.
MDLive’s dermatology program offers a diagnosis and treatment plan in as little as 24 hours. They treat skin, hair, and nail conditions, such as acne, eczema, and dermatitis. The cost of dermatology visits varies depending on insurance coverage.
Who Is MDLive Right For?
MDLive would be a great fit for those looking for flexible scheduling and for those wanting short wait times to treatment.
One feature of MDLive that separates it from many other online therapy platforms, like Talkspace and BetterHelp, is that you do not have to pay a monthly subscription. These platforms charge a monthly subscription that gives you a set number of live therapy sessions each month. If you want more sessions, you will have to purchase additional ones or have to wait for the next month. If you want fewer sessions, you will still have to pay the same monthly fee. MDLive gives you the flexibility to choose how many sessions you would like by paying a standard price ($108) for each one.
To learn more about how subscription-based therapy works, please read our in-depth Talkspace review or our BetterHelp review.
Short Waits For Treatment
With MDLive is that you can sign up and schedule an appointment right away. Some providers offer same-day, next-day, evening, and weekend appointments. You do not have to wait weeks or months to get an appointment like you typically do when seeking in-person treatment. If you would like to see a therapist or psychiatrist without a lengthy wait, MDLive can help you.
Who Might Want an Alternative to MDLive?
While MDLive is a good choice for some, it will not be the right fit for everyone. Those seeking controlled medication, are experiencing severe mental health symptoms or crisis, or people who prefer text-based therapy will need to seek out an alternative.
You Require Controlled Medications
MDLive providers do not prescribe controlled medications of any kind. If you are seeking benzodiazepines for anxiety, stimulants for ADHD, detox medications, medicinal marijuana, sleeping medicines, or any medications with a potential for abuse, you will need to seek out an alternative. You may want to consider Amwell, which can coordinate care and prescribing of controlled medications with your primary care provider. If you have ADHD, anxiety, or sleep disorders, you can still seek treatment with MDLive, but you will be prescribed an alternative to controlled medications.
To learn about how Amwell can coordinate care with your in-person primary care provider, please read our in-depth review of Amwell.
Those With Severe Mental Health Symptoms or Mental Health Crisis
MDLive is unable to treat anyone who with severe mental health symptoms or is experiencing an active mental health crisis. Those with psychotic disorders, moderate to severe autism spectrum disorder, and people in active detox from substance use disorders are encouraged to seek in-person care. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis, you should contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. If your mental health condition is stopping you from completing day-to-day activities, then you should review an online therapist directory to find an in-person provider.
If you are seeking an online platform to help you with suicidal ideation management, Brightside Health may also be a good alternative. They offer now offer a crisis care program that is available in select states with health insurance. To learn more about this program, you can read our comprehensive Brightside Health Review.
You Prefer Text-Based Therapy
MDLive does not offer text-based therapy sessions – all therapy sessions are held either over the phone or through live video calls. If you have a question or concern between appointments, you can send messages to your provider through the company’s website or app but it is not therapy. The messaging is only for scheduling purposes or non-emergency concerns, like questions about medication refills. If you are looking for text-based therapy, then you will want to seek out a platform like Calmerry or Online-Therapy.com.
You can learn all about text-based therapy by reading our in-depth Calmerry review or our Online-Therapy review.
MDLive User Reviews
MDLive has a 4.7-star rating from 71,000+ reviews in the Apple App Store and a 4.6-star rating from 10,300+ reviews in the Google Play Store. Reviewers appreciated having access to a large network of providers and the ability to schedule appointments without having little to no wait. Some people did report experiencing technical issues that interfered with their ability to use the website and app properly.
Large Directory of Providers is Helpful
Many reviewers noted that MDLive has a large number of providers in their state to choose from. Each provider has their own profile where you can see what conditions they treat and their areas of specialty, plus the profiles give you a sense of what their personality is like. This can be helpful for people who want to get a sense of what the provider is like before meeting with them. If you are unhappy with the provider, you can simply choose to schedule your next appointment with a different one.
Fast Appointment Scheduling
Many reviewers appreciated how quickly they could schedule appointments for therapy and medication management. Depending on the provider, you could schedule an appointment in as little as 24 hours. When I accessed the directory, I saw appointments available with a psychiatrist the next day. In most cases, if you choose to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist or therapist face-to-face you may have to wait weeks or months to get an appointment! MDLive makes it convenient and easy to access services without a lengthy wait time.
Technical Difficulties With The App
The most common negative review centered around technical difficulties with the app, like poor connection during video visits and audio problems. Fortunately, you do have the option to opt for a phone session if technical issues are too much of a problem.
How Much Does MDLive Cost?
MDLive costs $108 – $248 per live session depending on if you want a therapy session or a psychiatry appointment. If you have health insurance, your costs may be less depending on your coverage. MDLive verifies your insurance benefits for you and advises you of your costs before you schedule your appointment.
Out of pocket costs are:
- Therapy: $108 per 45 – 60 minute live session either through phone or video call. You will be able to select your own therapist.
- Psychiatry: $248 for an initial 30-minute session and $108 for a 15-minute follow-up session. Just like with the therapy offering, you will be able to select your own provider.
It is important to note that if you miss your scheduled appointment or cancel less than 24 hours before the scheduled time, you will be charged the full appointment fee.
Does MDLive Accept Insurance?
Yes, MDLive is in-network with most major health insurance companies and will verify your insurance information prior to you attending your first session. MDLive accepts many different insurance plans for mental health like Cigna, Humana, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield. During the sign up process, you will be prompted to input your insurance information. If your plan is not currently in-network, you may want to check back in the future or you can read our detailed guide on the best online therapy options that take insurance. They are always expanding and adding more insurance companies to their network.
If your insurance is out-of-network, MDLive can submit a claim, called a superbill, on your behalf. Your insurance company may then reimburse you for some or all of the out-of-pocket costs you have incurred. You may also request a claim form and send it to your insurance company yourself if you wish. For any questions about the process or the amount that you are being billed, you should contact customer service at 888-632-2738 for assistance.
How to Attend Your First Appointment With MDLive
To attend your first appointment with MDLive, you will log on to the MDLive website and create and account. Once your account is set up, you will have the option to schedule an appointment and browse the directory of providers.
To attend a therapy session, follow the steps below:
- Create an account through the websites
- Add insurance information or select “I don’t have coverage”
- Select what type of provider you would like to see by choosing between a therapist, psychiatrist, or medical provider
- Fill in your reasons for visit, health profile, and pharmacy information
- Select a provider after you read their profile
- Schedule and pay for your first appointment
- If you select a phone appointment, your provider will call you on the scheduled day and time.
- If you select a video session, simply log onto the website or into the app at your appointment time and join the video session.
MDLive Therapy: Detailed Review
MDLive gives you access to evidence-based therapy with licensed therapists in all US states and in Puerto Rico. You have the opportunity to choose your own therapist from a large online directory of providers in your area. Therapy with MDLive costs $108 per session out-of-pocket and they do accept select insurance plans. With no monthly subscriptions, you can purchase as many sessions as you would like.
What Is Therapy Like With MDLive?
Scheduling an appointment and meeting with a therapist on MDLive can take as little as a day. When you sign up, you will be able to browse through their therapist directory and choose one that meets your needs. You can view their profile, see their schedule, and select an appointment day and time that works for you. Some therapists even offer evening and weekend appointments. The therapist directory is easy to navigate, especially if you need an appointment on a specific day or at a specific time.
Therapy sessions with MDLive are between 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the provider, and are held through video calls on the company’s website or app. There is no set session frequency. You may opt to meet with your therapist regularly, such as once a week, or you can choose to schedule sessions when you need them. Each therapist has their own approach, so you can work out a treatment plan with your therapist and decide together how frequently sessions should be held.
MDLive Psychiatry: Detailed Review
MDLive offers online psychiatry with licensed psychiatrists in all 50 US states and Puerto Rico. The cost of psychiatry with MDLive is $248 for an initial assessment and $108 for follow-up visits. Like all of MDLive’s services, there is no monthly subscription plan. You can purchase psychiatry appointments as often as needed.
Online psychiatry with MDLive is available for anyone in the United States 10-years and older. Many other online psychiatry platforms only treat adults over age 18, so this is a feature of MDLive that helps it stand out. Children and teens under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian sign them up for services. Psychiatry appointments are approximately 15 to 30 minutes and are held over the phone or via video through the company’s website or app. Psychiatric providers include psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. All providers have the necessary education and are licensed in the state(s) where they practice. You are able to view all of the providers in your state and read through their profiles before selecting one of your choosing.
MDLive users can communicate with providers in between appointments using the company’s secure messaging portal. This can be used to discuss appointment scheduling concerns, and answer questions about medications. When I used this feature I received a response back from my provider in less than 24 hours.
MDLive Vs Competitors
Online mental health care is growing, with more and more platforms offering virtual psychiatry and therapy. Platforms may differ in the type of conditions that they treat and cost. Teladoc and Amwell are two companies that are similar to MDLive, but differ slightly in cost and age range.
MDLive Vs Amwell
Amwell is an online telemedicine platform that offers on-demand healthcare, including psychiatry and therapy. Both Amwell and MDLive treat a range of mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. Unlike MDLive, which serves children over age 10, Amwell’s behavioral health services are only available to adults over age 18. The cost of psychiatry with Amwell is slightly higher ($279 for an initial evaluation and $109 for follow-up visits) than MDLive. The cost of therapy sessions varies depending on the type of provider but ranges from $109 to $129 per session. Like MDLive, Amwell also accepts health insurance.
To learn more about Amwell’s behavioral health services, please read our comprehensive Amwell review.
MDLive Vs Teladoc
Teladoc is an online healthcare service that also offers online psychiatry and therapy. Both Teladoc and MDLive treat a wide variety of mental health conditions and also offer primary care and dermatology services. They allow you to browse through a listing of providers and select one of your choosing. Teladoc’s mental health providers treat teens and adults ages 13 and older. The cost of Teladoc for psychiatry is slightly more than MDLive ($299 for an initial evaluation and $199 for follow-up visits) but costs less for therapy sessions ($99)
Teladoc is the parent company of BetterHelp, which currently offers subscription-based online therapy worldwide to individuals 18-years and older. To learn more about how subscription-based online therapy works, you can read more in our comprehensive review of BetterHelp.
How MDLive Has Evolved
MDLive was founded in 2009 and is currently a leading telemedicine platform. The company initially offered online and on-demand medical care, and then later expanded to also offer mental health services. MDLive’s network of behavioral health providers include board-certified psychiatrists and licensed therapists and counselors. On average, MDLive providers have 10 years of clinical experience, as well as additional training in telehealth. According to the company, one of the features that sets it apart from other online platforms is the ability to schedule an appointment in just a few days and the ability to reach a wide range of patients by offering evening and weekend appointments.
In 2021, MDLive was acquired by Cigna Evernorth.2 Since the acquisition, MDLive has continued to expand its services. The company plans on adding a chronic condition program to its virtual primary care services in 2023.3
Frequently Asked Questions About MDLive
What Credentials Do MDLive Providers Hold?
MDLive therapists hold master’s or doctorate degrees and are licensed in the state where they practice. All providers must have the necessary education and experience to practice. According to MDLive, their providers have an average of 10 years of experience in the field.
How Do I Choose a Provider?
With MDLive, you can select your own therapist, rather than being matched with one like on online therapy platforms. When you sign up, you will have to provide information about your location and indicate whether you are more comfortable with a male or female provider or have no preference. You will be taken to the therapist directory where you can view each provider’s available appointments and read through their profile. You can then schedule your appointment directly with the provider of your choosing.
Can I Change Providers?
Yes, you can choose a new provider anytime by simply select someone new to see during the scheduling process.
Who is Eligible for Medication?
MDLive can prescribe medications to anyone 10-years and older. Exactly which medications can be prescribed to your child should be discussed with their provider.
What Medications are Available?
MDLive providers may prescribe a range of mental health medications for various conditions, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. MDLive does not provide controlled substances like benzodiazepines, stimulants for ADHD, medicinal marijuana, or medications for sleep or detox.
How Do I Get My Medication?
If your provider feels that you could benefit from medication, they will write you a prescription and send the medication to your pharmacy of choice. MDLive does not ship medication directly to you and you will pay an out-of-pocket cost or whatever your insurance co-pay is for medication.
Can I use my FSA or HSA Funds?
Yes, you can use FSA or HSA funds for therapy to pay for out-of-pocket costs with MDLive. You simply add your HSA or FSA card as your form of payment when you sign up for an account.
How Do I Cancel My MDLive Account?
MDLive is not a subscription-based service and there is no need to cancel your account if you want to stop using the company’s services. You can simply stop scheduling appointments and remove your payment information. If you would like to suspend your login, you can contact customer service at 888-632-2738 for assistance.
Does MDLive Offer Refunds?
You can receive a full refund for your appointment if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. To request a refund, speak with a Health Service Specialist by calling their customer service line at 888-632-2738.
Is MDLive HIPAA Compliant?
Final Verdict on MDLive
MDLive is a leading telemedicine platform available in all US states and Puerto Rico. They offer psychiatry and therapy as well as primary care, urgent care, and dermatology. The benefits of this platform include fast scheduling, the ability to view a large directory of providers and select your own, and affordable fees. If you would like to meet with a therapist or psychiatrist by phone or video, then MDLive is worth a try. The costs are generally less than traditional face-to-face treatment and allow you to see a provider much more quickly at your own convenience.
In my experience, the platform was easy to navigate and I appreciated the large number of providers to choose from. I was also able to find appointments within a few days. Overall, I felt the platform was worth the money because of the ease of scheduling and the ability to choose from a large network of licensed providers.
Summary Table of What MDLive Offers
|Cost of Online Therapy||$0 - $108|
|Cost of Online Psychiatry||$0 - $248|
|Frequency of Appointments||Varies|
|Messaging with Provider Between Appointments||Yes|
|Provider Choices||Self Select|
|Can You Change Providers?||Yes|
|Speed to First Appointment||1 - 3 days|
|Geographic Coverage||All 50 US States + Puerto Rico|
|Age Limitations for Therapy||10+|
|Age Limitations for Psychiatry||10+|