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Sesame Care Review: On-Demand Online Therapy
Sesame Care Review: On-Demand Medical & Mental Health Services
- Sesame offers virtual appointments with medical professionals, including mental health providers
- Patients can get $5 psychiatric medication from SesameRx prescribers
- Membership with Sesame Plus offers discounted provider visits
Sesame Care, also known as Sesame, provides access to medical professionals online and in-office. With a wide range of specialties, patients can easily book appointments for primary care, dermatology, mental health care, and more. Those seeking quick access to therapy sessions can use the platform to book a same-day appointment with a licensed therapist. In our review of the best online therapy platforms, Sesame was named the top choice for on-demand appointments. Additionally, patients can get psychiatric medication for as low as $5 through SesameRx prescribers, and Sesame Plus membership provides discounted provider visits.
- Sesame Care provides a range of online therapy services, including individual therapy, couples therapy, and psychiatry.
- Qualifying prescriptions can be filled for just $5 and delivered straight to your door.
- Some providers offer same-day appointments for quick access to care.
- Sesame Care does not accept insurance, which may make it less affordable for some patients.
- In certain states, there may be limited availability of providers.
- Couples may need to attend their sessions from the same location, which could be inconvenient for some.
How Sesame Care Works: Scheduling Therapy and Psychiatry Online
Sesame Care is a telemedicine platform that allows individuals to schedule online therapy and psychiatry sessions from the comfort of their own homes. If you’re interested in learning more about how Sesame Care works, keep reading.
Scheduling a Session on Sesame Care
To schedule an online therapy or psychiatry session on Sesame Care, you can do so as a new or existing patient by visiting the mental health care page. This page shows providers who offer individual and couples therapy online. Here’s how to book a session:
- Set your location and enter the type of care you’re looking for in the search bar.
- Browse providers’ profiles, costs, and availability.
- Choose from available providers and select an appointment time.
- Enter your contact information, the reason for the visit, and payment information to book your session.
It’s important to note that Sesame Care may not have providers who are licensed to practice in all states. For example, as of October 2022, there were no licensed online psychiatrists available for users who live in Alaska.
Individual and Couples Therapy
When searching for online therapy or couples therapy on Sesame Care, you will be presented with a list of providers to choose from. Depending on where you live and the availability of providers licensed in your state, you may be presented with a variety of mental health provider types to choose from, such as psychologists, licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), psychiatrists, primary care doctors, and family nurse practitioners.
Under the provider’s name and credentials, it will list the type of service they offer. For example, under the name of someone who is an LCSW, you may see “video postpartum therapy session.”
Unlike the couples therapy platform ReGain, Sesame does not offer three-way conferencing for sessions, according to Sesame customer support. Partners need to attend sessions from the same location and device during couples therapy sessions.
If you’re looking for online psychiatric care on Sesame Care, you will be presented with a list of available psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and family nurse practitioners to choose from. Family nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat patients with uncomplicated mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety. However, they may not be able to diagnose or treat patients with complicated mental illnesses, such as personality disorders, that fall outside of their scope of practice, according to an article published in 2019 in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners.
If your psychiatric provider prescribes medication during your online session, you can ask them to send your prescription to your pharmacy for pickup, or you can ask them to issue it through SesameRx, the platform’s prescription service. If you use the pharmacy pickup option, you’ll pay whatever price your pharmacy charges. If you use SesameRx, you will pay the price that Sesame charges, which depends on the medication.
SesameRx offers some medications for as little as $5 with free delivery, including the following:
- Amitriptyline (Endep)
- Bupropion SR (Wellbutrin SR)
- Bupropion XL (Wellbutrin XL)
- Buspirone (Buspar)
- Citalopram (Celexa)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Duloxetine DR (Cymbalta)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
To see what $5 medications Sesame offers, you can use its website to search by condition. Not all providers use SesameRx. Providers who offer prescriptions through SesameRx have a “$5 Meds” label on their profile.
Sesame offers a quick and easy way for users to access mental health care providers, with same-day appointments available if providers are open. If a provider does not show availability on their calendar, users can still select the provider and book an appointment. Once the checkout process is complete, Sesame will provide instructions on how to schedule the appointment. In the event that the provider cannot see the user within seven days, a refund will be issued.
According to Justin Gerstner, MD, psychiatrist, and chief medical officer at Ellie Mental Health in St. Paul, Minnesota, access to mental health treatment when needed is crucial. In 2020, the National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that only 48 percent of U.S. adults in non-metropolitan areas received treatment for mental illness. Dr. Gerstner also notes that online access to mental health treatment can be as simple as making an appointment in the middle of the day since patients do not have to spend extra time traveling to and from a clinic.
Once the appointment is scheduled, the provider will send a link to the virtual appointment room. Depending on the provider’s preferences, the session may take place on Sesame’s virtual platform or another secure video conferencing platform. Sesame does not disclose in advance which providers utilize its platform for virtual sessions.
Sesame allows users to cancel appointments without charge up to three hours before the scheduled appointment time. If an appointment is canceled within three hours of the scheduled time or if the user fails to show up, the full price will be charged. For same-day appointments, cancellations must be made within one hour of booking to receive a full refund.
Sesame Care Cost and Payment Options
Sesame offers telehealth services at varying costs based on the location of the user and the availability of licensed providers in their state. The cost of services may also vary depending on the expertise of the provider. For example, Sesame quoted $101 for a video psychiatry consultation with a nurse practitioner in New York City and $440 for a psychiatrist with a medical degree.
Insurance is not accepted by Sesame, however, they do accept payment via health savings account cards and flexible spending account cards. Users with out-of-network benefits in their insurance plans may submit Sesame invoices for reimbursement.
Sesame Plus is a membership option that offers discounted rates for telehealth visits, including online therapy and psychiatry. Members pay $20 less per session than non-members. The membership fee for Sesame Plus is $10.99 per month or $99 per year if paid up front.
Users may cancel their Sesame Plus membership at any time by contacting customer support via email at [email protected] or by phone at 877-947-6411.
Comparing Online Therapy Options: Sesame Care and Others
If you’re looking for online therapy or psychiatry, there are a variety of options available. Here’s a comparison of some popular services, including Sesame Care:
|Starting Cost for Therapy*||Starting Cost for Psychiatry*||Session Type||Medication Delivery Option||Accepts Insurance|
|Varies by provider||Varies by provider||Live video||Yes||No|
$299 per month
|$95 per month for medication-only plan;|
$349 per month for medication and therapy plan
|$108 per session||$284 for the initial visit;|
$108 per follow-up visit
|$240–$360 per month||–||Live video, audio, or text;|
|Varies by provider||Varies by provider||Live video||No|
Varies by provider
*Out-of-pocket cost without insurance
Sesame Care Reviews: What Users Are Saying
If you’re considering using Sesame Care for online therapy or psychiatry, you may be wondering what other users have experienced. Here’s a breakdown of what we found:
Sesame Care Ratings and Reviews
As of October 2022, Sesame had received mixed ratings and reviews from users on different platforms:
- Better Business Bureau (BBB): Sesame is not an accredited business and has a rating of B+, which isn’t determined by reviews. It received 2.14 out of 5 stars from 14 customer reviews.
- Trustpilot: Sesame is rated 4.2 out of 5, with 628 reviews.
Many positive reviews mentioned positive experiences with Sesame providers, an easy-to-use platform, and the convenience of online access to providers for on-demand medical visits. Some users reported clear audio and video through the platform, and others enjoyed the ability to reach out to Sesame to help cancel an appointment when needed.
Negative reviews mentioned no-show providers and difficulty communicating with providers regarding missing prescription details. Users who tried to cancel their memberships to Sesame Plus mentioned having difficulty reaching customer support in order to do so.
Why You Can Trust Us
We independently investigate and recommend products and services we believe will enrich the lives of our readers and meet their specific needs. You can read our full online therapy review methodology here. We’ve spent many hours carrying out in-depth research on the online therapy market. You can trust our review because we did the legwork for you in these specific ways:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Mystery shopped each of the brands
- Contacted brands’ customer service teams to ask questions and gauge responsiveness
- Consulted six leading psychologists and psychiatrists
- Became customers of online therapy providers ourselves
- Reviewed academic research about the efficacy of online therapy versus in-person therapy
- Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties, such as the BBB and Trustpilot
The Bottom Line: Is Sesame Care Worth It?
Sesame is a telehealth platform that offers convenient access to online therapy for individuals and couples, in addition to online psychiatry visits. The Sesame platform allows users to choose from providers who may have same-day availability, and the optional Sesame Plus membership discounts all appointments by $20. The transparent pricing and provider availability helps users understand exactly how much they’ll be charged and the soonest they can see a provider.
In Emergency Situations: What to Do
If you are in crisis, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. In case of an emergency, call 911. That includes plans to harm yourself or others. If you’re having suicidal thoughts, you can call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Help is available 24/7.
You can also reach out to the SAMHSA National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). The SAMHSA help line is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-days-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals facing mental health or substance abuse disorders.