Brightside Health Review – Best Online Therapy Platform For Prescription Medication And Insurance Coverage

By Jared Levenson - Updated, Reviewed, and Fact-checked on February 16, 2023

We evaluate telehealth products for patients and providers. If you click a link below and make a purchase, we may receive an affiliate commission. Learn more.

You’re not the only one who has trouble with anxiety or depression. But do you get coverage from insurance for high quality therapy?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that an anxiety disorder affects 40 million American adults. In 2020, at least one major depressive episode happened to about 21 million adults in the U.S.

Sometimes, the hardest part is deciding to get help, especially if you’ve never done it before. There are now sites like Brightside Health that help with anxiety and depression through therapy, medicine, or both.

But is Brightside the right service for your mental health needs? Find out about subscriptions, services, prices, privacy, and more by reading our full review.

Please know at Online Mental Health Reviews:

  1. Our mission is to help you sort through the bevy of online mental health options so you clarify what’s best for you.
  2. Our team purchased 1 month of Brightside’s Therapy + Meditation subscription plan, met with providers, and secretly recorded our entire experience (keeping provider details anonymous).
  3. We’ve extensively researched Brightside and are here to give you both the good, the bad, and everything in between.

After thorough analysis, our Online Mental Health Reviews conclusion is that Brightside is an overall high-quality, effective online therapy service best for people who have insurance, and struggle with anxiety and depression.

How did we arrive at this conclusion? In this article, we’ll be breaking down our thought process:

We’ll walk you through our Brightside Health experience and answer common questions related to insurance, how to use Brightside, and other frequently asked questions – such as the comparison between Talkspace vs. Brightside. In addition, we’ll include third-party reviews, Reddit comments, science papers, tables, and much more!

It all starts when you signup for Brightside Health!

Key Brightside Health Review Takeaways

Brightside Strengths

  1. Brightside is available to 55 million Americans through health insurance, making Brightside one of the most accessible and affordable online therapy services.
  2. Brightside therapy and medication is quality – We had a straightforward, highly useful and impactful with a female psychiatrist. Our therapy conversation was enjoyable as well.
  3. Brightside gives a comprehensive questionnaire which made the reviewer feel more certain about the overall quality of the platform.

Please note: Our Brightside psychiatrist did not recommend medications. We were pleasantly surprised by this! Expecting medication to be pushed down our throats, we were appreciative when no medications were recommended.

Weaknesses of Brightside

  1. Brightside Health doesn’t have private Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
  2. Brightside Health has traditionally specialized in anxiety and depression with high rates of effectiveness. This has meant that other conditions, such as eating disorders or suicide were left unaddressed. While Brightside health has recently expanded their services, there isn’t as much known about these new services so we are primarly basing our conclusion off of Brightside’s proven history.

Who is Brightside For?

  • If you have health insurance, you likely qualify to receive Talkspace therapy services for free or reduced costs.
  • If you want to work with evidence-based therapies (not faith based)
  • Primary mental health areas of improvement are anxiety and depression

Who Is Brightside Not For?

  • If your insurance Brightside
  • If you are suicidal

Why Trust Our Online Mental Health Reviews

You want the best advice and help when you choose an online counseling service.

Our staff writes honest reviews of services to help you decide which one to use.

Our reviews of online therapy are honest because:

  • Online mental health care is what we do best.
  • We check out the services.
  • These reviews are written and edited by licensed professionals in mental health.
  • Views from the outside
  • Keeping an eye on research on mental health and internet therapy
  • Customer service emails are answered quickly and fully.
  • Taking more than 1,000 hours to look over Mental Health Services
  • Videotaping our journey
  • Openness about affiliations and biases
  • Comment ratings give users a voice and get incorporated into ratings

We hope that our reviews will make it easy for you to find the right mental health provider quickly.

Online Mental health Review Brightside Health Summary

Brightside is an overall high-quality, effective online therapy service best for people who have insurance, and struggle with anxiety and depression.

Brightside Health Review - $95 - $349
  • Third-Party Reviews
  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Design


If you’re worried or depressed and need symptom-specific medicine, Brightside may be a useful online therapy option. If you have a plan with one of Brightside’s insurance partners, you may save money with Brightside.


  • Accepts insurance
  • Ability to use FSA/HSA accounts
  • Self-care videos included in all subscriptions
  • Data-driven technology helps providers prescribe effective medications
  • Available in every state
  • Less expensive than Talkspace psychiatry
  • Unlimited messaging with a psychiatrist available for all plans
  • Various packages tailored to treat depression and anxiety
  • Check-in quizzes to help monitor progress
  • Free self care lessons offered
  • Safe medication policies in place
  • App available for iOS devices
  • $50 off the Therapy & Medication plan during first month


  • Option to switch therapists is slow
  • Offers video therapy only; no audio-only or live chat sessions
  • No app available for Android devices
  • May lack the more personal touch of in-person care
  • Not suitable for everyone
  • No way to pick your own therapist or browse bios
  • No same day appointments
  • Responses from customer service can take over 24 hrs
  • Minimalist portal can make it difficult to access certain features of the site
  • More affordable with health insurance but only Aetna and Cigna, few others only accepted
  • Focuses on anxiety and depression – if you have another condition, look elsewhere
  • Customer service takes several days to respond emails
  • Only available to individuals over 18

After giving you our general impressions of Brightside, we’ll go into more detail in the remaining sections of this article regarding how we came to these conclusions.

As you read on, we’ll start by answering fundamental inquiries concerning Brightside before delving further into related subjects.


If you have any questions, would like us to cover a certain aspect of Brightside in more detail, or have used Brightside, please leave a comment.

What is Brightside Health?

Brightside Health, or just Brightside, is an online therapy and medication management program for adults (18 and up) who are depressed or anxious. 

It puts a lot of emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which meta research1 has shown that even online CBT therapy can help people with depression and anxiety.

Brightside also helps people with other anxiety and depression-related mental health problems, such as generalized anxiety disorder and depression after giving birth.

It made our list of the best online therapy platforms because it has its technology for prescribing medicine to help manage mental health conditions – and because Brightside Health covers 55 million Americans2 through their health insurance partnerships.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Brightside, including the insurance plans, medications, and what to expect with each plan.

How Brightside Works

  1. Brightside Health’s online evaluation asks about your symptoms, family history, mental health therapy, and physical health before starting. Their evaluation is more comprehensive than Talkspace and gave our team the impression they were screening for more criteria. Additionally, their review asked about pronouns and other terms, indicating they LGBTQ+ friendly.
  2. Next, Brightside Health automatically matches you with physicians based on area and schedule. Providers are licensed and trained in depression and anxiety.
  3. Then, Brightside connects you to a state-licensed doctor for prescription management. They can give antidepressants and anxiety meds, but not controlled drugs. Brightside ships medications for $15 each.
  4. If your plan includes therapy, you can see your therapist weekly and buy additional sessions for $59 each. CBT and DBT are used by all Brightside Health practitioners. These anxiety and depression remedies are well-researched.
  5. Lastly, all Brightside Health monthly subscription options include their self-care program. Log in to their website to access this program.

We found signing up to Brightside to be easy, intuitive and comprehensive.

Brightside Key Points Table

Frequently Asked Question



$95 to $349

Take Insurance?

Yes but only a few insurance providers are accepted

Types of Therapy

Individual therapy based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Provides Education and Tools

Included With every plan

Communication Options

Live video, messaging

Prescriptions Available


Unique Features

Track your results
Treat anxiety and depression
Great intake questionnaires
Simple effective design

Why Brightside Founded

Brightside, founded in 2017 by Brad Kittredge, Mimi Winsberg, MD, and Jeremy Barth, provides online psychiatry and talk therapy to guarantee everyone has access to mental health care.

After learning that his father, like so many others, struggled to get depression treatment, Kittredge started the company to provide the kind of care he hoped his father had been able to receive.

Third-Party Reviews 

Patients have provided Brightside Health with a wide range of ratings and comments.

  • 4.5 stars out of 5, based on over 2,700 reviews on
  • 1.6 stars out of a possible 5 on Trustpilot, based on 27 ratings.
  • 1.31 out of 5 stars from sixteen different customers Better Business Bureau

The comments on Brightside Health’s Reddit page are almost exclusively positive.

The majority of patients appear to be pleased with their experiences at Brightside Health, citing the facility’s user-friendliness and the assistance they received from support staff as the primary reasons for their satisfaction.

On the other hand, there are a few reviews that are critical.

Brightside Reddit Reviews

Brightside App Reviews

4.7 / 5 on Apple App Store

Overall, with few negative Reddit reviews and tons of positive reviews on various sources, Brightside is favorably perceived by third-party reviews. However, there are some negative reviews on Trustpilot.

Third party reviews = 4.5/5

What mental health does Brightside help with?

Brightside Health is a virtual therapy platform that helps people with anxiety and depression get care that is based on scientific evidence.

It has a team of therapists trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and virtual lesson plans that focus on mental health.

It is proud of going above and beyond our culture’s current practice of impersonal treatments that don’t use evidence-based approaches and don’t measure clinical outcomes.

What types of therapy does Brightside provide?

Brightside focuses primarily on depression, but also monitors and treats users for anxiety, and offers a three-pronged approach: 

  • Medication 
  • Talk therapy 
  • Self-care 

All three plans feature 12 self-care modules that customers can study online alongside their therapy sessions.

Each self-care session includes a lecture and questions based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps people identify and change negative patterns and behaviors that affect their mental and emotional health. These workshops help you change negative thoughts that cause melancholy and anxiety.

Licensed therapists with years of expertise lead all talk therapy sessions.

For these reasons, we believe Brightside is best for people who want to work on their anxiety or depression through effective therapy, medication or a combination of both.

How do I register for therapy at Brightside?

  1. Brightside begins with a free online quiz. It asks about your anxiety and depression symptoms and how they affect your life in less than a minute. The questionnaire and results require your name, ZIP code, and email.
  2. Brightside will give you an anxiety and sadness score based on your answers.
  3. After seeing your anxiety and depression levels, you can start medication, counseling, or both.
  4. After selecting your plan and clicking “Start Treatment,” Brightside will inquire about your medical history, including whether you’ve experienced seizures, schizophrenia, psychosis, or attempted suicide.
  5. Your payment information and appointment will be requested if Brightside can treat you based on your medical history.
  6. Brightside will ask you to undertake the initial assessment questionnaire every two weeks. Your anxiety and depression symptoms may improve, worsen, or stay the same over time. Your Brightside portal chart stores your results. This chart will also help your doctor evaluate your treatment plan.

Choosing a therapist at Brightside

Brightside Health will match you with a provider and schedule an appointment if you are a suitable fit. Brightside Health automatically matches you with physicians based on your area and schedule. Providers are licensed and trained in depression and anxiety.

Therapist Switching Process

You can transfer therapists at any time, but it’s complicated.

While looking for a straightforward way to switch therapists, the user portal seemed scant. You need to write a message to Brightside, which establishes a ticket, and they promise to respond within 24 hours.

Again, Brightside will choose your next therapist.

How fast do Brightside therapists respond

On weekdays, most Brightside providers will answer your message within 72 hours. Providers don’t check their email all the time or on the weekends. If you are having a mental health emergency, please call or text 988 right away for help. You can always send a message to your Brightside therapist.

How long are Brightside therapy sessions?

The therapy sessions are only 45 minutes long.

If you want more time or sessions with your therapist, you can pay $59 per session for more video appointments.

Overall, the therapist quality at Brightside is one of the best we’ve seen. They specifically focus on evidence-based treatments for anxiety and depression, and their intake questionnaires are the best we’ve seen.

Quality = 4.5/5

Is Brightside covered by insurance?

According to the Brightside Health website FAQ, and our investigative sign-up process (see video above), the 6 insurance providers that Brightside Health accepts are:

  1. Aetna
  2. Allegiance
  3. Anthem Blue Cross
  4. Cigna
  5. S & S Healthcare Strategies
  6. United Healthcare

Brightside Health says their health partnerships give insurance coverage to over 55 million Americans.

However, it’s important to note that each insurance plan is different and will cover different services. It’s best to contact your insurance company directly to find out what’s covered under your plan. 

While Brightside prices are higher in comparison to some other therapy services such as Calmerry, the insurance coverage at Brightside is unparralleled.

This is why we believe Brightside is best for people with insurance.

Insurance = 4.5 / 5

Pros of Coverage from Brightside Insurance

  • Brightside also accepts major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard, as well as HSA and FSA cards.
  • It also has payment plans that can be changed to fit each person’s needs.
  • Also, there are no contracts with Brightside, so you can stop being a member at any time without being charged extra or getting in trouble.

Brightside Health Insurance Coverage’s Downsides

Brightside probably has health insurance for 55 million Americans, which makes it hard for us to criticize their insurance.

But one “con,” we noticed is that they don’t offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), which tend to cover more costs.

Does Brightside accept HSA or FSA?

Brightside also takes payments from flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) (FSAs).

Brightside Medication Plan

Brightside Medication Plan is a support plan that costs $95 per month.

During our psychiatric call, our first session was 30 minutes (listen in the playlist above) and the Brightside psychiatrist did not recommend any meds:

  • 30-minute initial onboarding call
  • 3x 15-minute calls for the rest of the month
  • Message psychiatrist anytime
  • Delivery to your local pharmacy or your home

Can Brightside prescribe medication?

The Brightside medication plan begins with an intake assessment that collects more than 100 data points, including your family medical history, stressors, the main symptom you want to focus on, support systems, and whether you’ve been diagnosed with mental health conditions or taken medication before.

This information will help your doctor choose the right drugs. Your patient portal will then schedule an appointment.

  • Prescriptions are not guaranteed. Brightside prescribes only safe, effective, and suitable medications.
  • It suggests therapy before or alongside medication. If your doctor doesn’t prescribe medication, you may get a refund.
  • Brightside assesses each case.

Brightside’s patient medication selection method has proven promise though too. A January 2022 Cureus study indicated that Brightside patients had 50% greater response and remission rates than those receiving standard depression treatment from a large Midwestern health institution.

However, you should know Brightside funded the study and its employees coauthored the report.

Brightside Therapy + Medication

The combined therapy and medication plan is right for you if you need both therapy and medication.

This all-inclusive package has all of the features from both individual plans and, where possible, discounts on bundled services.

Both plans can be put together for $349 per month, which is a savings of $45. In addition to the benefits of the medication plan, you get unlimited messages and a weekly video session with a certified therapist who helps you navigate a customized program using evidence-based techniques.

We think that, in terms of price and quality, the therapy + medication plan is the best on the market. For example, both Talkspace accounts would cost $400+.

Does Brightside prescribe medications for ADHD?

Brightside providers do not treat or prescribe medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and they do not prescribe any mental health medications that are considered controlled substances, including Adderall, Ritalin, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, and Tramadol, as well as generic versions of most medications. 

Brightside Customer Service and Telephone Number

Email Brightside at or call (415) 360 – 3348.

Our experience with customer support via email was that they were responsive within 72 hours.

User Interface

Brightside is like Starbucks – they only serve one thing, but they do it very well.

The company wants to help people who are struggling with depression and anxiety, so it’s good for Brightside that they don’t help with other mental health issues.

Its prescription policy is conservative but appropriate, and its therapy sessions are short but effective. I felt like its system was a well-designed, well-oiled machine. Everything went smoothly overall, especially because Brightside doesn’t offer patients a multitude of choices.

Its platform is made with professional knowledge and careful attention to detail so that each user can get the same high-quality care. Brightside is a great place for people who want to find out more about online care for depression and anxiety.

However, Brightside lacks the ability to choose your own provider. Yet perhaps fewer options are better so we don’t ding Brightside too much here.

Overall, Brightside’s rules about treatment and medication set a standard for online care that is responsible and professional.

Design = 4 / 5

How Much Does Brightside Cost

Brightside offers three different plans for membership. All plans come with educational and self-tracking tools:

Plan for Drugs Only ($95)

  • With the medication-only plan, a psychiatric provider can do a full evaluation of you from a distance.
  • Your prescribed medicine will be sent right to your door, and your provider will keep an eye on you and help you out as needed.
  • The plan costs $95 a month, plus your co-pay at the pharmacy if your insurance covers prescriptions.
  • If you don’t have health insurance, each prescription will cost you $15.

Plan for Only Therapy ($299)

  • You can see a licensed therapist through the therapy-only plan.
  • You’ll be able to send as many messages as you want and have four 45 min video chats every month.
  • Your therapist will work with you to make a program that fits your needs and helps you take care of your mental health.
  • You can pay $59 each for more video appointments with your therapist.

Medicine + Treatment ($349)

  • The plan that includes both medication and therapy is called the “medication and therapy” plan.
  • It costs $349 a month, plus a co-payment at the pharmacy. If you don’t have health insurance, each prescription will cost you $15.

Brightside takes insurance, so check with your insurance company to see if you’re covered. At the end of the free assessment, you can find out if your insurance is accepted by Brightside.

While insurance is somewhat limited, if you pay out of pocket, Brightside pricing plans are competitive, especially if you combine the therapy and meds.

Pricing (out of pocket) = 4 / 5




Medication + Therapy


$95 / Month

$299 / Month

$345 / Month



4 x 30 mins

4 x 30 mins


FDA-approved medicine match with PrecisionRX

Unlimited Messaging




Online Learning & Tools

Any Signup Discount or Free Trial?

The Therapy Plan from Brightside costs $299 a month ($249 for the first month). It gives you four 30-minute video sessions and unlimited messaging with a licensed therapist.

Refunds, Pausing, and Cancellations

The FAQ section thoroughly explains Brightside’s treatment alternatives. The membership terms, including cancellation and refund policies, are clear, humane, and reassuring. If you wish to leave the program, talk to your therapist about why and make a plan. The platform assures users that their therapist won’t be insulted!

Plus, you may cancel at any time, and get refunds for any unused sessions.


You cannot pause or freeze your Brightside Health subscription, however, canceling and getting a refund is easy.

Brightside Promo Code

Unfortunately, Brightside does not have a promo code however, an automatic $50 discount is applied on your first month for their medication or therapy plans.

Brightside Privacy Policy

In the privacy notice, users’ data will be made anonymous but shared with researchers. Research collaborators can access protected health information for confidential data analysis. Brightside reassures tries to reassure users by saying researchers are held to a standard of confidentiality as well.

Yet data cannot be withheld from researchers. While this may be harmless, the inability to opt out of data sharing is troubling. As a mental health practitioner, I didn’t think my data would be used for research. Thus, the intake procedure should clearly state this practice. User data should also be opt-out.

Since then, the company has risen in online therapy. Its series B fundraising round raised nearly $50 million, up from $24 million in its series A round in 2021, demonstrating investor confidence in the business.

Is Brightside Legit

The combination of therapy and psychiatry is what makes Brightside stand out from other online mental health sites. Like Betterhelp, many mental health companies only offer therapy services. You’d have to find medicine somewhere else. Even companies like Talkspace that offer both therapy and psychiatry don’t sell them together. To use both, you’d have to sign up for two separate services or pay two separate bills.

Brightside is valuable because it has the Medication & Therapy Plan for people who need both but don’t want to get them from different companies or pay for them separately.

Who Should Use Brightside or Not

Brightside is made for people who have problems with anxiety and depression. It’s great for people who want structured, solution-focused support and don’t mind doing therapy-related homework on their own time.

People who want to take medicine but have trouble getting in touch with their psychiatrist will probably love this service because it lets them send and receive unlimited messages and keep track of their symptoms.

Who For

Who Not For

Brightside may be a suitable choice if you need internet counseling to treat multiple depression or anxiety symptoms.

  • Bipolar 2

  • Major Depressive Disorder

  • Phobias

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PSD)

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

  • Social Anxiety Disorder 

  • Panic Disorder

  • Insomnia

Brightside isn't for everyone because it's an online depression and anxiety counseling service, and cannot help under these situations:

  • Suicidal individuals

  • Self-harm

  • Psychiatric involuntary hospitalization

  • Schizophrenia

  • Alcoholism

  • High-risk eating disorder

  • Renal, liver, seizure, or extended QT

  • ADHD

Who Are The Competitors To Brightside Health?

Online therapy and medication providers are becoming increasingly popular as a way to access mental health services from the comfort of your own home.

With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which provider is best for you. Here are some of the best places to get therapy and medicine online in 2023:

  • BetterHelp: BetterHelp offers comprehensive online mental health treatment options with licensed therapists available around the clock.
  • Talkspace: Talkspace lets users connect with licensed therapists from their phones or computers. They offer different types of providers to meet all your needs for medications or therapy.
  • MDLive: MDLive provides virtual counseling services for both adults and children, offering psychiatry, psychology, and other mental health services.
  • LiveHealth Online: LiveHealth Online offers telehealth visits with board-certified physicians and psychiatrists who specialize in mental health care.
  • Teladoc Health: Teladoc Health offers virtual counseling sessions with licensed therapists and access to psychiatrists for medication management and prescription refills.
  • Amwell: Amwell is an online platform that provides access to psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors who specialize in treating anxiety and depression.
  • Open Path Collective: Through their network of licensed therapists who offer sliding scale fees based on income level, Open Path Collective offers affordable online therapy services.
  • Cerebral: Cerebral is an online platform that connects users with experienced therapists who specialize in treating anxiety and depression with evidence-based techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Brightside Health Review: The Verdict

Brightside could be a good choice for online therapy if you’re feeling anxious or depressed, especially if you’re looking for medication that fits your symptoms.

Additionally, Brightside may also be worth looking into if you have a plan with one of its insurance partners, which could lower your overall cost.

Should you go to Brightside? Yes. I would recommend it to people who want short-term therapy to help them deal with hard feelings or problems in their lives.

I’d recommend traditional, in-person therapy for people who need more intensive help, maybe because they’ve been through serious trauma or have psychiatric problems that have been around for a long time.

Finally, our team would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment with your questions or suggestions as to what mental health product, software, or app Online Mental Health Reviews should buy and review next. If you have a discount or coupon code, please be sure to share below as well so everyone can benefit!

If You’re In An Emergency

If you are in a crisis, it may not be safe to wait for an online therapy appointment. Now,iIf you need help right away, call 911. Plans to hurt yourself or others are part of this. You can call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 if you are thinking about hurting yourself. Help is available 24/7.

You can also call 800-662-HELP, which is the number for the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (4357). The SAMHSA line is a free, confidential service that helps people with mental or substance abuse disorders find treatment and get information about it 24/7, 365 days a year.

Additional Brightside Health Review Resouces from Online Mental Health Reviews

  1. Brightside Health Review – 55 Million Americans Insurance Coverage + Best Overall
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Brightside Health Customer Service
  3. Everything You Need to Know About Brightside Health Login
  4. Brightside Health Medication: What to Expect
  5. Brightside Health LLC’s Financial Status
  6. Brightside Health Location – Where Address?
  7. Different Plans and Costs of Brightside Health
  8. Brightside Health Insurance: Pros and Cons
  9. What Reddit Says About Brightside Health 


  1. Carlbring, P., Andersson, G., Cuijpers, P., Riper, H., & Hedman-Lagerlöf, E. (2017, December 7). Internet-based vs. face-to-face cognitive behavior therapy for psychiatric and somatic disorders: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 47(1), 1–18.
  2. Brightside Health. (n.d.). LinkedIn. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from

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