My Review of Sesame Care After Trying Their Doctor

We independently evaluate, document our experience, and compare the best online mental health apps, courses, and services. Learn about our process below. Our links may result in a commission.

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My Sesame Care Takeaways

  • Great if you’re looking for urgent care
  • Great if you’re looking for prescriptions
  • Best if you’re looking to connect with a doctor right away and you do not have insurance
  • Great if no insurance – only $31 for doctor visit
  • But if you’re looking for mental health care, look elsewhere

How did my team and I arrive to these conclusions? Time to dive into Online Mental Health Reviews #2 – Sesame Care.

sesame care

Why This Sesame Care Online Mental Health Review

The current state of the healthcare industry in the U.S. is deeply flawed. From figuring out an insurance plan to finding a doctor who’s both available and won’t break the bank, getting quality care can be a real challenge.

Fortunately, telemedicine has now provided Americans with access to an alternative option to traditional health insurance.

  • But can telemedicine provide adequate mental health care too?
  • And how does Sesame Care approach telemedicine in general, from prescriptions to doctor visits?
  • How much does Sesame Care charge, and under what circumstances may their service be most valuable?

As one of the first companies to recognize the viability of an alternative option to traditional healthcare, Sesame was quick to jump on board back in 2018 – offering people quality healthcare with few of the drawbacks that come with signing up for insurance plans.

What really sets Sesame apart is its direct-to-patient care system which maintains transparency for customers and allows them to know exactly what they are going to pay beforehand – much like you would for any ticket purchase online.

With all fees and times available upfront, patients are able to make fully informed decisions about their medical treatment without any hidden surprises or lack of appointment availability.

This review article will take you through how Sesame Care works, its pros and cons, and answer any frequently asked questions.

See the table below with our list of pros and cons, as well as links if you want to learn more about Sesame Care.

Please leave your review with your experiences using Sesame Care at the bottom of this article. Your comment and total rating will update in the table below.

Sesame Care - $19-$250+
Overall
3.9
  • Third Party Reviews
    (4.5)
  • Doctors
    (4.25)
  • No Insurance
    (0.5)
  • Pricing, If No Insurance
    (5)
  • Design
    (5)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

Overall, Sesame is a great choice specifically if you don’t have insurance, want to talk with a doctor quickly, or want prescriptions.

Pros

  • Provides online psychotherapy, marital therapy, and psychiatry
  • Qualifying prescriptions can be delivered for $5
  • Same-day appointments with some providers
  • Affordable, convenient medical appointments
  • Schedule virtual and in-person meetings
  • Same-day or next-day appointments available
  • Vetted providers have clean disciplinary records
  • No insurance needed for services
  • All visits have upfront pricing
  • Free shipping and affordable medicines
  • No membership or subscription charge to use services

Cons

  • Does not accept insurance
  • Limited provider availability in several states
  • Couples must attend sessions from the same place
  • Online payment only—no cash, checks, or money orders
  • Doctors set their rates meaning pricing can vary
  • Prescription choices are sometimes limited

Our team’s online therapy review process

When looking for a reliable online therapy service, you want to make sure that you’re getting the highest quality advice and assistance.

That’s why our team always strives to provide trusted reviews so you can make an informed decision when choosing a provider.

Here are reasons why you can trust our online therapy reviews:

  1. We compile and organize more information about online mental health services than any other website review
  2. We try the services ourselves
  3. Credentialed mental health professionals write and edit these review articles
  4. Reviews from third parties
  5. Keeping up to date on latest online therapy and mental health research
  6. Our customer support emails answer questions quickly and thoroughly
  7. Spending over 1,000 hours reviewing Mental Health Services
  8. Documenting our experience in video format
  9. Being transparent about affiliate relationships and biases
  10. Empowering users with comments below

By taking these steps, we hope that our reviews will help you find the right match for your mental health needs quickly and efficiently.

How Sesame Care Works

You can search healthcare providers by specialty like urgent care, cardiology, primary care, and mental health care.

There are also psychiatry consultations, and people can ask for refills on prescription drugs that treat mental health problems.

You simply choose what you’re looking for and then scan through the list of providers.

Third Party Reviews 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Sesame a B+ rating, with an average rating of 2.27 out of 5 stars from 15 reviews.

  • Many BBB Sesame ratings mention doctors’ tardiness, rudeness, and unresponsiveness
  • Other criticisms focus on Sesame’s medical treatment and customer service, including refund issues
  • Sesame has resolved 11/12 complaints in the past three years

On Trustpilot, there are more good reviews of Sesame Care. They have over 800 reviews, and more than 75% of them give Sesame 5 stars. On average, they get 4.3 stars.

  • Positive reviews talk about how fast, easy, and effective the service is.
  • Like BBB, negative reviews usually focus on how hard it is to get refunds and how bad customer service is.

On Facebook, reviews are average with a 3.7 rating out of 5 from 173 reviews. Like BBB and Trustpilot, customers have mixed experiences with Sesame Care.

Some customers who had a good experience found the service convenient, fast and effective, while others experienced issues such as long wait times or unhelpful customer service.

What does Sesame Care help with?

Sesame offers a wide range of specialties, and the number of providers who use the site is always growing. You can set up everything from regular checkups and dental work to psychological evaluations and MRIs.

Different doctors are good at different things and can treat a variety of conditions. If you can’t find the service you need in your area, you can talk to a representative online and they’ll make sure you get the help you need.

Sesame Care Services:

Sesame offers the following services:

Primary | Urgent Care | Dental Consults | Mental Health | Dermatology | Prescription

Sesame Care treats the following conditions:

  • Rashes
  • A sore in the ear
  • Throat pain
  • Toothache
  • Infection of the urinary tract (UTI)
  • Vaginal itching
  • Vomiting
  • Flu-symptoms
  • A skin itch
  • Migraines/Headache

  • Acne\sAnxiety
  • Back pain
  • Cough
  • Signs of COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Eczema
  • Fever

Sesame Care Does NOT Treat Some Medical Conditions

Sesame is not meant to replace your health insurance but is meant to be used in tandem.

  • Sesame Care cannot treat life-threatening ailments such as any emergencies, severe wounds, burns, animal bites, or accidental poisoning.
  • They also don’t administer narcotics like Adderall, Oxycontin, and other prescriptions for severe mental health disorders.
  • Sesame Care does not administer medications. Sesame doctors will mail your prescription to the nearest drugstore for you to pick up.
  • Sesame cannot substitute your therapist or psychiatrist for severe mental health conditions including addiction, eating disorders, or manic depression, which requires long-term in-person treatment.
  • Not suitable for ADD/ADHD diagnosis.

Best features of Sesame Care

Even though telehealth has been around for a while, Sesame’s way of giving care directly to patients is new. Here are a few reasons to use Sesame care:

  • All types of care are available 24/7: You can see a professional when you need to without waiting months. Sesame Care offers online appointments for mental health, skin, sexual, allergies, diabetes, and more.
  • No extra charges: You’ll pay your chosen provider’s listed price when you arrange your appointment. Sesame providers determine their own fees, and you will pay the rate they set for the service or care you want.
  • Board-certified doctors are rigorously screened: Sesame Care is committed to by providing top-notch care from top-notch doctors to everyone.
  • Visits on your time and at home: You can choose a time and date that works for your schedule and never leave home to obtain the attention you need. All appointments are done via video wherever you have the internet.
  • Your doctor can request lab testing, imaging, and medicines: Sesame collaborates with local and national imaging facilities and labs to provide prescriptions, lab, and imaging services at your convenience.
  • My personal experience was positive, although I thought the service was best for prescriptions and not mental health.

Who Founded Sesame Care Founded and Why

From the Sesame Care website and interviews online, David Goldhill and Michael Botta started Sesame Care in New York City in 2018. Goldhill said that his father’s sad death was caused by the flaws in the current healthcare system.

Goldhill and Botta came up with a simple idea: instead of using the traditional healthcare system, patients would talk to their doctors directly, cutting out expensive middlemen. Then, people who need help could find it quickly and without having to pay for things they didn’t need.

The company’s main office is now in New York, and it works with more than 10,000 medical facilities all over the United States. With Sesame Care, you don’t have to pay for a bunch of extra services you’ll never use. Instead, you can just pay for what you need.

Since 2018, the company has had one goal: “to make sure that all Americans who need it can get great care, no matter what kind of insurance they have.”

How do I register for medical services at Sesame Care?

  • Online therapy is available through Sesame’s “Types of care” menu.
  • The mental health page offers individual or couples therapy, virtual prescription refills, and video mental health consultations with psychiatric providers who can prescribe medicine.
  • If location is enabled, Sesame Care displays state-licensed providers. Some doctors work weekends and nights.
  • After selecting a service, providers and appointment times will appear.
  • Schedule.
  • First, enter contact and payment info.
  • Cancel an online appointment three hours before for a full refund. Three-hour cancellations cost full price.
  • Cancel same-day appointments within an hour to avoid full payment.

Choosing a doctor at Sesame Care

woman online therapy computer

The pros of choosing Sesame care for healthcare needs are plentiful. Doctors on the platform are board-certified in their area of specialty and can treat a variety of conditions, giving you access to quality care.

Additionally, these doctors are readily available, so scheduling an appointment is as easy as counting to three.

On the downside, Sesame may not have providers who are licensed to practice in all states.

For example, as of October 2022, there were no online psychiatrists available for patients living in Alaska.

Such lack of availability in certain states means that users may be left with fewer medical options than they would otherwise have if they were in different locations.

Is Sesame Care covered by insurance?

In a nutshell, no, Sesame Care does not accept insurance.

This is because they provide their patients with clear, upfront pricing that is typically lower than that of insurance plans.

However, if you have access to a flexible spending account, you can use that money to offset some of your outlays.

Can Sesame Care prescribe medication?

For those in need of prescription drugs, Sesame Care’s SesameRx program provides various medications for as little as $5, with free shipping.

For common ailments including infections, allergies, and other urgent care needs, Sesame doctors can prescribe a wide range of drugs. Drugs like narcotics and other restricted substances are beyond their scope of practice and so cannot be prescribed.

You need to see a psychiatrist or mental health professional for a consultation before you can get a prescription from them.

If your doctor thinks you need a prescription, SesameRx will send you an email or text message with a link to your shopping basket. Within three to five business days after payment, you should receive the medication.

Make sure your Sesame provider knows whether you’d rather take a brand-name drug than a generic one. If you need a brand-name medication, however, your Sesame provider will coordinate with the pharmacy of your choosing to fill the order.

Where you go for medication pricing will determine how much you pay. If your pharmacy does not offer prescription delivery, you may need to pick up your order at the store.

Sesame Care Customer Service

Sesame Care offers live chat, email, and phone support.

Its phone line is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET and weekends from 9 to 6. You can contact support@sesamecare.com or call 877-947-6411.

Sesame responded to our Saturday noon ET call to confirm brand-name medicine availability in three minutes. The representative was polite and informed.

I used live chat to contact Sesame Care customer care. A bot gave three generic SesameRx and prescription replies and asked if they answered our inquiry.

When I indicated these replies didn’t help, Sesame Care’s bot said there were no live chat agents, but we could email customer service. I did so and received a detailed answer in around four hours.

False Reviews, Questionable Info, Claims and Complaints

It appears the information in other reviews is accurate, and our team has not been able to identify any misleading claims.

However, the most common complaint is about the individual doctors on the platforms (not Sesame Care itself).

Yet there are some reviews that complain about not being able to get a refund.

How Much Does Sesame Care Cost

Appointments at Sesame Care can be made for two different prices. You can pay each provider per visit, or you can sign up for Sesame Plus for $10.99 per month or $99 per year.

With a Sesame Plus membership, you pay less for appointments and services each month. On the Sesame Care website, for example, a one-time video therapy session might cost $72, while a Sesame Plus member would pay $52 on top of the monthly membership fee for the same video therapy session.

However, Sesame Care lets each health care provider set their own prices, which depend on where you live and what kind of mental health care you need. When I looked for online therapy I found providers who would see me for as little as $35.

In the video I got treatment for $31 but that was only because of the 20% off first-time promo code.

Sesame Care Subscription

When you click on the time you want for your appointment, a pop-up window will tell you about Sesame Plus, a subscription that will save you money on all Sesame health care, including therapy and psychiatry.

  • Members of Sesame Plus save $20 on every telehealth or primary care visit and $30 on every dentist or specialist visit in person.
  • Members also get a free blood test or lab test once a year.
  • If you want to subscribe, you can pay $10.99 per month or $99 for the whole year.

How do I cancel my Sesame Care membership?

Sesame’s Terms of Service state:

Sesame’s cancellation policy simplifies booking, canceling, and rescheduling. Sesame will repay any visit canceled within these timeframes:

  • Virtual visits: cancel 3 hours prior.
  • In-person visits: cancel 24 hours prior.
  • Labs, imaging, and visits without a purchase date or time: cancel 10 days after purchase if Sesame confirms with the provider that the visit did not occur.
  • Memberships: You can cancel your Membership Services subscription up to 48 hours before the renewal processing date by emailing support@sesamecare.com or calling +1 (877) 947-6411.

Sesame Care Privacy Policy

By making a free Sesame Care account, which requires an email address and a password, you can save your information for future appointments.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, which is a federal law that limits the sharing of medical information, is followed by Sesame Care’s platforms and systems.

Sesame uses Stripe, a third-party payment platform that is also used by Amazon, Instacart, and Booking.com, to keep your payments safe.

Is Sesame Care Legit

Sesame Care is a reliable and secure healthcare company, having attained legal certification status through LegitScript.

Furthermore, they ensure the safety and trustworthiness of their platform by mandating that all healthcare professionals provide information pertaining to their educational background, licensing, and record of discipline to Sesame before joining the site.

Security also remains a priority at Sesame as measures such as HIPAA compliance and Stripe-enabled payments guarantee users access to safe services.

Who Should Use Sesame Care or Not

Sesame Care could be right for you if:

  • You want home-based access to a variety of care
  • See an expert without waiting months
  • You want cheaper health insurance or more affordable prices
  • Want clearer doctor fees
  • Can’t wait to see your primary care doctor to refill a prescription
  • Can’t wait for your regular dentist’s appointment
  • Want to arrange an appointment on your time
  • Travel often
  • Health insurance alternatives needed

Who should not

  • People who want therapy in person shouldn’t use online therapy.
  • Crisis
  • Anyone who is uncomfortable using or learning new technologies
  • People who have trouble paying attention may need focused attention in person to take in and listen to what the therapist has to say

More Frequently Asked Questions

Talkspace app store

Doctor switching process at Sesame Care

If a user schedules a one-time visit, they can switch providers the next time they schedule a visit if they did not like the first provider.

If they do schedule recurring appointments with a provider through Sesame, they can switch providers and schedule an appointment with a new provider at any time through the platform.

How does Sesame Care make money?

Sesame Care makes money directly from the consumers who use their services or pay for their SesameRX membership.

Sesame Care Promo Code

Receive 20% off your first mental health visit at Sesame Care with promo code: SESAME20

Sesame Care telephone number

You can contact support@sesamecare.com or call 877-947-6411.

What Prescriptions Can You Get at Sesame Rx?

  • Amlodipine
  • Escitalopram
  • Levothyroxine
  • Lisinopril
  • Losartan
  • Metformin
  • Prednisone
  • Sertraline
  • Sildenafil
  • Tadalafil
  • Valacyclovir

Does Sesame prescribe Adderall?

Sesame Care does not diagnose or prescribe Adderall.

How to tell if Sesame Care doctors are real?

Sesame only works with people who have been approved by a board.

As part of Sesame’s effort to make sure that patients can get the best care, doctors go through a strict screening process.

As a requirement for participation, they must show proof of licensure, education, and a clean record with the law.

Physicians offer a wide range of services and specialties, such as dermatology, dentistry, mental health, diabetes, and general care.

What kinds of payments are accepted at Sesame Care?

You will pay online when you book your appointment and payment is accepted from all major credit cards. Additionally, if your healthcare plan has an HSA (health savings account) or an HRA, you can use those funds to cover the expense.

Can I still send my bill to the company that pays for my health care?

Sending your Sesame Care receipt to your insurance company for a possible reimbursement is a good idea if your plan covers services outside of its network or if your deductible is high.

As a bonus, remember that you can use your health insurance to pay for any prescriptions you need filled and picked up at your local drugstore.

What about my savings account for health care (HSA)?

If you have an HSA or an FSA (flexible savings account), you can use those funds to pay for your care on the Sesame platform.

What Makes Sesame Care Different?

Sesame Care doesn’t take insurance, but it works directly with providers to keep prices low. For example, I ordered a doctor’s visit and met with the doctor the same day for $31 (after applying 20% discount code).

Sesame Care Reddit Reviews

Sesame Care App Reviews

No—it’s only available on your desktop. If you want to access Sesame Care on your phone, you can use your phone’s web browser and sign in to your account from there.

Sesame Care The Verdict

Based on my initial experience and what other reviewers have said, Sesame Care seems like a viable option for people who want more control over their medical care, including prescriptions.

The ability to choose your own provider and schedule virtual or in-person appointments is freeing, and the absence of insurance isn’t a problem thanks to Sesame’s upfront and affordable pricing.

However, those seeking mental health support seek elsewhere.

If You’re In An Emergency Do Not Call Sesame Care

If you are in a crisis, it may not be safe to wait for an online therapy appointment. If 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.

Sesame Care - $19-$250+
Overall
3.9
  • Third Party Reviews
    (4.5)
  • Doctors
    (4.25)
  • No Insurance
    (0.5)
  • Pricing, If No Insurance
    (5)
  • Design
    (5)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

Overall, Sesame is a great choice specifically if you don’t have insurance, want to talk with a doctor quickly, or want prescriptions.

Pros

  • Provides online psychotherapy, marital therapy, and psychiatry
  • Qualifying prescriptions can be delivered for $5
  • Same-day appointments with some providers
  • Affordable, convenient medical appointments
  • Schedule virtual and in-person meetings
  • Same-day or next-day appointments available
  • Vetted providers have clean disciplinary records
  • No insurance needed for services
  • All visits have upfront pricing
  • Free shipping and affordable medicines
  • No membership or subscription charge to use services

Cons

  • Does not accept insurance
  • Limited provider availability in several states
  • Couples must attend sessions from the same place
  • Online payment only—no cash, checks, or money orders
  • Doctors set their rates meaning pricing can vary
  • Prescription choices are sometimes limited

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