Sesame Care Versus Talkspace: A Comparison of Online Therapy Providers Who Prescribe Medications

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on February 8, 2023
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If you’re considering getting online therapy, you might be wondering which provider is the right fit for you.

Not all providers may prescribe medication however, so in this blog post, we’ll compare two of the most popular online therapy platforms that provide a prescription medications service: Sesame Care and Talkspace.

Read on to learn more about what each provider has to offer so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Talkspace vs Sesame Care: Which One Is Right For You?

Talkspace Review – Online Mental Health Reviews
Sesame Care Review - Best Online Doctors

Overall, if you’re specifically looking to treat mental health conditions and you have insurance, Talkspace is the best choice for you.

However, if you have a medical problem, are paying out of pocket or concern that falls outside of the scope of mental health, Sesame Care may be a better option. For example, Sesame offers urgent care and MRI scheduling services.

There is also a grey area between the two services if you are specifically looking for one-off mental health advice.

Product Features Overall Price Buy Now
Talkspace Review

Talkspace Review – Best One-Stop Online Therapy For Couples, Adults, Teens, Prescription and Insurance

  • Third Party Reviews
    (3.5)
  • Quality
    (4.3)
  • Cost
    (4.5)
  • Design
    (4.6)
(4.2)
$276-436 TalkspaceTalkspace PromoAssessment
Sesame Care Review

Sesame Care Review – Best for Quick Doctor Appointments and Prescriptions

  • Third Party Reviews
    (4.5)
  • Quality
    (4.25)
  • Cost
    (3.5)
  • Design
    (4.6)
(4.2)
$19-$250+ Sesame Care

Sesame Care vs. Talkspace: Major Differences

Sesame Care is a great choice if you’re looking for a more medical approach to online mental health.

  • With Sesame Care, you’ll have access to doctors at short notice at affordable prices.
  • Plus, one of the main benefits of Sesame Care is they provide a rating system for their doctor marketplace so that you can easily find the best doctor or specialist for your needs.
  • However, it’s important to note that Sesame Care does not accept insurance. 

Talkspace is a good choice if you’re specifically looking for mental health services.

  • With Talkspace, you’ll have access to a variety of mental health resources and tools.
  • Plus, if you have health insurance, Talkspace can help you file claims and get reimbursement for your talk therapy sessions. However, one downside of Talkspace is that they do not provide ratings for their therapists, so there is less information to make a decision.

Why you can trust our team’s online therapy reviews

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 the 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.

Subscriptions: Sesame Care vs Talkspace

Subscribing to either Sesame Care or Talkspace can be beneficial for individuals seeking therapy. As we’ve covered above, if you are struggling with anything more medical in nature from sexual health to a sore back, then Sesame Care is going to be your preferred choice.

In terms of mental health specifically, while both services offer subscription plans, they differ in a few ways.

  • Sesame Care allows individuals the choice between subscribing or buying a one-time session; whereas Talkspace offers exclusively subscription packages.
  • Additionally, Talkspace provides subscribers with convenient access to text conversations, video sessions, and supplementary course materials that are not offered by Sesame Care.

Ultimately, the comparison of subscriptions between these services comes down to what type of support an individual is looking for when receiving therapy services.

If you want a single session, go to Sesame Care. If you want someone for emotional support, Talkspace is going to be more appropriate.

Winner = Depends

Pricing: Talkspace versus Sesame Care

Comparing the two pricing models is difficult because Talkspace and Sesame Care provide similar, but ultimately different services.

  • Talkspace is for mental health, therapy, and counseling
  • Sesame Care includes some mental health but Sesame Care is primarily focused on physical and medical problems like headaches, body pain, blood testing, etc.

Mental Health Sessions Pricing

The one area these services have in common (in addition to prescriptions, see below) is mental health.

Sesame’s online therapy services are the more cost-effective option when it comes to one-time mental health consultations, with single-session video consultations starting as low as $19. This $19 price point is a great example of how Sesame Care is revolutionizing traditional healthcare.

Yet please know Sesame Care providers list their own prices so the $19 price is on the low end and can go higher. Pricing is based on what the doctors choose to charge.

Additionally, all of the providers listed on Sesame Care are doctors and not therapists.

This may be off-putting if you are looking for a therapeutic listening experience rather than getting advice from a medical professional when tackling your mental health issues.

Yet if you are just looking for quick advice since Sesame Care offers single sessions, you’re able to pay for what you need without having to commit to an ongoing series of visits or sessions.

Talkspace’s pricing model is a bit different, offering a plan for $99 per week that includes both texting therapy (with 5 guaranteed responses per week) and one live 30-minute session.

Talkspace pricing is set in stone, whereas Sesame Care is more variable.

However, given the $19 low price point for a Sesame Care mental health consultation, despite with a doctor and not a therapist, we believe Sesame Care provides the more affordable option.

Winner = Sesame Care

Sesame Care payment options

Does not offer insurance (see more info below). You can use VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover to pay for things on Sesame. You can easily message Sesame Care’s customer support team for more info.

Talkspace payment options

Does offer insurance (see more info below). Customers can pay with major debit and credit cards, both domestic and international. You may also pay with a health savings account.

Talkspace also accepts CareCredit as a form of payment if Visa, MasterCard, or Amex is the processor.

Talkspace does not take payments through PayPal, checks, or ACH.

How much does Sesame Care cost?

Two options:

  1. Per visit – As low as $19 and as high as $250+
  2. Subscription – Save $20 on per-visit costs and cheaper prescription refills

Pay a direct, affordable price upfront

The main difference between Sesame Care and other online mental health providers is that Sesame Care allows for single sessions without any hidden fees.

This means you pay a direct, affordable price upfront.

How much does Talkspace cost?

There are 3 subscription plans for Talkspace therapy, with prices ranging from $276 to $436 per month. Your insurance may cover all or most of the costs.

Reviews 

  • Third-Party Reviews – Winner: Sesame Care
  • App Reviews – Winner: Talkspace
  • Reddit Reviews – Winner: Sesame Care

Third Party Reviews

Talkspace Third Party Reviews

talkspace trustpilot review
talkspace g2 review
bbb talkspace review

Sesame Care Third Party Reviews

sesame care bbb
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Sesame a B+ rating, with an average rating of 2.27 out of 5 stars from 15 reviews.
sesame care trustpilot
On Trustpilot Sesame Care has over 800 reviews, and more than 75% of them give Sesame 5 stars. On average, they get 4.3 stars.
sesame care facebook reviews
On Facebook, reviews are average with a 3.7 rating out of 5 from 173 reviews.

App Reviews

Talkspace App Reviews

talkspace apple app store
4.7 / 5 average rating from 14,300 reviews
4.4 / 5 average rating from 5,770 reviews

Sesame Care App Reviews

Sesame Care does not have an app and therefore no reviews.

Reddit Reviews

Sesame Care

There are only a few Reddit comments about Sesame Care

Talkspace Versus Sesame Care: Therapists & Doctors

Talkspace allows you to pick from three therapists, but the selection is made by an algorithm which may not be able to make personal connections.

On the other hand, Sesame Care provides a curated list of medical doctors who are available to pick from. Sesame Care also provides information such as client ratings and comments for each doctor on their platform.

Both services allow you to change therapists or doctors at any time if one is not working out.

Both services also rigorously screen their licensed therapists and doctors too.

Overall, while quality is approximately equal, Sesame Care provides more information and more choice selection in comparison to Talkspace.

Winner: Sesame Care

Communicating with your therapist and doctor

You should know however, Talkspace provides more messaging and communication options in comparison to Sesame Care.

Talkspace, for example, offers video mental health consultation, messaging and tools to track progress which you can share with your therapist.

Sesame Care has a limited messaging program and takes place mostly over video sessions only.

Winner: Talkspace

Select a time that works best for you

Another difference between the two services is that while

Talkspace typically requires an initial matching process before scheduling an appointment time that works best for you, Sesame offers the option of same-day appointments for an urgent care without having to first match with a health care provider– creating convenience for those who need fast access to help during emergencies or difficult times.

However, Talkspace overall is easy to find times available if you have a subscription.

Winner = Sesame Care

Search for a doctor, therapist, psychologist, or other mental health professionals

Talkspace online connects you to licensed mental health professionals such as counselors, therapists, and clinicians who are thoroughly vetted. Talkspace does not connect you to doctors.

On the other hand, Sesame Care primarily connects you to doctors and not therapists. Both can connect you to psychiatry services.

Winner = Tied

Insurance: Talkspace vs. Sesame Care

Talkspace is the ideal choice when it comes to mental health consultations with insurance coverage.

Unlike Sesame Care, which does not provide insurance coverage other than HSA’s and FSA’s, Talkspace has connections with many insurance companies.

Winner: Talkspace

Talkspace vs Sesame Care: Prescribe Medication?

Talkspace Psychiatry is paid for by the session. The first session to evaluate you costs $249.00, and each session after that costs $125.00. You can set up follow-up appointments with your psychiatrist directly after.

On Sesame Care, our team was able to easily find $150 pricing for a psychiatry consult.

Winner: Sesame Care

What Is Online Psychiatry?

Online psychiatry is the use of digital technologies and online communication to provide mental healthcare services remotely.

This type of service is becoming increasingly popular, as it provides convenience and access to resources that would otherwise be difficult to access.

Through video chat, text messages and other platforms, psychiatrists are able to provide counseling sessions, medication management, psychotherapy, crisis intervention and more without requiring patients to physically visit a clinic.

Patients may also find online psychiatry more cost-effective than in-person visits.

Can an Online Psychiatrist Prescribe Controlled Substances?

In most cases, an online psychiatrist cannot prescribe controlled substances, such as opioids or benzodiazepines.

In order to do so, the psychiatrist must be certified in the jurisdiction where the patient resides and have a valid Drug Enforcement Administration number.

Furthermore, even if all of these conditions are met, state laws may disallow controlled mental health medications from being prescribed online in certain states.

Can Talkspace prescribe Xanax?

On Talkspace, psychiatrists can’t give out controlled substances like Xanax or Valium.

Can Sesame Care prescribe Xanax?

No. Doctors on Sesame Care can give you a wide range of medicines to treat infections, allergies, and other health problems (such as blood pressure medication).

But doctors on Sesame Care won’t write prescriptions for drugs that are on the list of controlled substances.

Design: Sesame Care v Talkspace

Both Sesame Care and Talkspace offer user-friendly interfaces that are quick, meaningful, responsive and easy to navigate.

Both services also provide a glitch-free experience, allowing users of all ages to easily access the mental health care they need.

However, there is one small difference in terms of pricing:

Sesame Care lists its prices upfront, whereas with Talkspace you have to pay for a subscription before you can see the therapists.

For this reason, we give the edge slightly to Sesame Care in terms of design and user interface.

Winner: Sesame Care

Reputation, Questionable Info, Complaints

Talkspace is the subject of a data privacy lawsuit and has received numerous negative reviews that mention issues related to charges for the subscription.

Despite the negative reviews, Talkspace has a solid base of satisfied users. In fact, with over 20,000 reviews on the Google and Apple app stores, Talkspace overall enjoys an impressive 4.5 star rating.

Sesame Care, on the other hand, has fewer reviews which are generally more positive. For example, Sesame Care does not have the 20,000 reviews with 4.5 average rating that Talkspace has on the app stores.

But Sesame Care does have 4.3/5 from 700 reviews on Trustpilot, whereas Talkspace receives a much lower 1.2/5 from 150 reviews.

Our team is highly cognizant of Talkspace negative reviews, however, the 20,000 ratings on the app stores are significant as well.

Overall, our opinion is that they are equally rated.

Winner: Tied

What is going on with Talkspace?

Talkspace, the leading online therapy service provider, has been the subject of a class action lawsuit regarding its privacy practices.

The lawsuit claims that Talkspace allowed personal health information to become accessible to other entities and failed to provide patient records as requested by customers.

Talkspace denies these claims and is fighting back in court.

Signup Discount, Promo Codes, or Free Trial: Talkspace vs Sesame

  1. Talkspace: Get $100 off your first month with code SPACE
  2. Sesame Care: None

Winner: Talkspace

Therapists

Sesame Care

Talkspace

Qualified Professionals


Matching Process

Self Selection

Algorithm

Choice

Many Choices

3 Choices

Sign-Up Discount

None

$100 Off 1st Month

Prescription Medication

Refunds, Pausing, and Cancellations

One major difference between Talkspace and Sesame Care is their cancellation policies. With Sesame Care, users have the freedom to pause or cancel their subscription at any time without any additional obligations.

Sesame Care also offers many single sessions where you would only pay for that session.

On the other hand, Talkspace only offers subscriptions and has a more restrictive policy around refunds, pausing and cancellations.

Specifically, Talkspace allows pausing for 4-7 days and requires users to finish paying for the full subscription even on a paused account, which can be a source of dissatisfaction.

Winner: Sesame Care

Sesame Care versus Talkspace: Which Is Better?

Depends. Sesame Care is better if you want quick access to doctors or single-payment sessions.

However, Talkspace is clearly preferred over Sesame Care if you have insurance and want mental health support.

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