Talkspace vs MDLIVE (Ultimate Review)

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Page last updated: 6/09/2022

In this post, we will be looking at the similarities and differences between Talkspace and MDLIVE. We will also be describing the best features of both these platforms and how they can help anyone who is seeking mental health care online. While Talkspace particularly aims at mental health care, MDLIVE is a general tele-health care platform.

Talkspace vs MDLIVE (Ultimate Review)
Talkspace vs MDLIVE (Ultimate Review)

This table will show you the main features of Talkspace and MDLIVE and how both these platforms can cater to the different needs of different individuals.

 Feature  Talkspace  MDLIVE
 Types of services  Therapy and Psychiatry All types of health care
 Pricing  Min 260 USD Min 82 USD
 Payment options   All major credit or debit cards, HSA, FSA All credit cards or debit cards,HSA, FSA
 Insurance   Available Available
 Age group  13 years and above Any age group

Talkspace

Pros

  • It can be accessed from anywhere
  • It offers various formats of therapy
  • It allows insurance coverage

Cons

  • It does not offer group therapy sessions
  • It requires an internet connection
  • It does not allow in-person sessions

MDLIVE

Pros

  • It offers all types of health care
  • It can be used by any age group
  • It is very affordable

Cons

  • There might be a waiting period
  • Therapist availability is limited
  • It cannot be used for emergencies

About Talkspace

Talkspace was launched in 2012 by Roni and Oren Frank as a platform for quick access to therapy and counseling. Talkspace came about as a product of the Franks’ personal experiences with the difficulties of finding a licensed therapist to work with for their relationship troubles. It started with group therapy and couples therapy and then grew into the platform we know today.

Talkspace vs MDLIVE (Ultimate Review)

Picture credit: Talkspace

Talkspace offers therapy services as well as psychiatry services at very affordable prices. Since it functions completely online, it can be accessed and used from anywhere and thus is extremely convenient. The therapy services and psychiatry services are both eligible for insurance coverage which can greatly reduce the costs of mental health care.

Talkspace provides a wide variety of plans and formats through which the therapy is conducted. Users have the option to choose from live chatting, live audio sessions and even live video sessions. Furthermore, the platform allows unlimited messaging as texts, audio messages and video messages, thereby bringing more comfort to the user.

Talkspace vs MDLIVE (Ultimate Review)

 

About MDLIVE

MDLIVE was founded in 2009 as a telehealth company with the aim of making general health care more accessible and cost-effective. This platform is not only useful for the users but also for the many medical professionals who offer their services through this platform. MDLIVE offers medical care as well as mental health care for its users.

Talkspace vs MDLIVE (Ultimate Review)

Picture credit: MDLIVE

MDLIVE also allows the patient to communicate with their doctors or therapists through different modes of communication such as phone sessions or video sessions. The platform can be accessed through a web browser or even through the MDLIVE app. Since the services are fully online, MDLIVE cannot be used for emergency cases.

For the purpose of mental health care, MDLIVE offers therapy services as well as psychiatry services and thus can be great for those who require both for the management of their mental health conditions. The platform also makes the process of mental health more flexible and convenient to suit the needs of the clients as well as the therapists.

Best features of Talkspace

Talkspace has a large collection of superb features which users have found very advantageous and beneficial for their mental health. Some of the great features of this platform, that set it apart from the others, have been explained briefly in the section below.

Talkspace is very cost-effective

In-person therapy or traditional therapy can definitely be very expensive. In fact, going regularly to therapy is often seen as a luxury. However, online therapy platforms like Talkspace are doing their bit to make therapy affordable for everyone. Talkspace is not only cost-effective but can be easily covered by insurance through providers like Cigna, Optum and Humana.

It offers many plans

There are a wide variety of plans in Talkspace that users can choose from according to their needs. If the user is only interested in messaging therapy, they can opt for the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan. For those who want live sessions in addition to messaging, they can choose the Premium plan and Ultimate plans of Talkspace.

 

It has therapy and psychiatry services

In Talkspace, the user can find therapy as well as psychiatry services. Medications and drugs are required for the treatment of mental health conditions such as severe depression and schizophrenia. Many other mental illnesses require a combination of both these services, for which Talkspace can be an excellent platform.

 

It offers couples therapy

Couples therapy is also offered in Talkspace to those who are seeking to strengthen their relationships with their partners. Couples therapy or family therapy is no longer only meant for those who are headed for divorce, but is increasingly sought out by any type of partners who want open communication and better trust between themselves.

Talkspace has teens therapy

Teens therapy is another feature that is offered by Talkspace. This feature is meant for those between the ages of 13 years and 18 years and will help them wade through the choppy waters of adolescence with better ease. Teens therapy is also essential as many mental health conditions show their initial signs during these age groups.

It also has a sleep program

Insomniacs or anyone who has trouble sleeping can find the sleep program in Talkspace very beneficial. Sleep might seem like a simple concept but is highly essential for one’s mental health as well as physical health. The sleep program in Talkspace goes on for a period of eight weeks during which the participants will learn various behavioral techniques to help them sleep better.

 

It allows unlimited messaging

All the plans in Talkspace have the feature of unlimited messaging. Through this feature, the user can send a limitless number of messages to their therapists who are guaranteed to respond at least twice during five days in a week. Another great thing about this feature is that users can choose to send text messages, audio messages or video messages as per their preferences.

It offers many other resources

There are plenty of other resources that are offered in Talkspace. The website of the platform is filled with useful articles, blogs and listicles which can provide education and information about mental health and mental illnesses. These resources have exceptionally been useful after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

It brings a great client-therapist fit

There is also a great client-therapist fit that is offered in Talkspace. This fit is highly essential for the effectiveness of the therapy itself as it affects the trust and the level of communication between the client and the therapist. This fit is ensured in Talkspace by the smart use of algorithms and artificial intelligence using the user’s data.

It provides more safety

Talkspace also brings a high level of safety to the users as well as the mental health professionals. Many individuals are still hesitant about getting therapy from a semi-stranger by spending an hour alone with them as they fear assaults or violence. The risks of these are nil in Talkspace as all the therapy sessions are conducted online.

Best features of MDLIVE

MDLIVE brings a plethora of advantages and benefits for its users. The best of these have been described as follows.

MDLIVE is easily cost-effective

The prices that MDLIVE offers for its services, especially mental health care services, are pretty cost-effective. This is particularly in comparison to in-person therapy or traditional therapy settings. The amazing thing about MDLIVE is that it has tied up with numerous insurance providers and thus insurance coverage is pretty easy.

 

There is therapy as well as psychiatry

In this platform, the users can experience therapy as well as psychiatry services. The best thing about having both these services in this platform is that the client does not have to put in great effort in seeking out a compatible mental health professional which in-person mental health care requires them to do.

There is a very short waiting time

There is also a very short waiting time while seeking medical care or mental health care in MDLIVE. The waiting time to consult a medical doctor can take maybe an hour or so, while the waiting time for a mental health professional may be a little more. This is still way lesser when compared to traditional mental health care where the waiting period can go on for months.

It can be used by any age group

MDLIVE is also applicable for any age group and thus can be used by everybody. However, those below the age of 18 years require the presence of a guardian or a parent. As an alternative, the parent and guardian can give consent for their children and then allow the session to be conducted after completing the intake questions.

It can be used for any type of medical issue

MDLIVE is first and foremost for all types of medical care. And thus, those who have mental health conditions can also use this platform for other medical and health concerns like flu or sinus infections. There is also a dermatology service provided in this platform. However, MDLIVE cannot be used for any emergency medical issues.

 

There are phone sessions and video

Patients or clients of MDLIVE can opt to have their medical consultations done by phone or video. This variety extends to the mental health care features of the platform and thus the user can decide the option based on their needs and preferences. This is important in the field of therapy as there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental health and mental illness.

Psychiatry is made easy

The process of getting medications and drugs for the treatment of mental health conditions is also made very easy through MDLIVE. The platform gets the information of pharmacies near the residence of the client through which the prescription can be delivered. The medication can also be delivered to the home of the client directly, thus bringing them more convenience.

Clients have more control

The clients in MDLIVE also enjoy more control and convenience related to their mental health care. When compared to many other mental health care platforms, MDLIVE allows the client to choose their mental health professional by offering them a directory. The clients thus have more control which means they show more ownership and accountability of their mental health.

 

Pricing of Talkspace

The cost of a Talkspace subscription can vary depending on the location of the user and also the length of the subscription that they are opting for. The average cost of Talkspace for a month can be from $260 to $396. The costs of this subscription can definitely be reduced through insurance coverage.

Talkspace also offers various plans that the user can choose from that can affect the pricing. The cheapest plan that Talkspace offers is the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus plan which allows only limited messaging between the user and their therapist. On the other hand, the Unlimited Messaging Therapy Ultimate plan offers live sessions and is therefore most expensive.

Pricing of MDLIVE

MDLIVE offers not only mental health care related services but provides overall medical care services as well. The therapy sessions in this platform can cost the user $108 per session each. The first psychiatry appointment costs $284 while follow-up appointments with the psychiatrist can cost $108 each.

For general health care consultations, the patient will have to pay $82 per visit while dermatology appointments can cost $95 per appointment. All the plans in MDLIVE are eligible for insurance coverage which can reduce the costs of the sessions or appointments by up to zero. However, this depends on the type of insurance the patient has opted for.

 

Signing up for Talkspace

For those who want to sign up for the services of Talkspace, they can do so by following the steps described as follows:

  • Go to the starting page of the Talkspace platform through a web browser or through the Talkspace app.
  • You can then provide your email address and a password for your Talkspace account.
  • You will next be asked for a nickname or a username through which you will be using the Talkspace services.
  • Next, the platform will provide you with a questionnaire asking you basic questions about your mental health and what you are seeking.
  • You will then be matched with a consulting therapist who will guide you in the steps to follow. This therapist will also be responsible for helping you get matched with a suitable therapist.

Signing up for MDLIVE

The MDLIVE platform assures new users that they will be able to complete their entire sign-up process in just 15 minutes. To enroll in this platform, the user can follow these steps:

  • Go to the MDLIVE website or the MDLIVE app on your smart device
  • In the registration page, you can provide your first and last name. You can also provide your email address
  • Next, you will be required to create a username for the MDLIVE services
  • In the next line, you will need to create a password to protect your account
  • Once you have registered, you can go through the directory of medical professionals and mental health professionals that MDLIVE provides. Using the bios that have been mentioned, choose the one that you require
  • You can then start your session

Tips to use Talkspace

Talkspace is a pretty easy to use platform, but the massive amount of features can be overwhelming and maybe even a tad intimidating for a new user. Some suggestions to help you in your Talkspace experience have been briefed as follows:

  • Explore the various formats that Talkspace provides for your live therapy sessions. In Talkspace, you can choose to have your live sessions as live chats, live audio and live video as per your convenience. Go through these various modes and find what tickles your fancy the most.
  • The best way to improve the effectiveness of your live therapy sessions is to create the right space and time for therapy in your home. In this space, you can have your therapy journal, your devices, and maybe even a blanket and cushions to make your experience more comfortable and relaxing.
  • Your therapist will often give you homework assignments to complete before your next therapy session. Ensure that you do this on time as they will help you apply your therapy principles outside of your therapy sessions. You can also use other apps like Calm or Headspace to learn more coping tools and exercises.

Tips to use MDLIVE

MDLIVE is also pretty simple to use and very user-friendly. Some helpful tips for this platform in particular have been jotted down below:

  • MDLIVE offers phone sessions or video sessions with a therapist. This is applied to other medical professionals as well. Choose the format with which you are most comfortable with.
  • If you are opting for video sessions, make sure your device is working properly so that there are interruptions during your therapy session. If possible, do a dry run before your therapy session.
  • You can also opt for a high-speed internet connection through which you can improve the quality of your video sessions and make sure there is no buffering or any other technological glitches.

Personal experiences in Talkspace

Those who have used Talkspace for their mental health care needs and requirements certainly have plenty to talk about. Some of their personal experiences have been summarized as follows:

  • Users have felt that the Talkspace app is pretty easy to use and quite intuitive in nature. This app makes the process of seeking therapy and consulting a therapist quite simple from start to finish.
  • Users have also felt that the cost of Talkspace is definitely worth it, especially since it is much cheaper than in-person therapy services. They have also been able to choose between various plans that Talkspace offers according to their needs and affordability.
  •  Most users have loved that the platform can be used very discreetly as it operates completely online. This saves the client trouble from going to a therapist’s office just for mental health care and instead brings professional help to the location of the user.
  • Some users have found that the algorithm that the platform uses to match users with therapists can go wrong at times due to which they have to look for the therapist themselves.

Personal experiences in MDLIVE

Users who have utilized the MDLIVE platform also have a lot to say on the matter of the quality of the services provided by this company. A few of their experiences have been described in the points below:

  • Most clients of MDLIVE have experienced very short waiting times for medical consultations as well as mental health consultations and thus have had access to professional help in a very short span of time.
  • Clients of this platform have also been able to avail high quality mental health care at very cost-effective prices, particularly if they have insurance coverage which has been a relief for many users of MDLIVE.
  •  Some users have had bad experiences with unethical therapists or doctors in this platform.
  • Users have also experienced issues related to insurance coverage through which they have had to pay for appointments or sessions completely out of pocket.

Conclusion

Talkspace and MDLIVE certainly provide great services for anyone seeking mental health care online. While these two telemedicine rivals share several features, they mainly differ in Talkspace being more mental health centric and MDLIVE being more pro to general medical care.

Talkspace is definitely a great option for anyone who is looking for a platform totally devoted to mental health care. In Talkspace, they can find therapy services as well as psychiatry services, both eligible for insurance coverage. They can also choose among various formats and modes of therapy, such as live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions.

MDLIVE is a wholesome platform that offers not only mental health care but also general medicine and dermatology. The mental health care services in this platform cover therapy as well as psychiatry. The costs of the appointments in MDLIVE are collected session by session and there are no subscriptions available in this platform.

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

BetterHelp can certainly be a great alternative for anyone who is looking for more options related to mental health. In BetterHelp, users can avail individual therapy conducted through unlimited messaging, live audio sessions and live video sessions. The platform also generously provides financial assistance which can reduce the costs by up to 25 per cent.

Frequently asked questions:

What is MDLIVE good for?

MDLIVE is great for any medical condition that requires non-emergency care, such as flu, sinus infections or even mental health conditions.

Can MDLIVE write doctors notes?

Yes, the doctors in MDLIVE are allowed to provide doctors notes for various issues.

How long does it take to get matched with a therapist on Talkspace?

It takes generally up to 48 hours to be matched with a therapist in Talkspace once the user has signed up.

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Citations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talkspace

https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/talkspace

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/07/technology/talkspace.html

https://benefits.baesystems.com/document/45

https://www.mc3.edu/choosing-montco/assets/health-wellness/docs/what-is-talkspace.pdf

https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Talkspace/about

https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/mdlive

https://golden.com/wiki/MDLIVE-B8ZA58

https://www.cbinsights.com/company/mdlive

https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/0943641D:US