Many millennials, myself included, have cobbled together careers by working multiple side hustles — and these gigs generally don't come with health insurance. I had seven jobs in 2018, and fortunately I was able to afford an Affordable Healthcare Act insurance plan. But not everyone can. If you don't have health insurance, and you need to see a doctor, there are
health care apps that make doctor visits more affordable, and they're especially helpful during flu season.
A 2019 report from the Transamerica Center for Health Studies noted that 16% of
millennials don't have health insurance. In addition, millennials are the least likely generation to be insured and visit the doctor less often than other generations. To make things worse, one in five millennials reported not being able to afford basic health care expenses, and 52% said they've had to use savings or tap into retirement funds to cover out-of-pocket health-related expenses.
Ultimately, generation Z and millennials are the most
unsatisfied with the current health care system in the United States, according to the Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey. For all of these reasons, you can see why they would seek alternatives to traditional health care. This includes everything from doing their own research about potential health conditions to using telemedicine apps to see virtual doctors.
If you're new to telemedicine, and you need to see a doctor immediately or get a discount on prescription meds, these
apps can help you get quality health care for less, especially now that flu season has started. LiveHealth Online is available for both iPhone and Android. It's free to sign up, there's no monthly fee, and you can see a doctor for as low as $49. For conditions like the flu, a cold or sore throat, headaches, minor skin conditions, pink eye, or diarrhea, it's easy to schedule an appointment with a doctor from the comfort of your own home.
Your doctor will video conference with you for about 10-15 minutes and recommend a treatment plan so you can start feeling better faster. LiveHealth Online also offers mental health care services.
This highly rated health app, available for both iPhone and Android, offers urgent care, behavioral health services, preventative health care, and chronic care. Visits with a board-certified doctor start at $75.
Doctor On Demand is available 24/7 and is ideal for flu season when you just can't deal with dragging yourself to urgent care.
You can also get information on their blog about how to tell the
difference between a cold and the flu, and things to do during the first 24 hours when you have a cold or the flu. Lemonaid Health is a virtual doctor's office that also offers prescription medicine delivery for some medical conditions. Starting at just $25 and available for both Android and iPhone, you can use Lemonaid for dozens of ailments. For immediate treatment, you'll need to use this app between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. EST.
If you don't need assistance during non-business hours, this might just be the most affordable options for treatment of conditions like sinus infections, urinary tract infections, STI testing, and more.
OK, this one's not an app, but I have to mention it because it's been a game changer for me. Cove is an online migraine management system that pairs you with a doctor, delivers your monthly prescriptions to your door at an affordable cost, and offers
tools to help you track your migraine headaches.
Personally, one of the biggest issues
managing my migraines has been running out of my rescue medication. Since it takes a long time to get in to see my neurologist, I was ending up at urgent care on the regular to get my prescriptions. This is neither cost effective nor convenient. Cove has put a stop to that. It's super easy to use, and for me, knowing my meds will show up in the mail every month has been life changing.
If you don't have insurance, or you end up at the pharmacy and learn your prescription medication isn't covered, then you definitely need to
download the GoodRx app. Available for both iPhone and Android, this app offers prescription drug coupons for most pharmacies, and it can save you a ton of money.
Seriously, this app has saved the day for me more times than I can count. You can compare prices between pharmacies to see which one will give you the best price. Some of the coupons can save you up to 80%. If you're paying out of pocket for a script that's hundreds of dollars, that's a big deal. You can even use it to
get a discount on flu shots. Amwell is a 24/7 telemedicine app available for both iPhone and Android. You can seen an urgent care doctor virtually for $69 to treat things like the flu, strep throat, sinus infections, and more. Amwell also offers affordable virtual mental health care and speciality services like neurology, dermatology, cardiology, and women's health.
While the urgent care service is available seven days a week in every state in the U.S., other services vary by location. Create a profile to see if the treatment you're looking for is available to you.
MDLive is another app that makes seeing a doctor on the fly super easy. Available for both Android and iPhone, you can see an urgent care doctor virtually for just $75. MDLive also offers mental health services and dermatology care. The highly rated app claims that most of its providers have an average of 15 years of experience in their field.
A digital health startup
launching in 2020, Queerly Health will match members of the LGBTQ community with health care professionals that have been vetted to ensure they are knowledgable about the needs of all patients.
Queerly Health reported that 50% of LGBTQ people have experienced health care discrimination. This service is designed to offer a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community to find trained medical professionals and gain access to digital health care. You can
join the waiting list now.
No matter what your health care needs are,
access to telemedicine health apps makes it easier and more affordable to get the care you need and deserve. Just make sure to do your research, read the reviews, and find an app that's best for you. Stay well my friendlies!