TeleMDCentral is an online/telephone service that promises to give safe, secure, and affordable access to health care anytime and anywhere in the US. They state they offer on-demand access to board certified experienced US doctors as well as savings on lab tests, prescriptions, and more.
Who is TeleMDCentral?
There isn’t a lot of info about them yet as this service appears to be very new (as of June 2015) – their About Us page says “coming soon.” Their contact address is located at 70 S. Winooksi Ave Suite 209 in Burlington, VT. When we looked that address up, we discovered it is a UPS PO Box. Their corporate address listed at 35A Smithfield Blvd, Suite #154 Plattsburgh, NY 12901 is also a PO Box.
What Does TeleMDCentral Claim to Offer?
TeleMDCentral says they provide medical care 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They state that once you register you get immediate access to TeleMDCentral doctors and nurses. To use TeleCentralMD they instruct you to call any time to speak to a nurse, who will review your medical information, discuss your symptoms, and schedule a telephone appointment with a doctor.
While the nurses are available around the clock, TeleMDCentral doctors are only available 7am-10pm in your local time zone. Once you speak with a doctor the company says they will provide a diagnosis, a treatment plan, and possibly a prescription.
TeleMDCentral also claims to offer a free pharmacy benefits card to anyone, without any need to sign up. This card is said to offer instant discounts of up to 75% on prescription drugs and accepted at all major chains with no paperwork.
We called the customer service number provided at (888) 532-3299 and found out this pharmacy card is actually provided by Phoenix Benefits. When we spoke to our local pharmacy, they told us these types of discount cards are typically accepted but the discount depends on the type of drug you are buying.
What Else Should I Know About TeleMDCentral?
TeleMDCentral does have a disclaimer that you should be aware of before agreeing to any of their services. First of all, your services may be limited in the following states: Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New England, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Kansas, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Maine.
Local Pharmacy is not available in: Rhode Island, Kansas, and Maine.
Due to state regulations TeleMDCentral is not available in Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
Also, controlled substances are not prescribed and there is no guarantee you will receive any diagnosis, treatment plan or prescription after speaking to a doctor.
TeleMDCentral states it is not health insurance, which means it doesn’t cover you for medical emergencies and doesn’t qualify as coverage under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
How Much Does TeleMDCentral Cost?
We couldn’t find any price listing on the website. We called the toll free number provided at (844) 709-1700 twice. The first time we called we were told it was $19.95 per month and the second time $17.95 per month with up to 5 dependents.
We were told you could cancel at any time and could request a refund but these are not guaranteed.
When we asked further questions, we were put on hold for a very long time and then the call was disconnected.
Bottom Line: Is TeleMDCentral a Scam?
Telehealth services are a new and novel idea that can possibly help more people at a discounted rate. If you have a smartphone or camera on your computer you can also interact with a doctor or nurse.
Right now, we could not find enough specific information about TeleMDCentral to recommend signing up for their services. As we mentioned, both the offices listed are PO Boxes and the two customer service people we spoke to gave vague and conflicting information as to what services they provide and how much it costs.
However, anyone use their pharmacy card for free and possibly receive discounts on medication.
Alternatives to TeleMDCentral for Telehealth Services
If you need to speak to a doctor or nurse, there are several options as telehealth services are starting to be covered by Medicaid and/or reimbursed by private insurers in most US States (you can find details here).
If you are covered, you should first check with your insurance provider and see if they have telehealth services included with your premium. Call the number on your insurance card for more information.
Unfortunately, coverage and connection to nurses and doctors is still somewhat patchy. Currently, the only state that offers free 24/7 nurse advise for all its residents is New Mexico at (505) 841-8340.
We found a lot of disconnected phone numbers for nurse advice hotlines as well as ones that only help people with their insurance, but did finally connect with a few:
- Nurse Advice Line (866) 418-1002 – they stated they speak with people for free all over the country, no insurance needed.
- REMSA Nurse Health Line (775) 858-1000 a free service for Nevada and California residents.
- Tricare: (800) 874-2273 Option 1. It is primarily for Tricare members, but they do answer urgent care questions and give health care advice to anyone.
- Healthline Symptom Checker
- You may want to type in a search engine “free nurse hotline” along with your city and state.
If this is an emergency, no matter where you are call 911.
We hope this helps give you some guidance about finding and receiving medical advice online or over the telephone.
Let us know your experience with TeleMDCentral below!
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