Just as Uber and Lyft set out to disrupt the taxi industry and Amazon set out to change how we think about shopping, many smaller but quickly growing companies are disrupting health care. Nurx is one of those companies.
Founded by Hans Gangeskar and Dr. Edvard Engesaeth and staffed by world-class physicians, Nurx’s primary mission is to make women’s lives easier, and particularly, make it easier to get birth control. The company has added emergency contraception (the morning-after pill), HIV PrEP, and HPV screening to its available services. And Nurx continues to expand its telehealth offerings with herpes treatments and additional STI testing (some of which is available for men, too).
- Nurx is convenient and its ordering process is intuitive and straightforward.
- Pricing is competitive, and opportunities to eliminate doctor visits can increase savings even more.
- Nurx takes your privacy seriously. All packages sent to your home are very discreet and non-branded.
- Nurx accepts most forms of insurance.
- Nurx offers access to a very wide variety of birth control options.
- Yearlong unlimited text messaging with Nurx health professionals is included in the $15 consultation fee.
- At this time, Nurx’s website does not have live chat. You must call the support phone number to speak with a medical professional.
- Nurx is not yet available in all 50 states. It is only available in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
- Some customer service frustrations – we didn’t experience this in our testing, but Nurx has been the subject of complaints about the wrong products being shipped.
- You have to pay the initial $15 consultation fee even if you have no use for ongoing text messaging with Nurx health staff.
Nurx offers women convenient and fast access to birth control at very competitive prices, in addition to other telehealth services. Above all, Nurx’s array of birth control options is very impressive. If you think you will benefit from the ability to send messages to a Nurx doctor throughout the year, then the up-front $15 consultation fee to get started will be a great feature of this service. However, if you don’t foresee that kind of messaging being useful or necessary for you, then you might be better served with a different telemedicine provider.
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Nurx offers convenient access to several health services for women:
- Birth control, including emergency contraception
- STI testing, including HPV screening
- Herpes treatment (for oral or genital herpes)
- HIV PrEP
Like other telemedicine companies, if your goal is to get prescription treatment such as birth control, Nurx begins your experience by gathering some health information from you and then initiating a virtual doctor consultation, in which a doctor will review your health and needs and consider whether you’re a candidate for the treatment. Then, unless the doctor envisions issues, Nurx will facilitate the treatment, sending it to you discreetly in the mail.
The initial consultation with Nurx is $15. While this fee allows you to consult with their health staff for a year via text messaging, you should know that there are other telemedicine companies who offer this initial consultation for free. As you consider your options, we highly recommend that you check out a competitor called Hers (full review here), as this is one of our favorite companies for women’s health products and women’s telemedicine broadly. Hers does not charge for your first consultation with a doctor, so you can potentially save $15 immediately if you’re looking for your preferred birth control or know exactly what you want.
Currently Nurx services are available in 29 U.S. states. Unfortunately you can’t use Nurx if you live in one of the following states:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Nurx offers over 100 different types of birth control, including name-brand and generic pills. Not a big fan of the pill? Nurx now also has a decent selection of the patch, the shot, and the vaginal ring. [Start here to purchase]
If you are unsure what kind of birth control fits you, Nurx’s customer support (staffed by accredited nurses) is always there to help answer your questions.
One thing that is very important to remember: Nurx does not replace your primary care provider. Instead, it seeks to help you avoid making multiple appointments by allowing you to access basic birth control in a more convenient way.
Getting your birth control from Nurx is pretty easy and straightforward. Here are the steps:
Request your prescription. Answer the five or so quick questions. (If you have any questions, you can call the support number, 1-800-321-NURX.)
Nurx doctors review your responses. After evaluating your needs, a physician will write you a prescription.
Your medication is delivered to your home. Your prescription will usually arrive within one to two business days in unbranded, very discreet packaging.
Receive automatic refills. Assuming you choose to have an ongoing prescription, your refills will arrive in a timely fashion like clockwork. You can cancel any time.
More commonly called the “morning-after pill,” emergency contraception works by temporarily stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg. Whether the condom broke or you had an unavoidable birth control lapse, taking the morning-after pill can be an effective way to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Emergency contraception must be taken within up to five days after having unprotected sex, so as you can imagine, time is of the essence. We recommend placing your order as soon as possible (as in the “morning after”) to ensure your pill arrives in time. Generally, Nurx has an excellent track record of very convenient, expedited shipping.
You have two choices in terms of brands: Ella and Plan B. If you are in a rush and don’t have time to do your research, we recommend going with Ella. This is because it works up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex and works equally well on day one or day five. Plan B is another solid option, but it has some restrictions that you must educate yourself on before choosing it. [Start here to purchase]
Here are the steps involved in purchasing emergency contraception from Nurx:
Request your prescription. Answer a few questions and click submit.
Your order is processed rapidly. Usually, on the same day, Nurx physicians approve your order, write a prescription, and send out your order.
Your order is delivered. Your prescription can either be sent to you directly (in non-branded, discreet packaging) or called in to your local pharmacy for pickup.
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP, is produced by a company named Truvada. According to the CDC, PrEP, when taken daily, can significantly reduce the risk of HIV taking hold and spreading throughout the body. In fact, the risk is reduced by more than 90% for the highest-risk individuals.
It is important to note that PrEP does not necessarily reduce the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases. You should also consider using a condom or other prevention methods in conjunction with PrEP. Also, PrEP is not appropriate for those who are currently HIV-positive. [Start here to purchase]
Here are the steps involved in getting PrEP from Nurx:
Request your prescription. Answer a few questions to ensure you are eligible for PrEP. Assuming you are, you will receive an HIV/STD at-home testing kit within a couple of business days. The packaging is unbranded and 100% discreet.
Take the at-home STD test. It takes two minutes and is painless. Then send the test kit back in the prepaid shipping box.
Nurx doctors review your lab results. Based on the results, Nurx decides whether or not PrEP is right for you.
Nurx prescribes PrEP. You will receive a three-month supply of daily pills.
Repeat the process. Approximately every three months, the process repeats itself. Unfortunately, for your safety, you will have to repeat the home test as well.
According to the CDC, 80% of people will get an HPV infection in their lifetime. Fortunately, it is very easy to screen for this STD.
Nurx offers an HPV Test Kit at a starting price of $15 with insurance or a flat fee of $69 without insurance. That includes the test kit, the lab tests and results, free delivery, and prepaid return. [Start here to purchase]
Here are the steps involved in getting tested for HPV by Nurx:
Request your test. Answer a few questions to determine your basic health status. You will receive an HPV at-home testing kit within a couple of business days. The packaging is unbranded and 100% discreet.
Take the at-home HPV test. It takes two minutes and is painless. Then send the test kit back in the prepaid shipping box.
Receive your results. A couple of days after you submit your sample, Nurx’s medical team will contact you to discuss your results and the next steps.
Nurx also offers additional STD test kits, but Nurx is not our top recommendation for this kind of testing – myLAB Box is our editor’s choice for STD testing. We believe you’ll find better value and top testing quality with myLAB Box. To learn more about them, check our our full myLAB Box review.
For information about getting testing for STDs at home, you may be interested in taking a look at our Guide to finding the best at-home STD test.
Nurx accepts most forms of private insurance, including Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, United Healthcare, and others. If you have specific questions about insurance, you are encouraged to simply email the Nurx team at [email protected].
Keep in mind that although your prescription will likely be covered, you may still be responsible for paying your “copay,” which is set by your particular insurance policy.
You will be required to pay a one-time $12 consultation fee. This fee does, however, include unlimited messaging and support from the Nurx medical team, where you can get all of your follow-up questions answered for up to a year. At this time, Nurx does not submit claims to insurance companies to reimburse these fees.
Nurx also accepts HSA / FSA as a form of payment, but it really depends on the specific insurance provider.
We customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the products available. For most Nurx products and tests, we have four areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? How do the prices compare to those of the competition? Are there any hidden costs or charges?
Convenience: How long does it take to enter all information and place an order? How fast will you receive your products or test results from the moment you click “buy?” Are subscription plans straightforward and easy to manage?
Privacy: Are all products and tests sent in discreet packaging? Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?
Customer Support: How well does the company help you choose the right products for you? Are you able to speak with qualified medical professionals if you want? What is the company’s return policy?