Consumer habits are rapidly changing. With our increasingly busy and stressful lifestyles, we rank convenience as one of our top needs, and healthcare has caught onto this trend in a big way. The use of remote healthcare, or telemedicine, is expanding in the United States.
Lemonaid is a San Francisco-based telemedicine company launched in 2013. Their ethos is simple: they want everyone in America to have the opportunity to access safe and affordable healthcare. They combine expert health professionals with remote technology to create an innovative healthcare platform that allows you to skip the visit to the doctor’s office.
We thoroughly tested Lemonaid – read on to learn all pertinent details about the company and its services and find out if Lemonaid is right for you.
- No visits to a doctor’s office, so it is extremely convenient.
- Pricing is highly competitive – less than normal insurance co-pay for the most popular services.
- Transparency about the identity and credentials of their healthcare practitioners.
- Lemonaid treats a wider range of medical problems than many telemedicine competitors.
- Service can be run via an intuitive mobile app.
- If you aren’t a candidate for treatment via Lemonaid, the initial consultation fee is waived.
- Not covered by insurance.
- As with all telemedicine companies, there is the possibility that without an in-person doctor’s visit, something could be missed.
- For some of their treatments, the service is not entirely remote. You may still need to visit a test center to provide a sample.
- Not available in every state.
Based on our testing, Lemonaid is a solid telemedicine provider in the industry and we can recommend that you give them a try. Their services are not suitable for all medical needs of course, but a quick browse of their menu of services (including a general primary care visit via video) should allow you to determine if they can satisfy your current care needs. With their unrivalled customer care, transparency, and broad range of services, Lemonaid are fast becoming a top choice for those accessing remote healthcare solutions.
Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.
We extensively test each telemedicine service we review, including Lemonaid. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally this review of Lemonaid, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.
Lemonaid offers people high-quality healthcare that they can access from the convenience of their homes. It can’t be used for everyone, only in certain clinical applications at this point in time. But the services they do provide are more extensive than many competitors in telemedicine right now and can add a hefty dose of convenience to your healthcare routines.
The company is very transparent about their staff and always gives you the name of the person treating you so you can search their credentials and also establish the kind of trusting relationship you’d want with healthcare providers.
Lemonaid operates via a free app. You can talk to a doctor online generally about any concerns, in the same way as you would talk to your primary care doctor. States have different rules and requirements about the operation of these services. Some might require a video call, others just a phone call, and others require neither.
Here’s how the process works as you get started with Lemonaid:
Questionnaire. To get started, you first complete a short questionnaire, giving details about your needs and medical history.
Doctor review. Then, someone in their medical team will review the information you have provided, and ask any follow up questions. This initial consultation and review costs $25, but only if Lemonaid’s healthcare professional determines that you’re a suitable candidate for a treatment they can offer. In some cases, a video call could be required. This depends on the particular service, and state-by-state.
Treatment either via prescription at a local pharmacy or delivered to your home. If appropriate, Lemonaid will offer you a prescription or (depending on the medication) they may be able to send the medication directly to your home.
What medical services does Lemonaid offer?
Lemonaid offers medical tests, treatment, or medication delivery for health concerns in the following categories:
- Primary care consultation
- Skin/hair conditions
- Sexual health
- Mental health
- Various chronic health concerns
- Blood tests
While they provide a comprehensive list of all the services they offer, Lemonaid also provides the option for a general primary care video consultation, where your issue might not fall under one of the predefined categories. This allows you to connect remotely with a doctor to discuss any health concerns you might have. This service costs $75 per consultation (excluding the cost of medications or tests).
Lemonaid can treat a variety of ailments through this service – among them:
- Hay fever
This service could be useful if you are unable to visit your doctor in person, but have a relatively simple or existing health concern you would like to discuss with a doctor. However, there is no guarantee that Lemonaid will be able to offer the same treatment as your local in-person doctor.
Lemonaid offers help for acne, dark spots, cold sores and hair loss. For each of these ailments, they can directly send you the medication they prescribe. Alternatively, if you prefer, they can send you the prescription and you can collect your own medication from a local pharmacy.
For some of these ailments, such as hair loss, you provide pictures, so that the medical team can determine whether the treatments they are able to prescribe are suitable for your particular case. For these services, the consultation fee is $25, and the medicine ranges in cost, depending on what you require.
Visiting your doctor in-person with a private concern can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing affair. Additionally many people find visiting their doctor for simple, routine issues such as birth control prescriptions to be highly inconvenient.
Lemonaid offers a variety of services related to sexual health that make this process quick, easy and very discreet. The services they offer address:
- Birth control
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Hot flashes
- Sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing
- Premature ejaculation
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Genital herpes
They can directly send you medication (where appropriate) for erectile dysfunction, birth control, genital herpes, premature ejaculation, and hot flashes. Taking hormonal birth control is one of the most popular reasons for seeking out telemedicine services, and Lemonaid offers a wide variety of birth control brands that they can directly send to your door every 3-12 months.
The company also offers prescriptions that you can collect elsewhere for simple UTIs, which they can diagnose without a urine test. For chlamydia and gonorrhoea, Lemonaid can provide tests through a third party. If you test positive for either of these sexually transmitted infections, you will need to visit a doctor in person to collect a prescription.
You should also keep in mind that if this is the first time you’ve had symptoms of a disorder, you may want (or in fact, need) to visit a physician in person first. For example, Lemonaid will not be able to provide cold sore treatment if this is the first time you have had a cold sore.
It is vital that mental health services are accessible, ensuring that those most at risk are able to receive the care they need. Telemedicine can be particularly helpful in treating mental health conditions, because patients often do not need physical examinations.
Lemonaid offers diagnosis, prescription, and medication delivery services for both depression and anxiety. Their services are performed via a video call, ensuring you get the direct and personal care that you need. Their treatments start at $95 dollars per month, and they prescribe either SSRIs or SNRIs. They are not able to prescribe sedatives.
Lemonaid operates under strict guidelines and their services aren’t suitable for everyone. You must visit your doctor in person if your symptoms are associated with comorbidities such as suicidal thoughts, psychosis, and alcohol abuse.
Lemonaid is able to provide treatment services for some chronic health conditions:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Acid reflux
They also provide a service to help you stop smoking via prescription medications.
Where appropriate, they are able to deliver medicines for each of these issues. However, they are only able to prescribe certain medicines. For example, in the case of high cholesterol, they are only able to prescribe statins. For hypothyroidism, they only prescribe levothyroxine, and you must have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism already. Similarly, you need to have an existing diagnosis of high blood pressure in order to be prescribed medication for it via Lemonaid. (Lemonaid would have no mechanism by which to measure your blood pressure and diagnose you remotely.)
Having cold or flu symptoms can be a truly miserable experience. If the causes of your symptoms are viral, then often nothing can be done. You simply have to wait for the storm to pass. This can mean dragging yourself all the way to the doctor’s office only to be told they can’t help you.
Lemonaid offers treatments for two related disorders: sinus infections and flu. While they cannot treat viral sinus infections, they can prescribe antibiotics for simple bacterial sinus infections, allowing you to skip the visit to the doctor’s office. For the flu, they can provide antiviral medication if your symptoms have appeared within the last 48 hours.
Through a third party lab, Lemonaid can also offer blood tests that determine your blood type. They can also test your average blood sugar levels over the last 3 months using an A1C test. This requires a visit to a local testing center. Knowing your blood type isn’t medically necessary, but a lot of people would like to know their blood type. The A1C test can determine whether you potentially have diabetes or prediabetes, and may indicate that you need further treatment interventions.
The benefit of carrying out these tests via Lemonaid, as opposed to going through a test provider directly, is that their physicians can discuss the results with you, evaluate them, and put them in the context of your current lifestyle habits and medical history.
Lemonaid has a number of safeguards in place to protect your medical information. They have to share information with some third parties, including:
- A laboratory, if tests are ordered
- The website/app teams
- Potentially your state (if you are diagnosed with a condition that has to be reported, such as Chlamydia, for example)
Lemonaid adheres to all legal requirements for rigidly protecting your privacy at all times, as a medical service. They do not record the video consultations that you might participate in with your doctor, but they may capture a still from these consultations for their records. They are generally unable to delete any data, but can remove your account so the information cannot be accessed with your username or password.
These features are generally consistent with other similar services, and we are confident that your medical information is as secure as reasonably possible with Lemonaid.
Lemonaid’s consultation fees are not covered by insurance. However, at a low of $25 for many of their services, the fees are often cheaper than insurance co-pays. Their mail-order pharmacy is a cash-pay service, so you need to pay out of pocket for your medications. For their prescriptions, you would need to consult your insurance provider to see if they cover the medication you have been prescribed.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For Lemonaid and other telemedicine services and products, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?
User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?
Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?
Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?